Any digital product would be incomplete without a user interface. Users don’t notice the interface when it’s well-designed; it’s a smooth experience. When the user interface is badly designed, and users are unable to finish their job flow, problems arise.
I adhere to the basic design principles, but I’ve realised that the greatest way to learn is to compare examples of terrible design against examples of good design. Why? Because they highlight the errors you should avoid and assist us to create a better solution.
“When done correctly, good design fades into the background. We only notice it when it’s done incorrectly.” Spool, Jared
Don’t get me wrong: looking for flaws in user interface designs isn’t the most scientific approach, but it’s worked for me. These regular blunders inspired me to develop ten principles that guide my user interface design technique. In this essay, I’d want to share ten principles with you.
- Make it simple.
- Don’t make your issues the users’ problems.
- Give users control over the user interface
- Lighten the mental load
- Prioritize clarity over complication
- The devil is in the details 6. Be human
- Ensure that user interfaces are consistent.
- Progressive disclosure 9. Error prevention
Let’s take a closer look at each design principle…
1. Make your user interface design as simple as possible.
The most crucial thing a designer can focus on, whether they want to improve usability or increase conversion, is making sure the user interface design is effortless. Users have higher expectations than ever before, and they will not accept stressful situations. I see a lot of companies obsessing over the latest trends when they don’t even get the basics right – keep the user experience simple to deter users from going to your competition.
2. Don’t make your issues the users’ problems.
UI designers and web developers, in particular, can be quite subjective when it comes to interface design. Due to a conflict of priorities and pressed deadlines, they are more likely to focus on solving their own problems than than improving the user’s experience.
The formatting of form fields is a common example of this issue. Many e-commerce sites need users to format phone numbers or postcodes when filling out their shipping information.
This type of issue frequently arises, in my experience, because reformatting information to enter into a database requires effort from a developer, and it appears ‘easier’ to make the user do it – don’t complicate the user’s experience.
3. Give users control over the user interface
A well-designed user interface gives people a sensation of control – comfort comes from control. Users can learn rapidly and gain a sense of power by giving them control over the interface.
A careless design deprives consumers of their comfort by forcing them into unexpected encounters, long routes, and disappointing ends. Take my advice and make the interface obvious – believe me when I say that what is obvious to you may not be evident to someone else.
4. Lighten the mental load
The amount of mental processing capacity required to use a product is referred to as cognitive load. Users’ performance will deteriorate if they are given too much information to handle – they will overlook critical facts, become overwhelmed, or even abandon the work.
Users’ attention spans are shortening, and their expectations are rising. A solid visual organisation is critical for improving usability and legibility. There are a variety of user interface rules to follow, ranging from chunking content to optimising response times, all of which are designed to reduce cognitive burden.
In a word, don’t cram too much information into a screen at once – outdated links, irrelevant graphics, and nonsensical text are all bad ideas. Instead, employ general content organisation techniques like grouping relevant topics, bullet points, clear titles, and obvious call to actions to avoid making users thin or working hard to use your product.
5. Simplicity over complication
Recently, I’ve noticed how many websites strive to be creative with their tone of speech when marketing their brand. Sites that strive to be creative or ‘edgy’ are one of my pet peeves when it comes to user interface design.
Don’t get me wrong: some companies excel at this; nonetheless, when it comes to quick fashion, I’m not a big admirer.
“Wanna’ add a vintage edge to your ‘fits?” “Did you cop or drop?”
“Purchase the ‘gramme”
Marketing departments enjoy being smart and attempting to ‘engage’ users with emotionally laden text. Focus on the simplicity of information, which is often referred to as one of the core principles of design. It becomes unclear exactly what they are offering and often loses clarity. 4. Lighten the mental load
“Meeting the exact needs of the consumer without trouble or bother is the first criterion for an excellent user experience.” Then there’s simplicity and elegance, which result in items that are a delight to own and enjoy.” NN Group is a company based in New York City
6. Be a person.
This may sound strange, but I’m seeing an increasing number of people transform into robots. As UX designers, we strive to keep people from making mistakes, and content is one of the most important aspects of a web development company. Internal teams, for some reason, stop being people when they sit down to write online copy or design a user interface.
Don’t use jargon or professional jargon in your writing. Always write in layman’s words; this will not upset specialists and will undoubtedly aid newcomers in understanding your product or service.
“Users have time to read at most 28 percent of the words on a typical web page on an average visit, although 20 percent is more likely.”
Remove the jargon and technical terminology, and only a small percentage of the population understands what an IP address is. This might have been written in a variety of ways to help users comprehend the problem.
7. It’s all in the details.
Designers are perfectionists, which is part of the challenge with user interface design: it’s simple to make something ‘look good,’ but that doesn’t always equate to the smooth user experience you want.
Small interface flaws may seem insignificant in the broad scheme of things, but they can soon add up to create a highly irritating experience.
“An unattractive user interface can drive clients away.” Becky Birch is a British actress.
Consider a banking app: a user is likely to engage with this app on a daily basis, and minor annoyances will quickly escalate into a major issue. It’s possible that the user will go to a competitor as a result.
8. Ensure that user interfaces are consistent.
Because it improves usability and learnability, consistency is one of the most fundamental concepts of user interface design.
A website that lacks consistency will quickly devolve into chaos. I’ve seen a lot of organisations add new features without taking into account the existing design systems or style rules – without consistency in design, the site will quickly become very confusing.
It all boils down to the old adage “don’t reinvent the wheel.” Consistency is intended to let users engage with many apps in a consistent manner. Users should not be required to master new abilities every time they open an app.
9. Error avoidance
As a designer, you’re always working to enhance user flows, build new or current features, and improve the overall user experience. Because a website is a work in progress, it is highly possible that a user will not always receive the desired result — this is not a failure, but a strong user interface design must be able to adjust to the unexpected.
I’ve seen far too many cryptic error messages that blame users for the problem or don’t clarify what the problem is. Users will be able to relate to the issue better because to the usage of human tone and language, which will improve their overall experience.
ten. gradual disclosure
When it comes to user interface design, one of my pet peeves is when websites try to show everything at once. Instead, only show what is necessary on each screen.
There’s still a misperception that every visitor will land on a website’s homepage; marketing, social media, and individuals sharing links can lead a user to any page on your site. By gradually revealing information, an ideal interface will defer ultimate judgments to following screens.
When developing a user interface, keep in mind that if users are making a decision, provide just enough information to allow them to make a decision, and then show more information on a later screen.
Let’s call it a day.
This list covers some of the most common issues I observe with user interface designs on the internet on a daily basis, which has prompted me to develop a sound design strategy. Too many businesses are focusing on the latest trends and adding new features (just because) when they don’t have the fundamentals in place.
The purpose of interface design is for the user to be able to explore the interface without fear of experiencing undesirable consequences. Websites are continuously changing, and people are becoming more aware of how interfaces should work. Interfaces will grow more intuitive, predictable, and human as time goes on! The ideas listed above will stay core throughout the web’s evolution, putting you in strong stead for the future of interface design.