UI Design is something that each and every mobile or web apps needs to perfect. It matters a lot more than we could possibly fathom. In this article, I am going to discuss some of the most popular and important UI Design Principles that every designer worth his salt must know.
In these present times, the market is entirely about the consumers. Everybody wants to experience the best of technology without spending much time or wracking their already occupied brains. The concept extends to surfing websites and using mobile applications. It takes a user seconds to evaluate an app within seconds of using it. The quicker and more efficient an application is in response, along with its look and feel, are the determining factors in this. If the application fails to impress the user, you might face an increase in app abandonment.
When it comes to user satisfaction in the mobile application department, most firms turn towards the applications’ User Interface (UI). The User Interface is the process of improving the presentation and interactivity of an application. It focuses on the looks and user interaction. The design, placement, and look of every screen, page, buttons, and other visual elements in an application is its UI.
With users having practically limitless alternatives for the products/services you have to offer, the time-span for your product to grab the user’s attention is quite less and you have to score a bullseye in this fraction of a time. And that’s not everything UI is capable of. A good UI can single-handedly:
1. Lower your bounce rate
2. Builds a sense of confidence in your product
3. Improves search engine ranking
4. Attracts visitors, and takes no time into converting them to customers
5. Saves user time
6. According to econsultancy.com, 88% of online customers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.
First impressions last.
Minimalism sweeps in as one of the top UI design trends this year. People are loving a sweeping canvas with bold graphical elements and animated CSS. Minimalism has been one of the most popular design trends since the 2000s, because of its adoption of so many UI design basics. It encourages simplicity, reduces cognitive overload, brings out clarity, and removes superfluous elements.
A simple design enables the user to work their way through the application fairly intuitively. The clearer the app, the easier are its functions to decipher. A minimalist UI features large white spaces, clean edges, and a limited but bold colour palette in order to draw the user’s focus to important elements. With improved monitor specifications, however, the graphics are expected to get strikingly beautiful.
2. Overlapping Effects
Incorporating a cautious overlap of various elements such as graphics, text, and colour have proven to be a great way of making attractive UI designs. Combining these elements increases the “fantasy” factor in these designs. The ability of these overlaps helps induce an illusion of space in the otherwise cluttered mobile screens.
However, not planning and revising such a design can result in a catastrophe. Operating a poorly designed application is akin to walking blindfolded. The lack of information can confuse you. Thus, clarity should be maintained throughout. A good sanity check to approve a design should be to ask yourself how someone who is not familiar with the product will see it. If they don’t know the design decisions behind it, would it seem like a comfortable house or an alien ship.
3. Expressive Typography
Traditional fonts are out. 2018 will see supersized, highly visual typography take over and do the heavy lifting. Typography has always been an essential part of UI design. It helps to set the tone, grab attention, and evoke emotion. Typography gets associated with the brand’s identity, and thus UI designers tend to largely play it safe and avoid experimentation when it comes to different fonts. But with minimalist layouts taking over and image-heavy designs receding from the centerstage, it would be the bold, bright fonts that will come forward. This would improve usability and SEO, as content will be easier to find.
4. Bright and bold hues
An app’s aesthetics involve choosing the right colour schemes, fonts, and visual layouts. Monochrome is so 2017. 2018 is going to get colourful like a tropical jungle. Colour can have such a huge impact on the way users perceive a brand, affecting their emotions, the app’s likability, and the net conversion. This year, expect bold, fresh, and dramatic colours that refurbish the feel entirely. Vibrant colours can be tacky, but when used thoughtfully, it makes the text readable and fills the interface with pulsating energy. 2017 saw giants like Spotify and WordPress go for sombre duotones, but this year expects the gradients to return.
The key is to design something that looks good in all situations. A Photoshop mockup can lose its sheen when it’s coded into a live app. Be sure to verify the consistency of the colours after it gets filled with real data. Oh, and always think about how it would look on an 10 year old low-res dinosaur screen.
Your design should be able to stand upto this ruthless test of time.
5. Scannable Content, and Efficiency
Nobody straight out invests time into reading anything. They start by quickly scanning the content. Make sure the content layout and representation offers easy scanning. This will save the user a lot of their time and will make them want to stay a little longer. To maintain the load speed over various platforms, use vectors instead of actual pictures.
An efficient flat design will help you in communicating the CTAs and other clickable content in a better way. It emphasises the importances of the content, and makes a quick scan easier. Moreover, a flat design works better on smaller screens. Ensure that the user is able to complete the main task in the most efficient way and the result isn’t lost along the way. Measure the effort that’s required to complete this task - in the form of clicks, forms, and screens. Optimise this sequence to make it streamlined till the most efficient way is achieved.