Whether you’re an aspiring user-interface designer, a computer-science student or a marketing intern at a tech company (like me), everyone can benefit from learning some essential UI/UX design principles. For those unfamiliar with the topic, user-interface design refers to the visual layout of an application or website. Someone had to design everything you see on your phone and laptops, from your Facebook login page to the Reddit pages you surf. User-experience design refers to the functionality of the layout, to make sure users of the app or website can find what they’re looking for and navigate around the site easily with minimal brain work. If you work in tech or are planning to, you can definitely benefit from these five UI/UX tips to make any website or app look and function better!
By consistency we mean using the same layouts for different pages to ensure the least amount of brain effort is required when using your product. You don’t want to put the home button on the left side in one page and on the right side in the next. Creating consistency will allow the user to recognize your patterns and give them a smooth user experience when navigating your site/app.
Create spacing and placements that draw attention to the most important parts of your page. For example, make the call to action button (join now, sign up, etc.) stand out among the other buttons. This doesn’t necessarily mean make a bright orange button on a blue toned website (although you can); you can utilize white space by putting an abundance of it around the call to action button to draw attention to that feature. Using typography can also create a hierarchy; for example, using bigger or bolded fonts for headings will allow users to scan your page for what they are looking for (like the subheadings in this article).
Serial Position Effect
Psychology teaches us that people tend to remember the first and last items in a series. For example, if you see a series of hackathon presentations, you’re more likely to remember the first project and the last, unless one in the middle remarkably stands out from the rest. You can use this effect on planning your web layouts in putting the most important features first or last on a website. People normally scan websites from left to right and top to bottom (like a Z), which is why you often see log-in buttons on the top right and logos/home buttons on the top left. Website pages will often put the call to action button at the top AND at the bottom.
Ask Users For Their Opinion
This is pretty basic – you should know to get your users to test out the layout and functionality of your site but this is commonly overlooked. Many developers and UI/UX designers will rely on their intuition to imagine the audience’s perspective. However, after working on your site for hours and hours you will not see all the tiny flaws in your design because you have gotten so used to its navigation. It’s good to get someone who knows nothing about your project to test out the UX.
Think Of The End-Goal
Everything on your site or app should serve a purpose. Everything on your site should somehow contribute to your key performance indicator (KPI). For example, you want people to sign up on your web page. Every paragraph of text or visual element should somehow contribute to convincing the user to sign up or making the website look better to improve the credibility of the app. Take out anything that isn’t necessary because clean and simple is the trend nowadays.