UI — or user interface — design is an umbrella term for the types of visual and interactive features that designers need to consider when building websites or applications.
This includes everything from the shape of interactive buttons to the choice in typography. Every graphical element on a webpage needs to be carefully considered as to whether they are aesthetically appealing, match the tone of the rest of the webpage, and are functional.
Interactive features that UI designers pay particular attention to typically include:
- Text fields
- Dropdown lists
- Search fields
In addition, UI designers spend time considering the overall visual structure and hierarchical relationships of a web site.
As a leading web design company in Melbourne, Newpath Web’s UI designers are involved in many steps of the web development process beyond the design itself. Our experienced team does whatever it takes to meet your expectations, sitting in on client meetings and conducting extensive research on the existing branded content of a company as well as that of its competitors.
Golden rules of UI design
When presented with a quality website, it’s often difficult to put your finger on exactly what it is that makes it so visually pleasing. What everyday web users don’t understand is the fact that there are a series of golden rules being followed behind the scenes.
Some of these rules are specific to web design whilst others can be applied more broadly across all areas of graphic design. Either way, a skilled web design company in Melbourne will understand exactly how to implement these guidelines to ensure that their end product is engaging and pleasing to the eye.
Simple, predictable interface is key
You might want your website to stand out from the crowd, but user interface is not the area in which you want to be experimenting.
Web users respond to simple, predictable interfaces. By all means, allow your customers to explore the website but make sure they know where they are at all times and are able to quickly backtrack as necessary. This can be achieved through visual cues, page titles and points of reference.
Feedback is extremely important when navigating a web page. This is the case for all websites but particularly those that take the user on a journey — for example, an e-commerce site where the user progresses from browsing products to completing a purchase.
Providing feedback means that users know they are meeting each of their ‘goals’ along this journey. In the case of the e-commerce example, these ‘goals’ can be as simple as adding an item to your cart, entering a coupon code, inputting your credit card details, and submitting your order.
At each of these points, you need to provide some type of feedback to confirm to the user that they have completed their action and can move onto the next step. This feedback typically takes the form of a visual cue, be it a button colour changing or a pop up appearing.
Consider all digital skill levels
UI designers need to consider the fact that not all web users are particularly tech savvy. What may seem obvious to one person may be incomprehensible to another. With that in mind, users of different skill levels should all be able to interact with a web page in an effective and confident manner.
This can be achieved through following a predictable interface and also offering tips and tutorials to less experienced users.
Opt for consistency
Consistency is key when it comes to creating a website that is visually appealing. A consistent approach should be applied across all typography, colour, and graphic choices.
Design consistency should be looked at from both an internal and external perspective. For example, for maximum impact, your branding needs to be the same across all of your business’ digital assets, including social media. Developing branding guidelines can assist in this regard and will certainly help a UI designer create a website that is reflective of your existing online presence.
Consistency from an external perspective means that interactive elements on your website behave in a consistent manner. If clicking a green tick on one page indicates that you want to add an item to your cart, this needs to be the case across every page.
Newpath Web — leading web design specialists
Designing a website that is both engaging and user friendly is no easy task, which is why the team at Newpath Web are here to help.
Our experienced UX/UI designers have worked on digital projects of all shapes and sizes and understand what it takes for your website to stand out from the crowd. As a leading web design company in Melbourne, we are confident that we will be able to transform your vision into a digital reality.
Contact us today to find out more.