Mobile apps are the most powerful way to interact with users with smartphones. It’s definitely the easiest way to expand one’s business. The key is to make an application that attracts users and leaves them with a total aesthetic experience. For that, one needs to pay most attention to the user interface (UI) of an application. To achieve the objective of designing a great application, we need to understand the technical definition of UI. UI design is the discipline of designing an interface for a software with the basic objective of maximizing efficiency, responsiveness, and aesthetics to provide the great user experience. One can follow the following principles in order to achieve so.
- SIMPLICITY – Simplicity is the key to reduce the friction between the user and application to the minimum. Keeping the minimum number of options to choose from and simultaneously giving the user the power to execute all desired functions is the secret to a successful design. When the users see the interface, they should not be overwhelmed by the design and options. A fine balance between simplicity and full-accessibility to all functions needs to be maintained. The idea is to give the user the power to solve complex problems without any difficulty.
- CONSISTENCY – The overall design of the application needs to be the same throughout its various depths. Once the user gets the hang of the basic design of a certain application, they will have minimal difficulty in navigating and accessing different components of the application. It removes the confusion and chaos. Similar icons, uniformity in colour and similar layout throughout the application provide the user with a familiarity that encourages them to explore more.
- COLOURS – The psychological effect of different colours is very well researched. The key is to use the right colours to convey the right message to the user. Having said that, contrasting of colours to an extent is also important for certain elements of the application to stand out. The right balance between the background and foreground elements will determine a UI design’s success. For instance, blue is the colour of oceans and heavens that brings peace to the mind. Twitter uses blue colour for its logo. Apple uses white colour as it signifies peace, simplicity, and positivity. The right combination of colours will make or break the application. The key is, not to overdo it.
- TYPOGRAPHY – Too many fonts can be confusing. Since the font will dominate the UI of an app, we can safely say that it is essentially your interface. Each alphabet and world matters. Good fonts enable productivity. A font that is easy to read is much better than a fancy one that has to be given more attention to understanding.
- TARGET AUDIENCE – A specific application might serve the needs of a certain target audience and the design of the app has to be in conformity with what the potential user might expect. For example, Snapchat is a very youth-centric application and hence its design is colorful, vibrant, fluid and easy to understand. A good UI designer spends time with a potential user, in order to understand the demographics of an app. Using this knowledge, one can design features that cater to all people of the demographics. The more a UI designer knows about the target audience, the better the “fit” of the interface for that audience as well as the visuals.
- FEEDBACK SYSTEM – Until the end-user interacts with the end product, we cannot be sure of the effectiveness and completeness of the design. They will find ways to mess up, however – count on it. To determine where they may get off course, you will need to test, test, test with actual users from the audience demographic. Once you have identified those points at which errors will occur, you can design feedback messages that will let them know what went wrong and how they can fix it.
- APPROPRIATE GESTURES & ANIMATIONS – Touch devices are defined by gestures. Touch, swipe, double-tap, pinch and zoom are becoming second nature to users. Motion keeps users grounded in the UI while adding context. There’s a difference between elements that vanish and those that slide out of sight. The former is deletion; the latter is available for use later. When animations are combined with gestures, they add another depth to the experience. Mobile interaction patterns help dictate the layout of common interface elements. For example, navigation buttons at the bottom of the screen are easier for users to tap with a thumb than buttons at the top. The right combination will be easy to use.UI Design can be done with pens and pencils, computer visualization software, or built directly in code or materials. The end results are an interface or a simulation of one, that can be used to test, iterate and release a product or service. So in a nutshell, the key is to understand the user, to try to convey information through aesthetic visuals and testing the designs.