9 Best UI UX Design Tips for Absolute User Satisfaction
Ever wondered why you never felt like visiting a particular website even though it had great content? Or that app you uninstalled despite it having everything you needed it to accomplish? 90% of the blame goes to the UI designers, trust me. If something looks ugly, we are automatically repulsed by it because most humans are superficial thinkers.
We live in a world that is very much dependent on pictorial aesthetics. We are mostly visual learners and anything that is visually pleasing is worthy of our attention. A vast and complex field, UI Design, or “User Interface Design”, has occupied a very important place in web marketing trends in recent years. It intervenes at almost all levels in the process of designing an online site and in web design.
A website is much more than a group of pages linked by links. It is an interface, a space where different things, in this case, a person and the web presence of a company or individual, meet, communicate and influence each other. This interaction creates an experience for the visitor, and as a web designer, it’s your duty to ensure that the experience is as good as possible.
The key to this? Thinking about your user first, foremost, and always.
Fortunately, while web design is a relatively new discipline, it owes much to the scientific study of human-machine interaction (HMI). And these 9 best UI design tips will help you focus on your users when designing UIs.
Best UI UX Design Tips that will turn your site around:
1. UI UX Design Tips: Know Your Users
First and foremost, you need to know who your users are. This means knowing all the demographics that your analytics apps can pull. But more importantly, it means knowing what they need and what’s holding them back from achieving their goals.
Achieving this level of empathy requires more than careful analysis of statistics. This requires knowing the people who use your website. That means talking to them face to face, watching them use your product, and asking them questions that go beyond, “What do you think of this design?”
The information you’ll uncover by analyzing the data and talking with users will give you guidance for any decisions you’ll make, from how users use your interface to the types of content you’re going to highlight in that interface.
2. UI UX Design Tips: Define How People Use Your Interface
Before you design your interface, you need to define how users will use it. With the increasing prevalence of touch devices, this is a more crucial concern than you might think. Just look at Tinder: The UI of the app is literally defined by the ease and impulsivity of a simple swipe. People use websites and apps in two ways: directly (by interacting with an element of the product) and indirectly (by interacting with an element external to the product).
Examples of direct interactions:
- Press a button
- Swipe a card
- Drag and drop an object with a finger
Examples of indirect interactions:
- Point and click with a mouse
- Using keyboard commands/shortcuts
- Type in a form field
- Draw on a tablet
Knowing who your users are and the media used should inform your decisions. If you’re designing for seniors or others with poor manual dexterity, you wouldn’t want to dwell on drag-and-drop interactions. If you design for writers or coders, who mainly interact with applications through the keyboard, you need to support all common keyboard shortcuts to reduce the time working with the mouse, etc.
3. UI UX Design Tips: Set Expectations
Make sure you let users know what will happen after they interact, clicking a button on your interface. You can do the grace to the design and/or content.
Set design expectations
- Highlight the button corresponding to the desired action
- The use of a widely understood symbol (such as a trash can for an delete button, a plus sign to add something, or a magnifying glass for search) in combination with content
- Choose a color with a relevant meaning (green for a “go” button, red for “stop”)
Set content expectations
- Web Writing
- Provide directional/action-encouraging content;
- Provide warnings and ask for confirmation.
For actions with irreversible consequences, such as permanently deleting something, it makes sense to ask people if they are sure they want to take action.
4. UI UX Design Tips: Give Your Opinion Quickly
In the real world, the environment gives us feedback. We talk, and others respond (usually).
Too often, digital interfaces fail at this! Make sure everything goes smoothly and quickly. And for good reason, any delay of more than one second is defined as an interruption. More than 10 seconds, a disturbance. And that’s little to say since for about half of the world population, 3 seconds are enough to cause a rebound.
If a page loads in less than 5 seconds, do not display a progress bar, as this will make it take longer to load. Instead, use a visualization that doesn’t imply progress.
