One of the most crucial steps in web and app development is designing the user interface. No matter how rich and awesome your application is, if the interface is not user-friendly, the users won’t take too long to remove the application or stop using it.
In general, the UI/UX designing is one of the leading IT careers in today’s world with an average pay of £60,000 per year (according to PayScale). However, to fully excel in the field, there are a few tips you should know which will help you deliver better results.
1. Know your Client or Audience
Every web or mobile application is designed for a purpose and is intended for a specific audience. When designing the application or website’s user interface, you should have a clear understanding of who the target audience is and whether they will enjoy the user experience.
Understanding the audience requirement essentially requires research and observation of the stakeholders. For instance, meeting with the stakeholders in the early design process to inquire about their communication style or asking them to show some of the apps they use on daily basis can help in designing an effective user-interface.
2. Put Yourself in the User’s Shoes
To be a good UI/UX designer, you need to start thinking like the user. Ask yourself these questions, is the font readable? Will the design appear well on every device? Should I add an on-screen guidance? Does the color combination complement the type of services the business offers?
It is also important to consider how the end-user will interact with the website or app and this can only be done by exploring the design thoroughly and understanding what challenges one might face when using the product.
3. Responsive Design
A responsive design makes your product look admirable in all devices. Today, everyone owns a mobile phone, a laptop, and a tablet and you can never know whether your designed website is being accessed on a mobile phone or a laptop. This is why the product design should be responsive so that all the information is presented in the most effective and efficient way possible. In web development, a responsive design also helps to decrease the page load speed, improve SEO ranking and simplifies content management.
4. Adopt Iterative Development Technique
Iterative development involves gathering useful information from evaluation methods such as user testing. For instance, adding an in-app user behavior analytics in the product can help you in receiving feedback from the users and other important insights which will enable the designer to make appropriate changes in the design.
5. Avoid Excessive Scrolling
Scrolling has become very common in both websites and mobile applications these days. However, there are multiple types of scrolling and deciding which one to use is important to keep the audience engages. One of the types is Infinite Scrolling which is mainly popular with social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Infinite Scrolling is used when there are tons of content and the user is continuously looking for fresh information.
Whereas, Parallax Scrolling is popular with gaming sites as it provides a visual 3D effect when browsing content. Being a designer, it is important to decide the type of scrolling to use depending on the product usage and content.
6. Make use of Typography
Typography, if done right, elevates the whole UI design and makes it appear compelling to the user. The crucial step is to pick the right type of typography so that it looks elegant and does not cause a problem with readability. Typography makes the content interesting as it presents the information in an attractive manner and conveys the message effectively. However, if after using typography, the user has a problem reading the content, you may have definitely done something wrong.
7. Prototype and User-Testing
Directly launching the main product can be disastrous for the company especially if it has design flaws. For this reason, creating a prototype initially is important as it can help you in recognising any problem with the product. There are various prototyping techniques; for instance, rapid prototyping is used to quickly construct a future state of the product and having it tested by a group of users. Similarly, user-interface testing is important as it involves validating information about the product from different users which are mostly stakeholders.
8. Explore new Design and Trends
Being a UI/UX designer, it is necessary to remain up-to-date with any new design trend and innovation happening in the creative industry. A lot of successful UI/UX designers are active members of different websites including Behance, Dribble, DeviantArt, MaterialUp, Creatica and more. Pinterest is another useful source where you can find inspiration and know exactly what is preferred by the general public.
9. Follow the KISS Principle
The “Keep it simple stupid” model, also called the KISS principle is a design philosophy which states that any product will work best if it’s designed is kept simple and does not include any complication. As a UI/UX designer, following the KISS principle is important since users mostly prefer a simple UI where the task can be achieved with minimal steps.
10. Content is King
To effectively deliver your message using graphics, it is important to add text as well. However, only relevant content should be added as quality matters more and the audience will only read the compelling information.