It seems obvious to say that good website design is crucial to success in a world driven by online marketing: According to a recent survey, 48% of people cited a website’s design as the number one factor in deciding the credibility of a business, while 94% of people cited web design as the reason they mistrusted or rejected a website.
Through the years, User Interface (UI) design has played a major role in terms of web design. Companies like Apple, Instagram and Airbnb have UI design at the core of their business, and are making UI design impossible for business owners to ignore. But what is UI design anyway? How good is UI design? Should I spend extra money on UI design? If you have no clue about UI design whatsoever and you’re willing to find out if UI design can help your business, here are the answers you have been looking for…
What is UI Design?
UI design, which is short for “User Interface Design”, is basically designing a user-friendly interface that’s attractive to customers and easy to use. UI design is the process of taking the way a machine works and translating it into the way a person thinks. UI design focuses on two major things: user’s experience and interaction.
Example: Star Wars App Concept
Where can UI Design be used?
UI design can be found for machines and software, such as computers, home appliances, and mobile devices. Nowadays, UI design is mostly used for designing websites and mobile apps.
Example: iPad magazine
How does a good UI design look like?
What is a good UI design? Simply saying, a good UI design allows users to carry out their intended actions efficiently and effectively, without causing too much of a distraction. If users can complete their tasks on one’s website in a short period of time, there is no doubt that good UI design has contributed to the whole user process. On the contrary, as soon as a user gets lost, or can’t work out where to go, the UI has failed.
If your designer has developed a top website or phone app, your product should be:
The most important element of user interface design. More exactly, the whole purpose is to enable people to interact with your system by communicating meaning and function.
If people can’t figure out how your application works or where to go on your website they’ll get confused and frustrated. Good UI design makes sure those never happen.
Example: Weather App
Example: Online Social App
Consistency surely matters. For an interface to be easily useable and navigable, the controls and information must be laid out in an intuitive and consistent fashion. Consistent interfaces could allow users to develop usage patterns.
Example: iOS has a consistent design through the years
Responsive means fast, and being fast is very important. Based on a recent research, 40% of people ventured away from a website if it loaded for more than 3 seconds. Therefore, good UI design guarantee everything loads ASAP. Even when it’s not the case, a loading sign or some other actively updated information should be presented.
Example: Google Analytics loading sign
Example: Process Animation
Flexible could mean 2 things: flexible to users and flexible to yourself.
Flexible to users means that one must have the flexibility to optimize the user experience across different devices, adjusting for different viewport sizes, resolutions, usage contexts, control mechanisms, and so on. Like the example showed below, Jutu(Jutu.com.cn) have adapted responsive web design to help their lay out changed according to the user’s screen resolution.
Also, be flexible to yourself. A UI should have the capacity for updates to be installed and changes to be integrated without causing a conflict of interest. For instance, you may need to add an additional feature to the software without causing any complaints.
Example: Jutu’s Responsive web design by TMO Group
Last but not least, being attractive makes the use of that interface enjoyable.
From a survey in 2014, 68% said that having a website – ideally one that is well designed – is a key factor in the opinion they hold about a business and directly influences their decision to use a local business. Only 27% were not bothered about whether a local business has a website or not, and wouldn’t judge them if they didn’t.
One thing to keep in mind is that being attractive does not equals to being just pretty. The important task behind this is to study your user persona, and to figure out what they think is the most attractive aspects. Focusing on your user is the key to creating an attractive user interface that lets them achieve their goals without any confusion in the process.
Example: Octar.com by TMO Group
How can good UI design help your business?
“If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the costs of bad design” Ralf Speth, CEO, Jaguar”
As mentioned above, the goal of user interface design is to make the user’s interaction as simple and efficient as possible. Being part of Interaction design, UI design is heavily focused on satisfying the needs and desires of the people who will use the product.
Right now, there are still many organizations haven’t embraced UI design patterns, and those organizations are missing out tons of benefits for Product Management, Engineering, Marketing, and the business as a whole. If you were hoping to generate more attention from your target audience online and increase your conversion, the benefits of UI design would be something that you just cannot ignore. In general, good web design is able to do this in original and functional ways that translate a website’s image into a company’s success.