UI and UX have become an integral part of the web experience for users. The UI/UX design is important not only to give an informational view to its consumers, but to create the right impact which will keep them coming back for more.
UI/UX Designers need to create designs from the end user’s perspective, keeping in mind the ease of use, simplicity of navigation, factors that keep the users engaged, and ultimately generate that long lasting positive impact on the consumers.
Some of the important points that designers need to include while designing websites/apps are:
1. Offer a seamless experience to users irrespective of devices
Users have the choice to visit websites from any device such as a smartphone, tablet or a laptop/desktop. One fundamental principle of user experience design is to make sure that irrespective of the devices used to get to the website, the user experience should not differ. It should be common across devices and seamless for all users.
The size of the device should not matter, whether it is a small screen mobile or a wider screen laptop, the users should be able to easily navigate to the desired location and get what they are looking for without any hassles. This will ensure you keep them engaged and offer them a seamless user experience from any device and at any time.
2. Provide simple and easy-to-use navigation
What users look for is a simple site where they can easily find what they are looking for without asking for assistance. If the site navigation is easy they will find the content they are searching quickly.
The designers have to provide an easy to use and an extremely user-friendly navigation that is easy to understand and use for all. Make sure the number of clicks is kept to the minimum and only where necessary. Try to make use of the scroll option as it is much faster that a click followed by loading of a page.
3. Focus only on the Primary point
No one may actually read word by word that is written on the website. Users generally scan through the pages to quickly find the main content or information that they are in search of.
Keeping this in mind the designers need to provide an easy way of providing main information which is the primary function of the website. Design in such a way that the retina scans what is most important and then what may be of secondary importance, keeping in mind the visual hierarchy. Page Titles, Registration/ Login Forms, Navigation Menu/items, and content must be the focus point so users can view it without any difficulty.
4. Make sure that hyperlinks and command buttons function as intended
If it is not WYSIWYG with respect to the hyperlinks and command buttons then it can be highly frustrating for the user. If these features do not meet the expectation of the users then it can go to the extent of losing on customers.
When users are eager to find out information of their interest on your website they expect that every hyperlink and command button should do the functions that it is intended to do. If they find a word that is underlined but does not take you anywhere or does not lead to any action leaves a negative impact on their minds which leads to dissatisfied and irritated customers.
5. Allow the User to have full control of the site browsing experience
It is highly distracting when automated advertisements, videos just start playing without any inputs or actions from the users and when they least expect it.
Designers should design UI to allow the users to take full browsing control and not have them loose their temper and go out of control. Such automatically playing videos may be used only in cases where they are absolutely necessary and where they increase the knowledge of the user or are helpful to them and when the user expects them to be there. Let the users take control of the browsing, searching, and have a positive user experience without any hindrances.
6. Design the site to enhance user readability
The UI design of a site should not impede the user’s ability to read the content on the screen. The design should do away with busy backgrounds that are likely to distract users. The color schemes must be used wisely to enhance the site’s readability and should be soothing to the eyes.
Designers must organize the site elements so as to provide the users with a clear and consistent site structure. Choose universally accepted and readable fonts that do not pose issues for readability. Make all forms, screens, navigable elements consistent across the site. Apply consistent conventions and rules to the site elements to generate a seamless and delightful user experience.
7. Hindering a visitor’s ability to scan the screen
Most users scan the content quickly before going into the detailed information. They try to get what they want just by quickly scanning for visual cues like bold headings, relevant pictures, utility buttons, to understand where they should focus their attention. If the design does not include such important visual elements then it becomes a tough job for the user to find content.
Make use of proper and catchy headings that are easily seen, images to illustrate, command buttons for easy navigation to help users scan the screen to find what they need after the initial glance.
8. Have just the relevant content on the site / screen
Do not overload the page with non relevant content. Keep the content relevant and restricted to the context. Most users do not have the time and do not wish to go through information that is not relevant to them. Give them what they are asking for without bombarding them with suggested recommendations.
For example If a user is looking for a mobile phone on your website do not give irrelevant recommendations such as buying books, etc. Provide content only for mobile phones asked for.
9. Page loading should not consume much time
Users are relatively impatient when it comes to online shopping or searching content that they are desperately looking for. Hence the design should be such that it provides information very quickly. If the site is slow in speed, or if the page loads slowly, it can have a largely negative impact on the user. The user may ultimately leave the site and not come back or even worse may go to your competitor’s site.
Design your website with all critical factors in mind such as minimal load time, light weight images, and minimum animations. Implement optimization techniques and key design decisions that will reduce site loading time and will keep customers engaged.
10. Avoid multiple things competing for user attention
Some design elements have to wrestle for attention but it can also confuse your users. Use visual hierarchy to design the user’s flow around the screen. It reduces the competitive feeling of different elements.
Design elements need to reduce call to action buttons, keep flash and animations to a minimum, and avoid using Modal forms that force the user to take actions. Restrict advertisements and unwanted pop ups flashing on the screen. These factors will help the user to keep attention restricted to what is relevant and important.
It is important to design and test the website/mobile app from the user perspective to meet even the minimum expectations of the users. Designers to note the following best practices for a great UI/UX design.
Best practices that UI/UX designers should follow: