Is the traffic to your site decreasing? Are you finding it hard to retain your users? Are you asking yourself where things might be going wrong? Do you feel as if your designs aren’t meeting your customer’s expectations?
Your visual designs might look beautiful, but are they also functional? You’ve built an app/website using all your imagination and creativity, but is it serving its intended purpose? The main question is:
“Is your design effective?” which leads to another question, “Is your UI/UX effective?”
“Let the design do the talking”
User Interface is the conduit in human-computer interaction. It is everything within the space in which a user will interact with a website or application. The components of the interface, which include display screens, buttons, and elements, must be chosen and placed in a systematic manner so that users can feel empowered and secure while using a product.
“Make it simple, make it accessible”
User Experience is the way a user feels towards a website or application. There are many design principles that can lead to an exceptional user experience. Following Heuristic rules like including error prevention, user control and freedom, the visibility of system status, and setting strong consistency and standards can help your overall user experience. Easy navigation, organized information architecture, and a clean, minimal interface can also lead to user retention and satisfaction.
UX encompasses all the experiences a person has with a product or service, whereas UI is specific to the means by which people interact with a product or service. – Chinwe Obi
A good UI/UX design creates a strong impact on first time users and also retains existing users. The users connect and remember the website or the application through the impact created by UI/UX. Every user is essential and every user experience matters so it’s important to make all users feel valued.
General tips to have a better UI/UX
The following tips may help you reflect on a few elements on which you might have missed out while designing your website or application.
1. Be creative but maintain clarity
Creativity and innovation are invaluable to design, but when the design itself overpowers the main focus of the product, it loses its usability. It’s important to maintain clarity and simplicity in your designs in order to support the functionality of the product. It’s important to consider how the end user will feel when interacting with your app. Ask yourself how you can best serve their needs.
Color and contrast
Color and contrast can have a vast effect on the overall usability of your product. It’s important to consider the readability and accessibility of your color choices, while keeping all users in mind when making these choices. For example, light yellow text on a white background might cause eye strain, which will ultimately lead them to leave your website or app. Take some time to explore the color wheel and contrasting colors to help you choose a more pleasing and accessible color scheme in your product. Read about the symbolism of different colors and consider which colors might best convey the meaning behind your product. For example, a health website might incorporate a blue theme, which conveys trust and dependability.
Content and consistency
The content of your product will have a huge overall effect on the user experience. It’s important to consider language, personality, and simplicity when strategizing about the content. An elegant product will keep the text short and sweet and provide accessible font sizing and spacing. It’s equally important to use consistent language throughout the website or app to build familiarity and trust while telling a compelling story across your platform.
2. Be concise and limit jargon
Long, wordy descriptions take up a user’s time and energy while interacting with your product. Simplicity is key for an improved experience. Industry best practices suggest that if a child can’t understand the language, the content needs improvement. All users should feel equally empowered when interacting with your product, regardless of background or expertise, which is why simple text is encouraged.
Avoid complex words
Try not to use complex words and consider using words which directly conveys meaning and purpose. Complicated language may mislead customers and may not serve everyone’s individual needs.
Keep sentence structure simple
Consider keeping language in active voice and in the present tense. Maintain a friendly, conversational tone in your content in order to connect with users and develop trust. If the content is not understood, then it’s not useful no matter how stylish or fancy it may be.
3. Ease of use
Help users to make decisions by guiding them along their journey through your product. Consider the flow of information within your app by limiting the number of actions it takes to get from one point to another. Leave breadcrumbs to let users know exactly where they are within your product so they don’t feel lost and get frustrated. Think about what goals your users may have and remove any unnecessary actions which could potentially mislead them.
Take your users on a journey. Create a seamless flow to improve their experience with your website or app. Keep your frames connected. Don’t leave the users guessing, “What’s next? How do I proceed further?”
Maintain a proper flow of content. Try to imagine the very basic information that a user needs in order to move forward, and plan content accordingly. Avoid frequent jumps to several different topics and keep the flow of information connected and contextual. Build a bridge between the content and visual design. Simple, minimal content will help users better find and understand Call to Action buttons.
4. Minimize action time
Maintain respect for your user’s time and energy by minimizing the amount of time it takes for them to accomplish actions within your product. Keep in mind that users expect things to be done quickly and efficiently. Remove any unnecessary actions from your flow which may require additional and unnecessary time for the user. Remember to keep things simple!
CTA (Call to action)
The main actions performed by users are referred to as Call to Action. Some CTA’s appear in the form of decision buttons, for example:
“Sign up now,” “Click here,” and “Add to cart”. In order to help users accomplish these goals more efficiently and without confusion, minimize any unwanted actions in between. Consider your button design, color choice, and accessibility to help guide users in the right direction. A well-executed CTA will help users build trust and an overall improved experience with your product.
Think about the last time you filled in a survey or a sign-up form on a website or app. How long did it take you? Did you have to enter in all the information manually? Was all that information essential? Consider a user’s time and energy when designing your sign-up forms. Too many questions and a longer-than-necessary sign-up form may cause so much frustration that a user is less likely to sign up in the first place. Consider the information that is required of users, and give them contextual information on why it’s being asked. Let users feel valued and consume less of their time.
5. Encourage feedback
Since we’re talking about the experience of your users, it’s important to listen to their feedback so that you can continue to iterate and make improvements. Let users know that their experience is valuable and encourage honest feedback. Helpful feedback can help to provide solutions for improvement and helps to build continued trust.
Consider having a rating system for your product. Create channels for design reviews and collaborate on ideas in your team communication software. You can get a better idea of what you’re missing and make changes accordingly.
Reflect on any comments left by users. While you may not be able to tend to every small comment, user feedback can help generate quantitative data about how your product is functioning. You can start to understand repeated patterns and make changes to reflect user feedback in order to ensure the best possible user experience.
6. Update and upgrade
Understand that continuous improvement will help make your product the best it can be. Updates and improvements let users know that you care about their experience and that you value their feedback. Keep users informed of any changes and thank them for their feedback!
Keep your users captivated by integrating something small and delightful to keep them excited. A few examples include daily quotes, welcome-screen animations, or customizable themes. Outdated designs become monotonous for users and it’s important to keep things interesting.
Raise the standards
Keep your bar set high. Continue to stay on top of trends while educating yourself about UX/UI design. Innovation starts with having empathy for your users and being able to recognize their needs ahead of time.
Keep these best practices in mind when designing your product. Set a goal for continually improving the UI/UX of your website or app, and keep your customers happy, engaged, and satisfied.