When talking about human-computer interaction, user interface is the means of communication between your website or mobile app and the user. It is an important term because it helps fulfill the user’s expectations. It also promotes the efficient running of your website. To add more to your user interface experience, we have some great tips to share.
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Why is a good user interface important?
A good interface makes it easier for your website visitors to see and understand your product. It provides clear information to the users, which makes them stay longer on your website. This also helps grab their attention to your services easily. It’s all about a clean design with smooth navigation and clear information – that’s what hooks users and keeps them interested.
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5 Tips for improving the user interface
Understand your users
The most important thing for improving the user interface is to understand your users. A deep understanding involves having a knowledge of their complete demographic data, which can be helpful for your analytics. It also includes knowing their needs and the hurdles they face in reaching their goals.
For this, you have to put more effort into carefully analyzing the stats. You have to know the users on your website. Be sure to interact with them and see them using your products. Ask them more than “how is this design?” This is where usability testing is key.
Ask your users about their goals, the hurdles in their paths, and their expectations from the website. But do not stop at these questions; go in-depth and understand their needs. This will help you fill their fundamental requirements by knowing their wants.
After talking to the users and conducting data analysis, the insights you gain will help you make good decisions. They will also answer how your interface is used by the people and what sort of content you should focus on in your interface.
Know how users use your interface
Knowing how users will interact with your interface is essential before designing it. Touch-based devices are being widely used, so this should be your main focus in planning and designing your user interface. There are popular apps that work by the simple swipe method. The reason behind the popularity of these apps is their ease of use. This interfaces well with touch-based devices and contributes to a positive user experience.
There are two ways in which people use apps and websites. The first one is the direct way they interact with the product’s interface elements – for example swiping a card, tapping a button, or dropping/dragging an item using your fingertip.
The second is the indirect way they interact with the product’s UI elements – for example, typing into a form field, clicking or pointing with a mouse, drawing on a Wacom tablet, or using shortcuts or key commands.
No matter what way your users are interacting with the interface, your decisions are heavily dependent on who your they are and the device type they are using. If you are targeting users with limited manual dexterity, then leaning solely on swiping wouldn’t be the best choice. If your target customers are people who use a keyboard to have primary interaction with apps, then you would go for keyboard shortcuts support.
There are several possible reactions to interactions with your user interface. The click of a button could mean making a comment, removing a website, or spending money. Some of these reactions can be easy to manage or are even desired outcomes. However, sometimes the consequences for certain interactions can cause anxiety and be unfavorable.
Therefore, it is very important to tell the users what to expect after clicking on a specific button. Design or/and the copy can be a good strategy for this. This will include:
- Setting expectations along with the design
- Focusing the specific button that is in correspondence to the action desired
- Using symbols to increase understanding (like a plus sign if you want to add something, a trash sign if you want to delete something, and a magnifying glass sign if you want to search something)
- Choosing colors that have relevant meaning (like red for stop, green for go)
- Adjusting expectations with copy
- Filling in clear button copy
- Giving encouraging or directional copy in empty areas
- Issuing warnings
- Always asking for confirmation in case of irreversible results, such as permanent deletion
Making mistakes is a part of natural human nature but this does not mean that one always has to face the consequences. You can reduce the impact of human error in two ways. First is preventing the mistakes before their occurrence.
The second is providing alternative ways to compensate for the mistakes made. In form design and e-commerce, there are a lot of techniques that help prevent mistakes. One example is creating a setting where the final action won’t be carried out until you have entered information in all the fields. Another example is making sure that forms can automatically figure out when an incorrect email address has been entered. A final example is having pop-ups appear when you are emptying your shopping cart to confirm your action.
Expecting mistakes is better than dealing with fixing them after they’ve already been made. Preventing them within the user interface will allow users to navigate your site with ease and without anxiety about causing major issues.
Pay attention to element size and placement within the user interface
This involves two major considerations. The first is to make click targets and buttons big enough for easy visibility and clicking. The bigger or closer something appears, the faster you will be able to put your finger or cursor on it.
This must be considered especially when creating link lists, menus, and typography, because less space will lead to people clicking the incorrect options repeatedly. For the most common actions, the buttons should always be more prominent.
The second consideration is to put navigation in the corner or around the edges of the screen. Search bars and other common interactive visual elements are also a part of this consideration. It lowers the need for accuracy by setting the user free from the stress of overshooting their target.
Always keep the most common interaction model in your mind whenever thinking about the element size and placement. This becomes quite a challenge when your site is based on unusual interaction types – for example horizontal scrolling instead of vertical scrolling.
Read More: How to Create Better UI Experiences?
Hopefully, by now you have learned some good things to offer a better user interface experience to your users. In case you have any questions related to these tips drop them down in the comment section below.