8 Tips for User Interface Design — What Customers Need in 2020
When designing a website or creating a digital product, there are several situations when the designer needs to make decisions regarding a visual design.
Visual designs are the elements that enhance interaction between the visitor and the digital product.
Interface design, on the other hand, focuses on the layout of the interface and the whole experience that comes from using the interface.
These guidelines below provide useful instructions on making human-centred user interface designs that are easy to use and elegant.
1 — Determine Who Your Users are
You need to have a full demographic data of your target users.
Essentially, you need to know who they are, what their needs are, and what is important to them.
This would help you determine what stands in their way to achieving their goals.
Determine the deep-seated needs so that you will fulfil their hidden wants.
It is also essential to communicate with them in the process of creating an interface to know where to highlight in the interface.
Combine your insights to go beyond the customer’s expectations to enhance their experience.
2 — Determine how People Will Use the Interface
Before getting into the actual work of designing an app, determine how users will interact with it.
Depending on the prime market and the ideal gadgets, it may affect the user’s experience in many ways.
For example, the Tinder app is created in a way that users can swipe and get the work done directly.
There are two ways in which people interact with apps and websites.
The most common way is interacting with the elements of the interface directly.
There is also indirect interaction, where they interact with UI elements external to the said product.
Some of the direct interactions include swiping a card, tapping a button, drag and drop.
Indirect interaction includes Typing into a form, using shortcuts and key commands, clicking or pointing with a mouse.
The device that your target users use should also inform your decision.
For example, if you are targeting coders, remember that they interact with the app primarily using the keyboard.
Therefore, the app should be easy to use with a few clicks.
On the other hand, if you are designing an app for seniors, limit the manual swiping as they have limited manual dexterity.
3 — Set Expected Results
Any action that is built into the interface must have a given outcome.
Clicking that button could mean making a purchase, posting that comment, forward that image or causing a disparaging reaction about that post.
These consequences come with anxiety for the users.
Therefore, they must know what would happen when they act on your digital product or the app.
You can set expectations through various avenues through design. Here are some examples:
● You may pick a colour that conveys the message you need to transmit. For example, red could be a warning to stop while green may be permitted to continue.
● Pick a widely known symbol. For example, the hourglass denotes processing, and a magnifying glass shows the search function while a trash can indicates the delete function.
● You may highlight the button that corresponds to the action that the user wants to accomplish.
● It is also possible to set expectations through copy. Here are some examples.
● Asking for confirmation and delivering a warning
● Ensuring that there is a clear button copy
● Providing directional copy in empty states
For things whose consequences are irreversible, such as deleting something, it is crucial that you ask if the users are sure they want to act.
You should also warn them that the action cannot be reversed. It lowers accidental erasures and irreversible mistakes.
4 — Anticipate Mistakes
Your users will make mistakes at some point.
It is, therefore, essential to anticipate these mistakes and aid the users so that they would not have to error if they do, there would be a way to fix the errors.
A common technique of preventing such mistakes is in the form of design.
Button in a form field remains inactive until the data that is to be captured is filled correctly.
For example, in the email address field, the button would not activate without the “@” sign on the email address.
Consequently, the phone number field would not activate without the right number of digits.
On the other hand, in the eCommerce market, the shopping cart pop-ups ask you if you want to abandon the shopping cart.
It is good to anticipate mistakes before they occur, as it is less frustrating for the users.
They also feel a sense of satisfaction after they are allowed to move to the next stage of the completion process.
If the action the user takes can be reversed, it is always good to tell them how to do it.
For example, if one has deleted some content and can restore it, you may explain how to get the lost information below the action button.
Sometimes you let some mistakes happen.
Then, you offer a detailed error message to let your user know what the problem is.
In designing error messages, it is crucial to explain the actual error and explain how to fix it.
For example, if you capture a birthdate for the user, you can define the dates beyond which they cannot enter, such as earlier than 1900.
Then explain that they should fill a date after 1900.
5 — Give some Feedback
Most users are confused about whether the information or action they have performed is correct or if they have completed the process.
Feedback can be as simple as a pop-up button, a virtual high five, a lighting bulb or the thumb finger sign.
Just do not clutter the page with large animations so that they do not take away the user’s attention.
Where the user has to wait for an app or a page to load, try using visual tricks to show that the page is loading fast.
You may use a spinning while or a status bar that shows the loading percentage.
Just come up with a way to show that the process is fast to reduce a bounce rate.
6 — Determine Where to Place Elements and the Size of the Elements
According to Fitts Law, as applied in human-computer interaction, the time it takes to acquire a target is usually the function of the distances to the said target and the size of the goal.
This means that closer and bigger targets are picked faster than those that are smaller and farther away when running the cursor.
This law will affect the placement and the size of targets in various ways.
First, click targets such as text links and icons should be big enough for the users to see and click.
Keep this rule when placing menus and links to other pages.
If the size is small and there is insufficient space, users will keep clicking the wrong buttons and eventually abandon their actions.
Buttons of prominent actions should always be more significant and leading on the page or other digital products.
Keep in mind the screen design and best layout for different screen sizes.
Navigation tools and prominent interactive elements such as search bars are best placed at the corners of the screen or the edges.
The reason is that at the position, there is little need for accuracy, and the user will not be worried about overshooting the click target.
7 — Do not Always Reinvent the Wheel
UI designers are usually asked to be creative and find new ways to enhance user interaction meaning.
Unfortunately, this is not always the best option.
New visual elements, however, pleasing and interactive may be, may increase cognitive load as they make users think hard about a process that they already know.
This does not mean that you cannot overhaul most of the elements.
However, make the meaning so evident to the reader so that they will not have to think about it.
8 — Intermarry SEO with User Experience
While working on good user experience with the digital product, it is also essential to think about search engines.
You should go beyond the requirements of search engines to improve user interaction and their overall experience.
Here are some basic practices you should keep in mind to enhance interaction between SEO and UI.
You should determine the keywords that you need to implement on your website.
It is good to enlist the help of an agency in which country your product is going to launch such as if your new product is planned to lunch in Thailand, try to collaborate with Noria, an SEO agency in Thailand, in keyword research and content development to rank in the right search results and attract your intended users.
This is vital in your online marketing efforts.
Determine the language that your users employ to describe various elements, products or services.
A product targeting specialised skills can use jargon to explain various features.
However, if the target users are not in the industry, language must be kept as simple as possible.
If guest posting, feature article topics that point to a need that the organisation intends to fulfil on the main page.
The issue should be intertwined with relevant keywords so that you can capture the right audience to read the article.
User experience is enhanced by text and images they find on the site.
The content should be engaging, easy to read and providing solutions the reader wants without one having to read the entire page.
User Interface should encompass all the interactions that the customer makes with the digital product, app or website.
It is essential to define the target market and the ways they interact with your product.
Then, anticipate the mistakes they make and ways to prevent or correct them.
Besides, customers should have some feedback for their actions.
Finally, it is vital that you determine the size and location of various elements on the web page.
For sites, SEO is part of overall customer experience and, therefore, standards should be maintained.
Originally published at https://inkbotdesign.com on February 19, 2020.