User Interface Design Basics

The UI design process complements the UX process, taking your early wireframes into working prototypes that aim to delight and inspire your users to enjoy your product. A design system groups every UI element that will allow a design team to design and develop a product. It will evolve constantly with the product, the tools, and the new technologies available. In this sense, a design system is like a library of reusable elements that give a team clarity and consistency throughout the UI design process.

what is design user interface

Users spend most of their time in other apps and on other sites, so they have certain expectations about naming. Avoid presenting too much information at one time on the screen. When choosing a metaphor for UI, select the one that will enable users to grasp the finest details of the conceptual model. For example, when asking for credit card details for payment processing, you can reference a real-world physical card as an example. Good metaphors generate a strong connection to past experiences from the real world in users’ minds. The recycle bin icon on Macs is similar to an actual bin, and it shows whether it has files in it.

Examples of UX design deliverables

UX design principles are important for improving the user’s experience and preventing problems. While user experience is important when designing websites, it’s not the only factor that factors into a successful design. A well-designed website also has an effective marketing strategy, whether it be using social media platforms or email campaigns. Designing websites are one of the most important aspects of a website. They should be designed in a way that makes it easy for users to find and use the website. In this article, we’ll be looking at two popular design languages – user experience and interface design – and how they differ.

User Interface design focuses on thinking of a user, what they might need to do when they visit website and ensure that the interface has elements that are easy to access and understand. Being a UI designer, one need to understand the goals, skills, preferences and tendencies of the user to make a better interface. Like user experience design, user interface design is a multi-faceted and challenging role.

what is design user interface

Consistency is one of the strongest contributors to usability and learnability. The main idea of consistency is the idea of transferable knowledge — let users transfer their knowledge and skills from one part of an app’s UI to another, and from one app to another app. Designers can promote recognition in user interfaces by making information and functionality visible and easily accessible. Visual aids, such as tooltips and context-sensitive details, also help support users in recognizing information. Good UI is accessible UI because improving your product’s accessibility enhances the usability for all groups of users. This design-centric course examines the broad question of what an interface is and what role a designer plays in creating a user interface.

Essential skills for UI design

Affordances are visual properties of objects that show users the actions they can take. Familiar affordances, such as shadows on buttons, help users understand what the element does just by looking at it. One way to do this is by creating a hierarchy of pages to help users find information without much effort. For example, when users launch a document editing app, they expect to find all editing options in the top-level menu. Hiding or changing the position of key controls will make the interaction with a product more difficult for your users. Visual design improves a site’s ornamental value by using a web design style and implementing elements such as fonts, colors, and images.

what is design user interface

While UX encompasses the overall experience a user has with a product or service, UI focuses on the graphic design and interface. These are low-fidelity prototypes that define the visual hierarchy and structural guidelines of each screen. If you like the idea of creating awesome user experiences but see yourself as a more visual person, you may be more interested in UI design. You’ll find a brief snapshot of the UI designer’s key tasks below, or a more comprehensive explanation of what a UI designer actually does in this guide. At the risk of stating the obvious, a UI design role will require you to get very hands-on with design. This includes designing screens and creating visual touchpoints, as well as the interactivity behind them.

When users require help, ensure it is easily located, specific to the task at hand and worded in a way that will guide them through the necessary steps towards a solution to the issue they are facing. Keep interfaces simple (with only elements that help serve users’ purposes) and create an “invisible” feel. Often confused with UX design, UI design is more concerned with the surface and overall feel of a design. UI design is a craft where you the designer build an essential part of the user experience. One analogy is to picture UX design as a car with UI design as the driving console.

Principle of Consistency and Standards in User Interface Design

A user interface is the point of human-computer interaction (or, in the case of VUI, oral-auditory interaction) on an app, webpage, or device. This can Difficulties in developing interfaces for apps and WEB sites include keyboards, display screens, and the appearance of a desktop. You can learn more about it in our complete guide to what a user interface is.

