User Interface (UI) is an important part of any software product. If you get the UI design wrong, it will prevent the user from enjoying the product.
As a product designer, it is important to create with the user in mind. That is why you need to follow certain UI design practices that will improve User Experience (UX). The secret to UI design is to first figure out what users might need. Then, you need to make sure the interface has elements that will bring about these actions. Bear in mind that users know how certain elements should look or act. So, it is important to be consistent in your layout. This will in turn make completing the task easy and satisfactory. Let us now look at some of the best UI/UX design practices.
#1. Command The User’s Focus
In UI/UX design, it is important to control what the user sees. The first thing you should do is to establish a starting point. This is what the user sees first, so it has to be clear and visible. You can start with adding visual contrasts to your page headlines.
Mix different font sizes. There is no reason to avoid thin fonts, they convey elegance and employ serif, which makes them perfect for body texts. In addition to this, adding an established design hierarchy to your interface will make your UI consistency rank high.
Here are some other things you can do to control the user’s focus.
- Make sure you don’t trap negative spaces in the composition.
- A one-column layout is the best option, as it is easier to view.
- You can overlap a design element to emphasize continuity.
- Fix headlines closer to their respective sections.
- Group menu items according to their proximity.
- Ensure interface changes are not disruptive to the user.
- Reward users when they make progress. For instance, where interactions are successful, let them know.
#2. Lead The User Towards Their End Goal
Getting and directing the user’s attention was the first step. Now, you need to help them achieve their goal. List your users’ goals and refer back to them throughout the UI or UX design process. To do this, you need to predict the user’s attention. Next, you will bring this goal as close to them as possible.
Here are some ways you can do this:
- Jump to Items that users are searching for. You can use a filter of search words to achieve this.
- Place necessary information on primary pages. This will prevent the user from going back and forth.
- Use frequent inputs to create smart defaults.
- Display common answers at the top of drop-down lists.
- Display the progress of tasks and the time remaining to complete them.
- Offer different ways to do the same task. For instance, allow users to log in via username or email. Give them viable options to choose from.
#3. Maintain Flow And Limit Mental Effort
One of the best UI/UX design practices is to reduce the workload on the user. This will maintain and prolong their flow on your product. Also, while it is good to be creative, stick to a conventional design. This is because users have gotten used to certain structures and layouts. These designs are not only popular, but they also work. They will also maintain the user’s flow. Here are some ways you can achieve this:
- Add descriptive information to title pages.
- Reduce the effort it will take to perform tasks. You can simplify tasks to achieve this.
- Curate a list of common search items.
- Show the options most users choose.
- Use conventional navigation menus.
- Provide feedback every time users interact with your interface. Say if the operation was successful or not.
- Show what items the cursor hovers over.
- Get rid of prolonged waiting periods. Yet, sometimes this waiting is inevitable. So, use colorful animations to distract the user’s from getting agitated.
In all, it is important to not only solve the user’s surface needs. Try to go deeper and find out why users need certain features in your product. Then, you can go ahead to solve the underlying issue. These design practices will affect how your product performs in the competitive market.
#4. Maximize Compatibility for All Users and Scenarios
Your users are made up of people from different backgrounds with different goals. They might be novices or experts, and you are not always going to be there to offer extra help to those who need it. You just have to design your interface to accommodate all users. Make use of the proper amount of on-boarding, include tooltips to help novice users without disrupting expert users, and customize your interface to soothe different workflows. Make your interface compatible with all mediums. Your interface should function in all environments, all devices, browsers, etc. Most designers are now creating interfaces that can be used by people with disabilities. You can include semantic labels in HTML5, or use multiple cues to communicate information however this option depends on the product you are offering. Do not use the grid as a trending tool.
#5. Help Users Minimize and Overcome Potential Errors
When designing your interface, ensure that you get everything right. This makes error impossible to occur. You have to disable buttons when users click them and ensure that the interface can only accept compatible inputs. Monitor signals that are common in most errors, and differentiate powerful functions to minimize slips.
Poor designs lead to a bad User Experience (UX). So, users must have a connection to your product, for it to be a success. We have discussed some of the best UI/UX design practices above that will help you achieve this.
contact Agilecube to make your UI designs easy to use and navigate for your audience.