Around 5 billion people in the world use mobile devices. In which half of them use smartphones in their day-to-day life. Without mobile applications and websites, our day would be rough. We get influenced to use smartphones for 50% of daily essentials and services, particularly in the city from E-Commerce to Online Food Delivery. New innovative products are getting released. In a competitive environment of new products, we want our product to be user friendly and to have an increased conversion rate.
Let’s say Online Food Delivery App, there are many options for users — Swiggy, Zomato and now Dunzo. Even though these applications focusing on the same service but stand out with the users because of unique user experience.
What is UI Design?
UI — User Interface — It is the space where communications between humans and the computer take place. It presents users with a graphical layout and will have a good aesthetic appearance to please the user to interact with the computer. User Interface consists of visual elements such as typography, shapes, colors, images and, icons.
UI Designers are concerned about cosmetics of the product. From varying suitable colors to varying legible fonts, UI will have a greater impression on users.
What is UX Design?
UX — User Experience — It is a user’s emotions and feelings when they interact with User Interface. Good UI/UX should help users to accomplish their goals as quickly as possible. It wouldn’t make them feel confused and doubtful. Instead, It should make them feel convinced and bold enough to take a step.
UX Designers will be focusing on the functionality and experience of the product.
Still, you haven’t got a clear idea of what is UI/UX?
Take Gems chocolate for example. It has various color shades alike a rainbow. It excites the kids to buy it in a society of other chocolate rivals. Before even knowing the taste of the chocolate, kids get tempted to buy them because of the product’s appearance. That makes good UI. Alike the saying, “Face is the index of mind”.
Though the appearance of the product does the first impression, the taste, and feel of the product matter the most. It compels the user to use it again. In this case, since the taste of the gems chocolate is sweet and chocolatey, it gives a satisfied & lovable experience for kids. This is the User Experience. With an exceptional User Interface and remarkable User Experience, the user manages to prefer your product for their convenience. Also, the conversion rate for the product expands. The same applies to digital screens as well.
9 Tips for good UI/UX
1. Know your users.
Before entering into designing, empathize with user feelings, and get to identify their requirements. What does the user needs? To whom the product is targeted? Why they need the product? These questions should be asked to ourselves before we began. Apps like Byju’s (Online learning platform for students) would target only the students. They will be their prime audience and application should be developed having this in mind.
2. Help them achieve goals faster.
First of all, know the goals of the user and the steps to achieve it. I a fast-moving world, the user expects everything in a faster and secure manner. Reduce the steps as much as possible. Attention should be given to security over minimizing steps. Lately, instead of using Login/Signup screens, many websites started adopting Sign in with Google & Facebook as a primary option. This would reduce the steps, as well as the user, don’t want to remember every login credentials.
3. Keep it simple and consistent.
Avoid too much of information and complicated designs. The user should feel secured with the product. Instead of giving all the information you have, just try to deliver what they want. The product should have consistency over visual elements in Shape, Color, Typography, Size, and Texture/Pattern. Major users won’t find the inconsistency deliberately but they would feel discomfort while interacting. Try to maintain limited colors, fonts, sizes, and patterns.
“Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” -St.Exupery
4. Consider human errors.
We should let room for human psychological errors. Normal mistakes should be avoided with good user interfaces. Yet in a few critical steps, we need to handle it when it occurs. Let’s say, Asking confirmation before deleting the file and closing the unsaved file. What if during the transaction, the user thinks before payment but accidentally presses the “Pay” button. These should get into consideration before designing UI.
5. Give acknowledgment.
When the user interacts with the product, they deserve to know what they are doing. Without this, the user will be confused. It makes them slow and insecure about the product. Providing pleasing heading and status for the steps/process and tooltips for buttons will help the user to know where they are and what they are doing. They will feel more convenient with the product which in turn increases the conversion rate.
6. Good Visual elements.
The initial attraction for the product would be based on its visual elements. As we discussed above, the visual elements of the user interface such as shape, color, typography, size, spacing and textures/patterns. Even the great product (by its functionality) wouldn’t get to reach its audience due to a lack of good User Interface.
- Restrict your UI with 4–5 colors. Use brand colors for important operations. - Use fonts that are legible and easy to read for all age-groups. - Use font sizes and colors to distinguish headings and sub-headings. - Give spacing between every element accordingly. Don’t make it cluttered with too much data. - Present illustration/doodles only demanded. Match it with the product theme. - Try to utilize regularly used icons to make them easily understandable. - Use plain patterns/textures only if it enhances the product.
7. Use a common User Interface.
Many applications with the same functionality coming to the store day by day. Each product needs to be unique in its way but we can’t educate the user in all aspects of our product in a shorter time. The understanding of the product for the user takes more time than the service time. To reduce this all and also to provide unique user experience, we need to inspire from the most used apps around the users. This will make the user take action soon and find it to easy around the app. The user should not sense that he doesn’t know how to use the app. We, designers, should feel ashamed if the user doesn’t know how to use it. This doesn’t mean we always need to inspire others but we need to provide them a good user experience. Let’s see the following example. Social media like Instagram, Twitter and, Facebook. Though they follow a similar kind of approach in viewing posts from people but in their way.
8. Make it Responsive.
All the products and services are in our hands. Just a few touch and swipe completes our service. We use multiple screens like Desktop (Website), Tablets and Mobile phones (Andriod & iOS). Since the screen size varies with the devices, few functionalities are needed to be sacrificed. It has to be presented with all possible functionalities. Not only with the services but also the UI has to be changed according to that. Let’s see an example.
Instagram Mobile Vs Instagram Web Instagram’s target customers are mobile users. Instagram mobile should have all the functionalities. It’s also similar to Facebook and Twitter which also uses scroll down designs. It has stories (high priority) at the top and the option to add a new story. It’s followed by feeds from the followed pages or hashtags. In the top right, the option to view and send direct messages.
Whereas the Instagram Web which is used less by the users than mobile have restricted to some extent. Well, the user interface changed slightly. The stories are at the right, posts are at the left and menus at the top. There is no option to add stories, only to view it. There is no direct messaging option too. They have confined it here.
9. Test it with actual users.
There are five steps to developing a product. Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Testing. First, get to understand the problem of the user clearly. Don’t assume yourself as that user and think about the problem. It won’t give a clear understanding of the problem. The interaction and the chat/interview with the users who are facing the problem will help us to get a clear idea. Only after identifying the exact problem, define it and go to the next step, Ideate. Generate as many ideas as possible without considering their implementation and complexity. Then, pick a feasible idea and prototype it. While testing, it has to be tested with the real user to whom it’s intended for. It should meet the user’s needs and solve their problems. Considering ourselves as a user won’t solve the real problem. We don’t know what they are facing in realtime. Hence test it with actual users.
I believe this would have been enriched you with any knowledge if you are new to UI/UX Design. This is my understanding of the field. I am learning daily from everything that I see on the Internet and given in return what I learned. Following the above tips surely will make your product better and provide users with the utmost good user experience.