WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN GOOD UI DESIGN?
Great UI design is a sum of many parts. It is the interplay of colors, typography, interactions, layout, and style that requires a lot of work, experience, and imagination. If you’re starting as a junior designer, try to use the tested good practices first. Innovation and your very own style will come naturally, with experience.
A great UI is rarely fully done. In most cases, it’s an ongoing process with changes and updates coming from user feedback and innovative ideas.
A good place to start is by following the 10 Rules of Good Design by Dieter Rams. The original set is often called 10 commandments of great design and is framed on walls of many design studios. Those rules, however, were meant to initially cover designing real-world objects, so we adapted them slightly to fit the UI.
The original set of rules was established back in the 70’s, but they’re just as relevant today. Precision, attention to detail and careful planning are all necessary for a great product to take shape. Safe design methods will allow you to learn these things by following rigid guidelines. Then, as you get more experience, you can start to bend these rules or flat-out break them. Always start with the established good practices, however. Remember – good design is as little design as possible!
GOOD UI DESIGN IS INNOVATIVE
Innovation is great, but it can’t come at the expense of usefulness. A good example is the Twitter “Pull to refresh” interaction pattern. It was both completely new, yet strangely natural, fun to use way to refresh your content. It’s nearly invisible, yet it made its way into countless other products. Don’t innovate for the sake of being different – triangular buttons won’t replace the classic rectangular ones anytime in the near future.
The most innovative you can get nowadays is with micro interactions. Defining how familiar elements affect each other with user input, is still open to new, creative ideas.
GOOD UI DESIGN MAKES A PRODUCT USEFUL
Usability is the base of User Experience. UI Usability, however, is mostly about clarity. Decorative fonts, lack of grid or eye-watering colors decrease the UI’s readability, thus decreasing its usability.
GOOD UI DESIGN IS AESTHETIC
Aesthetic is quite subjective and a lot has changed with how we perceive it since the 70’s. One thing that hasn’t changed is that aesthetic comes from internal harmony, made by grid, typography, whitespace and a well planned layout. All designs that are based on good principles (like the Golden Ratio) will be more aesthetically pleasing, than random ones.
GOOD UI DESIGN IS LONG-LASTING
If you get your grid and whitespace right, the design will still have merit, even after a huge shift in design trends. Maybe the gradients or illustrations won’t hold up as well, but design precision and clarity don’t age.
GOOD UI DESIGN MAKES A PRODUCT UNDERSTANDABLE
Understandable UI is a mix of good readability, proper hierarchy and the right type of content. Most of these things come from the right approach to grids, layouts and overall precision. Once the design part is done, you can work on the language part to match.
GOOD UI DESIGN IS UNOBTRUSIVE
With modern design tools it’s especially easy to go all the way with colors, animations and sugar-coating. Those kinds of designs look well on Dribble portfolios, but often forget that the role of UI is to deliver content.
How the actual Instagram app looks, is less important than the photos or videos you can see inside it.
Try not to fall into the trap of form above function. A great interface fades away after a while – we stop noticing it and using it becomes natural.
GOOD UI DESIGN IS HONEST
Honesty – or the lack of overpromising – is easy to determine especially in more complicated, content-heavy designs like charts and graphs.
It’s a known fact, that a fluid, sinusoidal, anti-aliased graph looks better than a jagged line.
More often than not, however, real data doesn’t look that way. It’s one of the white lies we try and feed our users to like our product more.
GOOD UI DESIGN IS THOROUGH DOWN TO THE LAST DETAIL
Precise design can be seen especially with low-importance elements still being created with care and attention to detail. Micro interaction while clicking on a checkbox, or a small X used to close a window should not be treated as an afterthought. Make even your terms and conditions screens beautiful, and the users will notice.
GOOD UI DESIGN IS ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY
Even virtual products (like most UIs) affect the environment in some way. Sure, it’s not as big of an effect as with physical manufacturing, but we should consider the server power consumption (optimizing the app for faster loads can also be done in UI) and systemic ways of building the products which in turn allow to make them faster.
GOOD UI DESIGN IS AS LITTLE DESIGN AS POSSIBLE
Less is more. This rule goes well with the unobtrusiveness of a product. UI is not supposed to be the star of the show. It exists solely to deliver content (text, audio, video, images etc.) and it can’t overpower them visually.
So a great UI is using the brand guidelines, to create best possible content delivery channel. Ornamentation and unnecessary elements can lead to an overdesigned project that negatively impacts the actual experience.
Design is a path, not a goal. Design smart.
Our UI design experts lead the way in interface design development, creating websites and applications that are visually appealing, seamless, and intuitive to use, putting users first.
User Interface design is what gives a user the first impression of your site or app. That very initial visual perception can be critical to spark likeability. The more engaged the user becomes, the more important becomes usability. Both these aspects shape the UI design experience and tell the story of your brand and product. We design user experiences that effectively ensure your digital solution becomes a lovable product. Our goal is to make your user’s life as simple and pleasant as possible.
Our UI design team specializes in creating beautiful and functional interface designs for various digital solutions. Our extensive experience ranges from corporate and campaign websites to apps to intranets, dashboard visualizations, and complex enterprise solutions. We believe that creativity and visual design is as important as smart information architecture and interaction design that altogether create a smooth and coherent user experience. Combining user insights, UX best practice, strategic approach to IA and branding we craft simple, effective, intuitive and delightful interface design solutions that fit the product and brand purpose and meet your users’ needs. CONTACT US TODAY