What is UI Design and why is it important?
User Interface Design in Information Technology refers to the design of the user interface for software, websites or applications. It’s about programming the look of things, with a view to facilitating usability and to improve the user experience.
UI design refers to graphical user interfaces and other forms—e.g., voice-controlled interfaces.
User interfaces come in three formats:
Graphical user interfaces (GUIs). Users interact with visual representations on digital control panels. A computer’s desktop is a GUI.
Voice-controlled interfaces (VUIs). Users interact with these through their voices. Most smart assistants Siri on iPhone and Alexa on Amazon devices are VUIs.
Gesture-based interfaces. Users engage with 3D design spaces through bodily motions: e.g., in virtual reality (VR) games.
In simple terms, a user interface is the features of a device or an application that allow a user to interact with it. Let’s say you are filling a company’s contact form on a website, your user interface, in this case, would consist of a text box, a drop-down list, a radio button and any other component which would allow you to enter your data into the company’s system.
Are you puzzled by UI designer role? The guide from toptal.com will help you understand how to hire your ideal UI designer.
WHY IS A GOOD USER INTERFACE IMPORTANT IN WEB DESIGN?
Why UI matters in web design?
From experience of F5 Studio web development agency in corporate website design we know that a good User Interface is important in the sense that it makes it easier for your target audience to clearly see what your products are. It is designed in a way to display the services that you offer without ambiguity, in order to draw your visitors’ attention and keep them on your site.
Simply put, a good User Interface is important because it can turn potential visitors to buyers as it facilitates interactions between the user and your website or web application.
When you scratch beneath the surface you realize that UI is quite an intricate field that involves anticipating the user preferences and then creating an interface that understands and fulfils those preferences. The UI not only focuses on the aesthetics but also maximizes responsiveness, efficiency, and accessibility of a website. It is professional web design because UI makes a difference. UI design helps improve conversion rate on a website.
An interface is a point where a users interact with the website they’re using. UI is a main part of building an engaging website. A good User Interface design presents a seamless blend of visual design, interaction design, and information architecture:
- Visual Design
Just because we are discussing it first doesn’t mean it is important than the other two. In fact, when we talk about functionality, its role is only that of a mediator between the product and the user. However, in terms of the ease, familiarity, and satisfaction it provides to the consumer, it deserves the top spot.
Visual design improves a site’s ornamental value by strategically implementing elements such as fonts, colours, and images among other things. When professionally done, visual design makes a page elegant without compromising on its function or content.
- Interactive design
When we click a button on a website, it performs a certain action for us. When we check a box on an online form, it responds to us. When we miss an important field in the same form, it becomes highlighted. All this is taken care of by the interactive side of UI design. It presents the user-interface in such a way to us that we know or can learn how to interact with it.
Excellent interactive design not only anticipates how a person interacts with a system but also antedates and fixes problems in good time. It may also invent new ways through which a system interacts and responds to users.
- Information Architecture
Information architecture of a website is designed to help users find the info they need to complete various tasks. It, therefore, involves labelling, structuring, and organizing the web content in a manner that makes it easily accessible and sustainable. Also, you need to know that information architecture affect SEO performance of a site.
See Effective site architecture for SEO and findability
When a digital agency provides the advanced SEO services, SEO specialists focus on the informational architecture of a website.
Is UI design still important for SEO in 2021? Over the past few years, Google and other search engines have made many changes to SERPs and introduced an updated algorithm which are based on evaluate of UI and UX to gain more reliable and high-quality information. So, UI UX design is one of vital ways of search optimization in 2021.
Also, UI is the very important part of the mobile app design.
Choosing Elements Of User Interface Design
Users expect an interface to work and behave in a particular way. When designing a UI, it’s recommended that the interface is designed to be predictable, concise and consistent. This improves its efficiency in completing tasks and ultimately reinforces user satisfaction. Multiple elements constitute a functional UI. These may include:
- Input controls such as buttons, toggles, and checkboxes among many others.
- Navigation components e.g. breadcrumb, sliders, search fields, icons etc.
- Information components for example tooltips, notifications, message boxes and progress bars among others.
- Call to Action elements (see how to create perfect Call to Action button).
- Containers including accordion.
When choosing what element to include in a User Interface design, it’s always wise to consider your tradeoffs. An element may, for instance, save you some space but end up unnecessarily burdening the user and break the user experience.
You may also like: What is the difference between UX and UI design?
UI Design Best Practices
Designing the perfect user interface comes from knowing the users as well as understanding their tendencies, preferences, skills, and goals.
Remember the following practices of a good User Interface design.
- Simple Interfaces are best- use a clear language and avoid inessential elements.
- Maintain Consistency by using common UI elements. Use elements that users are familiar with. This ensures things get done fast. It also guarantees user comfort and gratification.
- Use smart, purposeful page layouts. Try to draw attention to the most important aspects of the website.
- Colours and textures should be appropriately used to draw the attention of the user to a particular or given component. See F5 Studio’s post about web design for ordinary business
- Communication is key. When something goes right, or wrong, the user should be able to tell. Make sure that your website creates defaults and communicates effectively with your users.
- Don’t ignore typography. Just as the typography of your website is important in your branding, it also affects usability.
If you want the effective UI of a business site, you should consider:
- Users judge designs quickly and care about usability and likeability.
In fact, website visitors don’t care about your design, but about getting their tasks done easily and with minimum effort.
Your design should therefore be “invisible”. Users shouldn’t focus on it but on completing tasks.
So, understand your users’ contexts and task flows (which you can find from, e.g., customer journey maps), to fine-tune the best, most intuitive UIs that deliver seamless experiences.
- UIs should also be enjoyable (or at least frustration-free).
When UI design predicts users’ needs, they can enjoy more personalized and immersive experiences. Delight visitors, if you want that they keep returning on a site.
- UIs should communicate brand values and reinforce users’ trust.
These best practice of UI design base on 10 rules to design User Interface
F5 Studio web designers use the best practices of UI design and you can see examples of UI design on our works page. Also, we like the creative approach in UI design. We combine different styles to create a great web design. Do you know about latest trends of UI design styles? In this article we explaine how to use Neumorphism in User Interface Design on a business site.
5 MISTAKES TO AVOID IN UI DESIGN
- Not implementing a user-centred design: This part is easy to ignore whereas it is one of the important aspects of UI Design. When designing, you should keep in mind the needs, preferences,
problems of the users. Avoiding to do so might have a negative impact on your business and cause it to collapse.
- Not learning more about the target audience: Again, this point illustrates more what we just talk about. Instead of designing with your own preferences and tastes, rather design as if you were the customer. Just think about what the customer would love, and if possible conduct a survey or interview some potential customers to truly understand what they need.
- Excessive use of dynamic effects: Using too much animations effect is not synonymous of a great design. So avoiding excessive decorative animations can help optimize the user experience.
- Not exploring further: the pressure of meeting the deadlines, and the heavy workload can make the designer avoid to explore other possibilities to get inspired and more creative before they elaborate on their design plan.
- Crafting too much beforehand. Especially in the early stage of design, we just want to have the right picture of the design in the minds and start work. However, this is conception is not always efficient. At times, exploring other sources can reveal us some surprising things.
In this article we briefly explained what a user interface is, we defined the term ‘user interface design’, and we highlighted the importance of a good user interface in the web development context. We also talked about the elements to include in the user interface, and finally listed some best practices to consider while designing a user interface.
If you need a professional UI UX web design for your website, web application or mobile application, you can contact project managers.