User experience design, which focuses on the wider picture: the entire experience, not just the interface, is a subset of interface design, which focuses on the layout and operation of interfaces.
1. Get to know your customers.
Above all, you must understand who your users are on the inside and out. Yes, it entails knowing all your analytics app(s) can pull in terms of demographic data. But, more crucially, it entails understanding what they require and what is preventing them from reaching their objectives.
More than a detailed examination of statistics is required to reach that level of empathy. It necessitates getting to know the visitors to your website. It entails talking to them face to face, observing them use your product (and possibly others), and asking them more in-depth questions than "What do you think of this design?"
What are their objectives? What is preventing them from reaching their objectives? How might a website assist them in overcoming or navigating these obstacles?
Don't only think about what your users desire. Find out what they require by digging deeper. After all, desires are simply the result of unmet needs. If you can meet a user's deepest need, you'll be able to meet their wants while also meeting their most basic needs.
From how people use your interface to what kind of content you'll highlight inside that interface, the insights you'll gain from analyzing data and chatting with consumers will impact every decision you make.
2. Define how people will interact with your interface.
You must first describe how people will use your interface before designing it. It's a more pressing issue than you may imagine, given the growing popularity of touch-based devices. Take a peek at
Tinder's user experience is defined by the simplicity and impulsivity of a single swipe.
People connect with websites and apps in two ways: directly (by engaging with the product's interface components) and indirectly (by interacting with the product's interface elements) (by interacting with ui elements external to the product).
Your decisions should be based on who your users are and what devices they utilize. You wouldn't want to rely on swiping if you're developing for seniors or those with weak physical dexterity. If you're designing for writers or coders who prefer to use the keyboard to interact with programs, you'll want to include all of the typical keyboard shortcuts to reduce time spent using the mouse.
3. Define your goals.
Many interactions with a website or app have ramifications: pressing a button can result in you purchasing money, deleting a website, or making a snide remark about grandma's birthday cake. And wherever there are ramifications, there is concern.
As a result, make sure users understand what will happen if they click that button before they do so. This can be accomplished through design and/or copy.
4. Consider element size and location carefully.
A key principle of human-computer interaction (HCI) is Fitts' Law, which states:
The time it takes to acquire a target is determined by the target's distance and size.
To put it another way, the closer and/or larger something is, the faster your cursor (or finger) may be placed on it. This has a variety of implications for interaction and user interface design strategies, but three of the most significant are as follows:
Make buttons and other "click targets" (such as icons and text links) visible and clickable. This is especially crucial when it comes to typography, menus, and other link lists, since a lack of space will lead to visitors repeatedly hitting the erroneous links.
Increase the size and prominence of the buttons for the most popular actions.
Place navigation (along with other popular interactive graphic components such as search bars) on the screen's edges or corners. This last strategy may appear paradoxical, but it works because it reduces the requirement for precision: a user doesn't have to worry about missing their click target.
Always keep your interaction model in mind while thinking about element placement and size. If your site demands horizontal scrolling rather than vertical scrolling, you'll need to think about where and how you'll alert consumers to this new sort of interaction.
5. Don't be a slacker when it comes to standards.
Designers, being highly creative people, are prone to reinventing things—but this isn't always the best idea.
What is the reason for this? Because a redesigned version of a familiar interaction or interface increases "cognitive load": it forces users to reconsider a previously learnt process. Obviously, you are free to recreate the wheel as many times as you like—but only if it improves the design.
6. Make your user interfaces simple to understand.
People frequently mention Harvard psychologist George Miller's work "The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on our Capacity for Processing Information" when discussing simplicity. According to the report, people can only reliably hold 5 to 9 items in their short term memory. Miller called it a coincidence, but it doesn't seem to stop people from mentioning him.
It seems to reason, then, that the simpler something is, the easier it is to recall in the short term. As a result, keep the number of items a person has to remember to use your interface efficiently and effectively as low as feasible. This can be made easier by chunking information, or breaking it down into small, easily digestible portions.
This concept aligns with Tesler's Law of Complexity Conservation, which asserts that UI designers should keep their interfaces as basic as possible. When possible, this can entail hiding an application's complexity behind a simple interface. Microsoft Word is a well-known example of a product that breaks this rule.
Most individuals only use Word for a few things—typing, for example—while others may use it to accomplish a wide range of tasks. However, everyone opens the same version of Word, with the same user interface, leaving the ordinary Joe—who isn't a power user—overwhelmed by the range of features they'll almost certainly never use.
As a result, a concept known as progressive disclosure was born, in which sophisticated functions are hidden behind secondary interfaces. Short bits of content introduce a product or service, then link off to a page where readers may learn more. This is common on website home pages. (This is also an excellent practice for mobile design, where navigating is a constant struggle.)
Use "learn more" and similar non-specific phrases in links and buttons sparingly. What is the reason for this? Because it doesn't specify what consumers will "learn more" about. People frequently search a page for a link that will take them where they want to go, and repeating "learn more" 15 times won't help. This is particularly true for screen reader users.
7. Make decision-making as simple as possible.
Too much of the internet shouts at us: “Banners” expand to become full-screen advertisements. Modals appear, pleading with us to subscribe to blogs we haven't had time to read yet. Video interstitials halt our progress, causing us to watch valuable seconds tick away slowly. Don't get me started on widgets, flyouts, and tooltips...
I sometimes wish for a more tranquil online, and Hicks' Law provides us all a cause to create one. The concept is as straightforward as the ultimate result: the more ui alternatives you give a user, the more difficult it is for them to make a selection.
8. Pay attention to the data
While we all wish that our designs were judged solely on their creative quality, the reality is that optimizing your design to achieve its goal is as crucial. While we all wish that our designs were judged solely on their creative quality, the reality is that optimizing your design to achieve its goal is as crucial. While user research and testing can be extremely beneficial in directing your design decisions toward achieving your site's goal, data obtained after launch is priceless.
As a result, set up analytics for your site and review them on a frequent basis. There are a variety of analytics solutions available, but depending on the project type, I recommend Google Analytics and/or Mixpanel. Mixpanel focuses on events, collecting data based on activities visitors do on your site, whereas Google Analytics is more behavioral, including session times, traffic sources, and other information. While both tools may provide both types of data, each excel in their respective areas, so pick the one that best suits your needs.
Author: Jared Flenter, Writer