What is user interface design and its principles

Apr 7 02:00 2022 Maria Kharlantseva Print This Article

UI sits at the core of any user-centered digital product, including websites, web applications, and others. And it’s almost impossible to deliver an excellent experience without the same excellent UI design. But what is user interface design? Why is it important? What are the main UI design principles? Let’s start from the basics. 

In a nutshell,Guest Posting the user interface is the point of interaction between the user and the web platform. And the aim of user interface design is to build an interface focusing on the look and feel so that it is pleasant to interact with. Thus, UI design stands for the process of designing the interface. When it’s done well, users feel comfortable when interacting with the platform. It concerns the properly chosen typefaces, comprehensive layouts, perfectly suiting colors, and other design elements like buttons and icons. When it’s done poorly, users may face numerous obstacles that deteriorate their experience, urging them to leave to find a better one on another platform. Thus, UI design is vital for user retention as well as for a well-organized and consistent look.

However, UI design takes much effort and attention to detail. Essentially, excellent UI design means interactiveness. The interface should be creative yet comprehensive so as not to deteriorate the overall platform’s usability. Also, before the actual design process, it’s critical to conduct thorough research. That helps UI designers to outline the core requirements and meet the needs of both the stakeholders and clients. And if research-proven, UI design can be a success.

Besides, there are several UI design fundamentals that serve as a foundation for any UI design project. User interface design principles represent high-level concepts that are used to guide software design. And when following them, you have better chances to produce qualified and impeccable interfaces. Let’s consider them:

#1 The principle of user-centered interface

When placing users in control of the interface, they feel comfortable and learn more quickly to interact with it. To make that happen there are several methods to use. First, you need to make the actions reversible. It means that users can always backtrack whatever they’re doing. That allows users to escape the fear of failure because they know that errors can be easily undone. This method can significantly improve the user experience and contribute to better interface usability.

Another way to make the user-centered interface is easy-to-use navigation. No doubt, navigation must be always comprehensive and evident. As for the UI design, navigation should also be intuitive and predictable. For that reason, employ visual cues, which will help users to navigate through an interface with ease. Also, cues can help your interface be predictable, which also lessens the fear of mistakes and promotes intuitive UI.

Also, you may use feedback that can serve as a meaningful, clear reaction to the user’s actions. For instance, when a user clicks on a button, it’s critical to provide an indication of the success of that action. Thus, interaction with the interface becomes acknowledging, which is also a user-centered technique.

#2 The principle of smooth functioning

For an excellent UI design, it’s critical to ensure that the interface not only looks beautiful but functions well. For that reason, you need to eliminate all elements that are irrelevant to the users or not helping them. These elements may create additional noise in UI, which can diminish the visibility of vital information and important elements. Thus, it’s paramount to design an interface in a way that all information presented is relevant and visible.

Also, make sure that the buttons and icons you use are integral to your design. Implement them properly so that they enhance the interface but not damage its functionality. Only that way you can achieve smooth functioning, which is vital to UI.

#3 The principle of low cognitive load

When crafting a user interface, it’s important to keep to the minimal total number of actions required to complete a specific task. That is an issue of cognitive load. And for an interface design to be excellent, its cognitive load should be low. Thus, users will need to remember fewer clicks instead of many that are more likely to be forgotten.

Another important element to consider is color. Despite performing the visual function, color can be vital to cognitive load. For instance, if there is no contrast between the user interface elements, users will need more time and effort to detect some points. Thus, it’s better to use contrastive colors for clarity of the structure. Still, it’s critical not to overdo, which may lead to failure. Too bright colors also impact the cognitive load.

What is more, you need to remember that when using jargon or system-centered terms and words in your interface, you may alienate those unfamiliar with them. Thus, avoid such a sophisticated language, and adhere to a traditional, well-known set of terms. Simplicity is key.

#4 The principle of consistency 

Consistency means a lot for UI design. The consistent interface means intuitive, usable, and easy-to-comprehend interface. To make your interface visually consistent, you need to adhere to one style and use the same colors, icons, and fonts throughout the product. That eliminates any implicit meanings and contributes to the clarity of your interface. Besides visual consistency, you need to consider functional consistency, which means the same way different objects work throughout the interface. In other words, the green icon should mean positive results in all situations, so it consistently behaves regardless of its position.

All in all, UI design is a vast process that requires complete commitment and much attention to detail. And these four principles of user interface design can be a great help when creating an interface for your website or web app. Following them guarantees your interface will be user-friendly, consistent, easy to comprehend, and pleasant to use. And that is the ultimate goal of an excellent UI design. 

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About Article Author

Maria Kharlantseva
Maria Kharlantseva

Ester Digital is an experienced UI design agency. If you want more information about how to create an excellent user interface or want information about UI design – visit the Ester Digital website.

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