Anyone who wants to learn about the basics of design will run headfirst into the terms UI and UX. The User Interface (UI) of a website or app is the aesthetic properties behind how it works. The User Experience (UX) of a website or app is the properties that make it functional. Combined, UI and UX serve to make websites or apps functional, easy-to-browse, useful, and beautiful for users.
But, what are the basics? What are the core tenants that form UX and UI?
1) The Experience is Critical
When you first sit down to design a new app or a flashy website, the first thing you should be focusing on is the experience. What interface layout makes sense? Is browsing the app natural? Is the structure of your website meaningful? All of these questions should be answered before you ever consider the visuals.
To do this, you need to map out users mental models. What would a user expect to happen when they click this button? Would a user immediately know that this button leads them to this location?
Remember to design everything for your users, not yourself. Don't assume that everything is transparent. Always search for ways to make your interface clearer and more concise for your clients.
2) Speed is Key
You can create the perfect interface that's easy-to-use and naturally intuitive. But, if it's slow, you've wasted your time. Did you know that 39% of people will stop engaging entirely with an app or website if it takes too long to load? That's over 1/3 of your users. Speed is a critical component of UX.
Make sure that every image, video, and visual component of your interface is optimized for speed. This may mean removing unnecessary visuals or even restructuring your entire UX architecture.
Slow apps and websites tend to give clients negative associations with your brand, and it can jeopardize your entire user's journey. Make sure that any UX or UI implementations that you make don't negatively impact your site's speed
3) Optimize for Mobile
Everything needs to be optimized for mobile consumption. Here's why:
64% of all internet traffic is mobile traffic.
Google is a mobile-first indexer.
52% of mobile users said that a bad browsing experience would force them to not engage with that business.
Mobile optimization is the future. For designers, this means leveraging mobile UX.
Thumb-friendly navigation, mobile-ready navigation bars, and optimized images are all critical for mobile users.
It's crucial to remember that mobile users aren't simply B2C consumers, they're also other businesses.
4) Be Consistent
Did you know that 87% of shoppers think that brands should deliver a seamless browsing experience? That means that each component of your website should work together. Make sure that your clients can easily browse your site, consume your content, and engage with your brand without losing track of what they're doing.
Everything should run together seamlessly. Good design is about creating an experience that's perfectly seamless.
5) Less is More
52% of people think that today's websites are overwhelming. Good design isn't all about flexing your design muscles. It's about creating an easy, thoughtful, and simple client experience. If a client wants to contact you, there should be a clearly displayed "Contact Us" button on your page. If your clients want to navigate to your blog or your white papers, make it simple. Don't overcrowd your navigation menus and don't place things in weird places.
Clients should be able to quickly and accurately identify all of the core elements of your website. To test out whether your site is clearly displaying navigation options, test it out. Put yourself into your client's shoes. Would you be able to quickly find your "About Us" page if you were a client? Or is it stuffed into your website's footer in small text?
You don't need an overwhelming number of options, and you don't need a ton of information crammed into one spot. Try to eliminate oversaturation and condense your website down into its core functions. Make sure users can easily find information and nothing is overcrowding your UI.
Proper UI/UX design is thoughtful. Most beginners tend to make the mistake of thinking that UX design is a place to brag or try to impress clients with overly flashy presentations and rich video creatives. Really, good UI/UX design is about simplifying the user experience. Everything should be simple, and there should be a natural flow to a well-presented UI. Of course, speed is equally as important as simplicity. Finally, remember that mobile optimization is a necessity in our current mobile-first world.
Are you looking for a team of web developers that can help you take your website to the next level? Are you looking to impress clients while still giving them the functionality that they need to easily consume your content? Contact us today to learn more.