The user interface is the graphical layout of a website or app. The buttons, icons, images, text, animations, transitions, and other visual elements you interact with on a website or app compose the UI of a website. A UI designer has to ensure that a website or application has a clean and intuitive interface, as it will boost functionality and highlight the true essence of a business.
However, when UI designers are free to explore any design elements for their projects, some tend to neglect usability and focus solely on how aesthetically pleasing a web page looks. But does this mean that an appealing-looking website is enough to make the cut? Definitely not! Have you ever had someone spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars making a beautiful site only for analytics reports to show that nobody clicked through?
Poorly designed interfaces may not only hamper the user experience but also give an unfavorable first impression about your company. For example, a cluttered webpage, use of too many colors, confusing menus, and text-heavy pages are all mistakes that can slow down load time and make it difficult for users to navigate through them.
With new technologies shaping how we do things, the design rules for User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) have significantly evolved. Designers are constantly challenged to balance practicality with aesthetics in order to provide a gratifying user experience. If you desire to utilize the latest design trends for your website or app and craft an awe-inspiring website, here are seven invaluable tips you need to stick to.
1. Black & White First
When it comes to UI, designers are prioritizing mobile-first these days. Therefore it is crucial to consider how an app or website will look on mobile before designing the desktop version. Designing for the mobile layout gives you better clarity about the space constraints and helps you rule out unnecessary elements from a page design.
Before you decide on the color scheme for your website, you must create your screen in grayscale first. Designing on a grayscale gives you the convenience of playing around with complex visual elements. It offers a better perspective on the delicate elements that can be easily overlooked, such as line height, typography, the grouping of elements, etc.
If you want your website to appear clean and clutter-free, using a black-and-white color scheme is much safer than trying to incorporate too many shades. The classic black and white web layout serves as an “all-purpose” style for most businesses.
However, if you still want to play around with more colors, use hues of black and white by adjusting the saturation and brightness. Using multiple hues of one or two colors is the simplest way to accentuate a page without cluttering the design.
2. Double Your Whitespace
Any professional UI design will allow a lot of breathing space for putting together different visual elements. A black-and-white theme will bind you to consider spacing and layout. Leaving significant space between text, images, and other elements of your screen, including margins, make your page appear neat and well-organized.
Designing a heavy page layout not only restricts the design flow but also takes a lot of time to load. Therefore, as a UI designer, you must consider doubling up your whitespace and leaving enough room for your page elements to appear without clutter. Apple Inc. is a famous example of a website that best uses whitespace.
3. Use Simple Fonts For Good Readability
The type of fonts you choose is essential in improving your page’s overall look. The text you use should have a simple and easy-to-understand font style. It is better to go for straight fonts in regular or bold. Some of the most popular fonts in web designing include Open Sans, Roboto, Montserrat, etc.
The best font size for a website tends to be between 14 to 16 points. Large fonts should always be used for headings, medium-size fonts for subheadings and smaller fonts for the content body. To maintain a clean page layout, do not use more than two different fonts simultaneously. Whatever font style and size you decide to use, remember that the ultimate goal is to ensure that your audience can read the web content comfortably.
4. Follow Elemental Hierarchy
The visual elements on a page need to have an elemental hierarchy for better utility and how viewers see a page. The most important functions of your page should be placed at the top, such as the main menu bar. This will lead your visitors to organically browse down your page and discover what you have to offer.
A rule of thumb is to keep things moving from top to bottom or left to right. This is the standard course of action for browsing websites. Another important example of an elemental hierarchy is the size change of text elements as viewers go down the page. You must be familiar with how websites use the heading or H1 on the top of the page, followed by H2, H3, H4 and so on as you scroll further down.
5. Maintain Design Standards
It might not always be the best to go against the flow. Sometimes, following the usual standards of design can be rewarding. The result can be in your favor when you present your visitors with what they expect from a website. You can be innovative, but that shouldn’t inconvenience your users.
Some design elements are too risky to be played around with. Take, for example, the search bar; generally, search bars on a website are supposed to appear on the top, at the top or end of the header menu, but if you add the search bar in the footer, it’ll be difficult to access, and your visitors may not know where to find it.
6. Offer Visual Feedback
You must be familiar with Snack bars. These are brief instructions or messages at the screen’s bottom for users to interact with. They appear temporarily to brief on instructions, errors or acknowledgments that keep users informed of the consequences of their online actions, such as successful form submission or completing a website signup process, etc.
A successful UI design should be responsive and interactive. Adding visual cues to your UI design to acknowledge actions taken on a website can make the web experience much more engaging and provide a sense of accomplishment to the users.
7. Make CTAs Prominent
The call-to-action (CTA) button on a page is one of the most important visual elements that must be highlighted. The whole point of bringing users to a website is encouraging them to click on the call-to-action buttons and let the conversion happen.
Therefore, you need to ensure that you make the CTA button stand out from the rest of the content of a page by highlighting it with contrasting colors or bold text. This will help grab the user’s attention and prompt them to click on it.
A beautiful interface helps increase customer engagement, boost retention rates, and lead to higher brand loyalty. Moreover, it also helps webpages acquire more visitors and transform them into dedicated customers. If your current website doesn’t have enough aesthetic appeal or draws visitors away without letting them stay long enough, then follow the UI design tips above to put yourself on the map and differentiate yourself from competitors.