UI Design Fundamentals
Will Your UI Make Or Break Your Enterprise Application?
“Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper it’s really how it works.” – Steve Jobs
An effective user interface is a very powerful business tool. The user interface design of an application can either make or break the success of an enterprise application overall. While the business functionality of an application is very important, the way it provides to its users is equally important.
UI design focuses on anticipating what users might need to do and how to do it best; making sure the user’s interaction is as simple and efficient as possible. When getting started on a new interface, keep these six fundamentals in mind to create a UI that supports the success of your application.
Know your users
In order to create a useful UI, you must first know your users. Your user’s goals are your goals, so you need to learn them. You also need to understand their skills, experience, tendencies and preferences.
“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves”-Steve Jobs
Once a user learns something, they don’t want to have to relearn it all over again. Language, layout, and design are a few interface elements that should stay consistent. Staying consistent will increase user efficiency and their understanding of how it works.
“Consistency is one of the most powerful usability principles: when things always behave the same, users don’t have to worry about what will happen. Instead, they know what will happen based on earlier experience…” -Jakob Nielsen
Keep the interface simple and provide training
In order to attain maximum comfort levels, initial training sessions should be organized for end users. If someone on your team is not dedicated to helping users, the app will more than likely just be ignored. Always avoid unnecessary elements and keep everything visible to the user. The best interfaces are the most simple, visible, and clear to the user.
“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” – Hans Hofmann
Use color and texture strategically
You can direct attention to or away from certain words or sections using colors, light, contrast, and texture. Be purposeful in page layout and use careful placement of items to draw attention to the important detail.
“Designers can create normalcy out of chaos; they can clearly communicate ideas through the organizing and manipulating of words and pictures.” – Jeffery Veen
Use typography to create hierarchy and clarity
Your interface should be designed in a way that allows users to focus on what’s important. Different sizes, fonts, and arrangements of text can increase legibility, scanability, and readability.
“Typographical design should perform optically what the speaker creates through voice and gesture of his thoughts.” – El Lizzitsky
You want to make sure the system communicates to its users what’s happening. The user should always be informed of actions, changes in state and errors, or exceptions that occur.
“Design a clear and simple interface. The primary task of the interface is to present the player with a choice of the available actions at each moment and to provide instant feedback when the player makes a choice” –Jordan Mechner
As well as providing feedback to users, you need constantly receive feedback and apply the insight. This is your way to see inside the users head and find what is popular and what needs to be improved.
Need help getting started?
Here at QAT Global, we focus on designing user interfaces that are intuitive and engaging. We follow these fundamentals and use our expertise in web development to create an aesthetically pleasing, easy to navigate, and professional user interface. Let us help bring your application to a whole new level of performance.