Beautiful user interfaces are a thing of wonder. They capture your attention and make you feel like you’re in a silky-smooth dreamland, where everything happens seamlessly and without one iota of pain. But these dreamy user interfaces don’t just happen overnight. They are not just made… they are designed and perfected.
The user interface is the conduit between user and brand. It is the means to communicate everything about the brand and also to offer everything the user wants. When done properly, it is multi-functional and yet simple all at once. It is exciting to use, but it’s straightforward and doesn’t leave a person thinking or hanging or waiting or wondering. In essence, it’s a work of art, but it’s not the lofty dream that you think is out of reach, either. Here are some pointers on how to create a user interface worthy of endless praise.
Usability Across All Devices
This goes without saying and if you’re not already designing for all devices, where have you been? Demand for information doesn’t keep to timeframes, which means that people are hopping on and offline at a moment’s notice, from whatever device is closest to them. One user could switch from phone to laptop to iPad within a day, so it’s imperative that you meet each interaction with seamless grace and ease. Clean, responsive design is non-negotiable.
When In Doubt, Consistency Is Key
Consistency is often forgotten under layers of other seemingly more important things, but a consistent design is a thing of beauty. Consistency exists in so many areas, from the copywriting to the size of the icons, to the style of icons, to the gap between headings and body copy, to the styling of images, to the way that information is presented. By setting up a style guideline before any of the design begins, you have a framework for success from the word go.
It sounds sterile, but it’s more about keeping things as simple, clean and light as possible. Don’t overload your user when you don’t need to. If your user doesn’t have to think or wonder about their experience, you have done your job effectively.
Don’t Reinvent The Wheel
If something works and doesn’t require any further intervention, don’t reinvent it simply for the sake of creating new design. The old adage “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” stands true in this case. Rather go with what works, especially if it’s simple and to the point. New design – no matter how ground-breaking it might be – can confuse users, especially those who are already familiar with what you offer. If you must create new design elements, make sure that it is still abundantly clear what action needs to be taken and where.
Always Check For Errors
Have you tested your software, website or application? Have you tested it again for errors or potential roadblocks? Test it more than once and possibly even allocate time every month to run the same analyses and ensure that nothing has broken. Errors can send a user packing in the blink of an eye. In saying that, ensure that you factor in any possible errors that your customer might make. A simple example would be when a user types their name into the email form field. It is picked up that the user didn’t type in an actual email address, so you alert them to this fact. Anticipate what they might do before they do it.
If this is all way over your head, don’t worry. We are specialists in the field, and we’d be glad to help. Contact us today.