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Most of the time, it’s possible to identify transferable skills that will help you learn UX or UI design much faster. For example, if you have solid skills in graphic design, it will be much easier for you to move into UI design because you know how to choose colors and choose properties of elements in a composition. In our technology-driven society, first impressions mean everything—and a bad first impression is a lasting impression. If your website is difficult to navigate, users may seek an engaging and more user-friendly alternative, meaning you’ll lose out on valuable leads and revenue. Even the shape of a button can determine whether or not users understand what they’re supposed to do while on your website, so it’s not something to be taken lightly. InVision Studio allows designers to create high-quality interactive interfaces, custom animations, and transitions.

What is Graphical User Interface Design?

It’s necessary to understand, for example, where each screen is sending your user to and what button does accompany this action. Good user interface design facilitates finishing the task at hand without drawing unnecessary attention to itself. The design process must balance technical functionality and visual elements (e.g., mental model) to create a system that is not only operational but also usable and adaptable to changing user needs. The rising number of voice-enabled assistants being sold across the world prove that users find such devices valuable. Designers need to create an efficient, conversational UI in which words and syntax play a crucial role. To create more human interactions, designers need to invest in learning human psychology and put even more focus on validating their design decisions using voice-based prototypes.

  • The recycle bin icon on Macs is similar to an actual bin, and it shows whether it has files in it.
  • The guide from will help you understand how to hire your ideal UI designer.
  • By carefully thinking about and anticipating the goals people bring to your site, you can create defaults that reduce the burden on the user.
  • Real-world metaphors empower users by allowing them to transfer existing knowledge about how things should look and work.
  • It refers to how users interact with a system, including its user interface.

UI designers should be able to prototype both simple and complex animated transitions that make the product feel more dynamic. UX designers participate in all phases of the design thinking process—from research to validation. UX designers wear multiple hats, meaning they can do many activities during product design. They can take an active part in user research—for example, a UX designer can participate in user interview sessions as an interviewer or conduct online surveys. The true potential of UX designers is revealed during the ideation phase of the design process.

UI Design

User interface design is about building interfaces with a focus on styling and interactivity. The UI designer’s goal is to create an interface the user finds easy to use and aesthetically pleasing. In this guide, we will explore what the process is all about, how it relates to user experience , and how you can implement it. A career in UX requires empathy, a penchant for problem-solving, and an approach that is both creative and analytical. UX designers also need first-rate communication skills and a little bit of business know-how.

As a designer, you should have the ability to critique the designs of your own as well as the work of others with well supported reasoning. Applying Nielsen and Molich’s 10 rules of thumb in evaluating interface design will help you recognize any potential issues as well as guide you and your team in creating better experiences for your users. Here’s a worksheet for you to practice with as you learn the skill of recognizing whether or not these rules have been applied and when these rules have been violated.

what is design user interface

While every application will require a unique interface, there are a few fundamental principles that should guide any project. You’ll find dozens online and in textbooks, but there is a handful that are most well-known and regarded. These include the 10 Usability Heuristics for UI Designby Jakob Nielsen, The Eight Golden Rules of Interface Designby Ben Shneiderman, and Principles of Interaction Designby Bruce Tognazzini. Most of these principles overlap, so we’ll condense and summarize them below.

The Top 5 UI Design Principles You Need to Know

On the other hand, UI designers are responsible for the product’s look and feel. UX designers draw out the map of the product, which UI designers then flesh out with visual and interactive touchpoints. UX and UI designers often work closely together during the design process, working in tandem to maximize the responsiveness, efficiency, and accessibility of a website. The graphic user interface is one of the most important innovations in the history of personal computing. Today, GUIs provide a fundamental platform for human-computer interaction, and it’s nearly impossible to imagine how people could live without it. The principles of GUI design listed in this article will help you design simple and efficient interactions between humans and machines.

This will sharpen your knowledge of how UX and UI designs interrelate to come up with user-friendly environments. Simultaneously, choose the right design software and start working with it. Getting honest feedback on your work will eventually strengthen your portfolio and fetch you real-world experience.

Abigail Martínez

Licenciada en Ciencia Política y Relaciones Internacionales por el CIDE (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas) y Maestra en Políticas Públicas por Macquarie University. Se especializa en análisis político y comunicación estratégica. Colaboradora de The HuffPost México, Gluc MX y ENEUSmx.

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