Whether you’re new to web design and development or not, chances are you may have heard the terms UI and UX before. And if you’re pnew to the field, you’re more likely to confuse one with the other.
With that said, what is user interface design or UI, and how is it different from user experience (UX) design? In this article, you’ll discover what user interface (UI) design is and how you can utilize it to improve the performance and usability of your website.
What Is UI Design?
User interface design refers to the process of designing interfaces with which people can control and interact with on a website or an application. A UI designer’s work includes anticipating the users’ needs, ensuring that they’ll have a seamless experience when visiting a website. You can find different applications of UI design in buttons, gesture controls, and text boxes among others.
Ultimately, the goal of any UI designer is to create an easy-to-use interface for users. Since the end result should be a seamless experience, users should not be able to notice UI design. As much as possible, good UI design does not require much thinking on the part of the user.
Affecting User Behavior
Since UI design aims to improve a website’s navigation, this means it helps users access the right information quickly and easily. The question now is: how does this really affect the user’s behavior when they’re on your website?
The answer is unsurprising: if your website applies sophisticated UI design, users will find it more interactive and intuitive. Users who see your website as such will have a better experience and are more likely to come back the next time around.
Nowadays, the competition isn’t about attracting users through action-packed, aesthetically pleasing websites. Instead, websites need to be optimized to get people's attention. If your website is slow and hard to navigate, site visitors will leave even if your website is crafted beautifully.
Users today value their time so much that they only want to visit websites that could supply them with the information they need right then and there. So if you want to elevate their experience, make sure to anticipate their needs and focus on the UI design of your website.
To drive this point home, consider this example:
Say you own a men’s grooming e-commerce store, and a user would like to buy a specific product. Now, the user is in a hurry, so he uses the search box to find shaving soap. After a few seconds, the results pop up, and a quick ‘add to cart’ option appears as he hovers over the product. He checks out and waits for the product to arrive at his doorstep.
Does this process sound familiar to you? That’s because you’ve been doing that same search query thanks to UI designers who’ve made it easy to do. In fact, if you’re an e-commerce store owner, you can benefit greatly from learning from Amazon about how to improve the UI of your website.
The job of a UI designer is to simplify those steps so the process wouldn’t require much active thought. And you’ll know when a UI design is good when every action you do within a website comes so naturally that you barely even notice any difficulty with navigation.
Improving Your UI Design
At this point, you’re probably wondering how you’ll be able to elevate your website’s UI design. Here are several UI design best practices to improve the user interface of your website:
Keep the interface simple. A good UI design is invisible to the user’s naked eye. Adding attractive elements to your interface is good, but make sure they don’t distract the users from navigating your website.
Be consistent with UI elements. Have you ever wondered why a lot of websites out there somehow share the same layout? That’s because users find it easier to navigate a website when there’s consistency with its patterns. If your website is consistent, users will feel more familiar and at home with your website.
Be modest with your typography. In designing your website, choose a font that’s professional and readable. There are thousands of fonts available nowadays thanks to Google Font; you might get caught up with so many options. Make sure to carefully choose one that captures how you’d like your website to look.
Color and textures are your best friend. Using colors is a great way to invoke emotions in your users. You can improve the overall design of your website just by utilizing color, light, contrast, and texture.
Web design and development have come a long way since its early days. Today, websites need to employ UI design in order to create a seamless experience for its users. Gone are the days when extreme design elements and animations are added to a website to attract attention. What users need is access to information as quickly as possible. That power comes from excellent UI design.