5. UI UX Design Tips: Organize the Placement and Size of the Elements
Fitts’s law, a fundamental principle of human-machine interaction (HMI), states that:
The acquisition time of a target is a function of the distance and size of the target.
In other words: the closer and/or bigger is one thing, the faster you can place your cursor (or finger) in it. This obviously has implications in terms of interaction and UI design, which is why it is essential to:
- Create buttons and other “click targets” (like icons and text links) large enough that they are easily seen and clickable. This is especially important with menus and other link lists, as insufficient space will let people click on the wrong links over and over again.
- Make the buttons of the most common actions larger and more visible.
- Place navigation (and other common interactive elements, such as search bars) on the edges or corners of the screen. This may seem counterintuitive, but works because it reduces the need for accuracy: a user doesn’t need to worry about exceeding their click target.
- As you think about the placement and size of items, always keep your interaction model in mind. If your site requires horizontal scrolling rather than vertical scrolling, you need to determine where and how to assign users to this unusual type of interaction.
6. UI UX Design Tips: Don’t Ignore the Standards
Being very creative professionals, designers tend to like to reinvent things, but that’s not always the best idea.
What for? Because a revamped version of a familiar interaction or interface adds “cognitive load”: it makes people think about a process they’ve already learned. Obviously, you can reinvent the wheel, but only if it improves the design.
This general rule explains why Pocket had to change the placement of the archive button in their Android app a few years ago, for example.
Until the fall of 2013, the archive button was at the top left of the screen. Pocket wanted to focus people on the reading experience, not duplicate an existing hardware control, but the inconsistent placement of this button forced new users to accidentally close and archive the articles they were reading, rather than just return to their playlist as expected.
This tiny change “increases the likelihood that [new users] will continue to use Pocket by up to 23%.”
7. UI UX Design Tips: Make Your Interfaces Easy to Learn
The simpler something is to use, to understand, the easier it is to remember in the short term. So, as much as possible, limit the number of things a person needs to remember to use your interface effectively. You can facilitate this by segmenting information, which is, breaking it down into small, digestible content.
This idea is consistent with Tesler’s Law on Conservation of Complexity, which states that UI designers should make their interfaces as simple as possible. This can mean hiding the complexity of an application behind a simplified interface as much as possible. A popular example of a product that does not comply with this law is Microsoft Word.
Most people only do a few small things in Word while others can use it to do all kinds of powerful things. But all over the world, everyone opens the same version of Word, with the same user interface, leaving the inexperienced user overwhelmed by the variety of options they will probably never use.
8. UI UX Design Tips: Make decision-making simple
The web nowadays is full of “banners” that suddenly develop to become full-screen advertisements. They appear, begging us to subscribe to blogs that we have not yet had the opportunity to read. Video interstitials stop us in the playback of our tracks, forcing us to watch the precious seconds of “skip” advertising to move on to the content. And we’re not even talking about widgets, flyouts, and tooltips!
The idea here is as simple as its end result: the more options you present to a user, the harder it is for them to make a decision.
The simpler the designs, the easier and faster it is for users to make the decisions they want. That’s exactly why pages and non-newsletter emails should only have one call to action.
Pro Tip: Sometimes you want users to slow down and consider their options. That’s why mosaic designs from Pinterest, Dribbble, and many blogs work well. After all, the more options you have to choose from, the more likely it is that you will find one that works for you.
9. UI UX Design Tips: Listen to the Data: One of the best UI Design Tips
While we want our designs to be evaluated purely on their artistic merit, the reality is that optimizing your design is just as important to achieving its goal.
While research and user testing can be extremely helpful in guiding your design decisions toward achieving your site’s goal, the data collected after launch remains invaluable.
So set up the analysis of your site and analyze the results regularly. There are many different analysis tools, we recommend of course Google Analytics and/or Mixpanel, depending on the type of project.
Now that you know the basics of UI design and its best practices, it’s up to you to create beautiful and usable interfaces that leave a user wanting to come back for more.