Are you familiar with the core principles of UI design? Think again! Here, we will discuss the 10 UI design principles you must not forget as a UI designer. Learn how you can become the person who never fails to bring out the best in every UI design project.
User Interface is also known as UI. It is one of the core points in any software development project. The main goal of a UI designer is to create a well-balanced interface that satisfies the need of the user. To achieve that, one needs to study the patterns of human behavior and how they interact. Only then do designers ensure if the interface is performing correctly or not. Without further delay, let us learn these principles of UI design.
10 UI Design Principles for UI/UX Designer
The principles you are about to find out below apply to any Graphical User Interface (GUI) design.
1. Simplicity in UI Design
The first rule of UI Design is to create a design that will satisfy the users. Although designing a UI is enjoyable, it is always harder to keep it simple. As a designer, you must always consider the user’s point of view. Keep in mind who you are designing for and why.
A good UI design is defined solely by how easily users understand how the program works. It is not about glitzy decorations, self-indulgent or formal designs. It is all about the usability of a UI. Otherwise, the final output only shows unnecessary components or leaves out elements. These occurrences divert the user’s attention away from the core & relative components.
To achieve simplicity, you must first sort out all the absolute essentials. Remove all unnecessary items from your list. Remember that if the UI only shows how creative you are and not what your client requires, you should remove it right away.
2. Speculate and Prevent
If you want to apply the rule of Simplicity, first, you need to understand what is relevant to the user. Your go-to task will be to make sure you fully their wish & needs. After knowing what is suitable, you can easily speculate what your user will want to have/do next.
Now you are going in the user’s way. Therefore, it will be easy to provide them with the accurate tools, resources, and information they need. However, if you want to direct them in another direction, you can take action by changing an earlier part of the design. It will guide your users in your desired direction from the outset.
3. Driving Seat for Your User
It makes no difference whether they are actually in their control or whether you are driving them in a specific direction. While navigating a User Interface, a user must feel totally in control. The UI should blend seamlessly into the background while remaining where your user expects it to be. However, you must ensure that your interface does not appear to be forcing them to perform a specific action—i.e. making decisions for them.
4. Methodical Approach and Consistency
A basic concept of UI design is mastering consistency. One has to make sure that his/her design is consistent. It needs to be consistent across the platform and also with industry standards employed elsewhere. Usually, a great UI doesn’t reinvent, it improves where necessary. Designing a UI is not about uniqueness, it’s about what’s most widely understood.
In terms of introducing something new or something that functions differently, you need to differentiate between what went before and what you’re trying to begin. A trick is to apply inconsistency deliberately to less valuable features. The Novel features will easily stand out as a result of this. Inconsistency on purpose differs from sloppy or erratic designs.
5. Avoid Unnecessary Complexity
Overlays such as Modal Windows or Bottom Sheets help you avoid the unnecessary complexity in UI Design. Always aim for the least number of steps and screens possible. Discover all of the industry’s best practices. Moreover, organize information logically, liberated, and self-retained. Another good practice is to entirely group tasks and subtasks together. One should not hide subtasks on pages where no one would think to look for them. Create a clear and logical classiﬁcation for screens and their content.
Users dislike the painstaking process of clicking too many times to complete a task. Therefore, always keep the number to a bare minimum, such as one or two. Another UI design principle is known as the Three Click Rule. According to this rule, users should be able to perform any action or access any information they require by clicking no more than three times from anywhere within the app.
6. Distinctive Signposts
While navigating through your app/web app a user should not feel confused. It is not even compromisable for first-time users. Your user should always find your interface interesting, easy and fun to navigate through. So, a UI designer’s job is to set intuitive layouts and make clear labels of information.
One has to make sure that the page architecture is simple & logical. Also, make they are well-marked. A user should feel comfortable and clearly see whether they are moving through the software. And, if they want to go anywhere else, they must have the freedom to move out as they wish. Do not trick & push them into a place where they don’t wish to be. Provide distinctive visual cues, wherever possible/needed.
7. Be Tolerant of Mistakes
Users who are unfamiliar with your app might not have known exactly what to do or where to start. Therefore, don’t blame users for making a mistake or being unsure. Implement a swift and forgiving undo/redo tool to make it simple for people to travel back in time. It not only prevents the aggravation of lost data and lost time but also inspires users to explore your software and make changes without worrying about the consequences.
8. Frequent Feedback
It is mandatory to inform and acknowledge users about their progress and actions (complete or incomplete). Set the design in the format that it should be while the user is navigating. Provide important forms of feedback on the major proceedings or actions. Also, for smaller and more frequent actions, smaller forms of acknowledgment should be used. Besides this, ensure that the status information is always easily accessible and accurate.
Error occurrence is a common thing on websites. But remember, when they do, a user should know about the error that occurred in a clear manner. There should be an easy-to-understand message reading “error code,” or a “404 page” should appear. Make sure to describe the problem or inform them what they need to do to fix this.
9. Functions In UI Design
If you fail to create a clear & concise hierarchy, it won’t be possible to create a truly minimal and streamlined UI. As we’ve already mentioned about
Failure to create a clear hierarchy is one of the most common obstacles stopping people from designing a truly minimal and streamlined UI.
Although, when it comes to user experience, every item is essential. But, some pieces are more critical than others. To reflect this hierarchy in the design, encourage/highlight users to do/follow X/Y first, followed by Z. Make them more visible in front of Z. This could be as simple as changing the size of buttons, text, or other elements.
10. UI Design for Accessibility
Apps are used by people from all walks of life. Though you can’t make a website or app run abiding everyone’s individual choice. Still, you can put options like multiple languages, color setting options, light-dark theme, RLT, or LTR to meet their basic requirements and to generate actions on pages. Always design with questions in mind, not with answers.
A good UI design produces a frictionless environment where users may thrive, but the design completely vanishes from view. You can feel it, but you can not see it. It is similar to how we don’t notice the air we breathe until it becomes contaminated or until we run out of it.
Great designers know that adhering to basic UI design principles like those discussed above can contribute to a better user interface. It enables interaction to the point where the user hardly notices the UI. Use these ten UI design principles in your UI Design projects and see how effective UI design can be.
The best designers know that following simple UI design principles such as those we’ve looked at above can help to create a more effective user interface, facilitating interaction to such a degree that the user barely notices the UI at all. Apply these 10 UI design principles to your next project and discover for yourself just how powerful successful UI design can be.