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9 Fundamentals Of UI/UX | Designing Effective User Interface

Written By Mashia Aftab | Last Modified On April 22, 2024

Welcome to the world of UI/UX!

The world is a confusing place. In addition to all the political unrest, environmental degradation, and social inequality, we’re also confused as a society about what UI/UX is.

We’ve all been there, you’re reading an article about UX design audit, and then you stumble across something about UI design, only to realize that you’re completely lost and have no idea what either of those things is.

UI/UX is all about the little details that add up to a great user journey. But really, this is just a fancy way of saying “the look and feel” of something. It’s like how you might say something like “the ‘nitty-gritty’ details of something”.

Well, this guide will help you understand the fundamentals of UI/UX so that you can make better decisions when developing your site.

Read More: Accessibility Design at Scale | Best Tips

What Is User Interface?

The user interface is what you see when you use digital products or services. It’s part of a program that allows users to interact with it, whether clicking on buttons or tapping their fingers on the screen.

The UI is how you interact with your computer, your phone, and pretty much everything else that has a current system status.

Think back to the last time you used a website. What did you do? You probably clicked something (or into a drop-down menu or another interactive element). That’s UI!

The user interface includes:

  • Buttons
  • Drop-down menus
  • Images
  • Text
  • Other content that appears in the interface

Importance Of UI

The UI is a crucial part of creating an effective experience for users. If a user cannot understand how to interact with your existing digital products, they will not be able to use it effectively and may even abandon it altogether.

This can be especially true if you are designing a complex product that has many features or uses multiple platforms at once.

Read More: What Are The Basics Of Web Design? | Excellent Guide

What Is User Experience?

User experience is the way that people interact with your digital products. It’s the sum of all the interactions they have with your product; every time they open it, click on something, or close it.

The goal of user experience is to make those interactions as pleasant and intuitive as possible. If someone uses your product, how do they feel? Do they feel engaged, excited, and happy to be using it? Or do they feel frustrated and confused?

Importance Of UX

User experience is important because it can make or break whether your target audience will continue using your product after their first interaction with it. If your website performance rate is lower then chances are high that customers won’t come back, or if they do come back, it’ll be because they have no other choice. Customer satisfaction should be your first and foremost priority.

Read More: 7 Best Mobile App Design Benefits

Key Principles Of UI/UX

When it comes to creating a product that people love, you need to consider every aspect of how your product will be used. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the key principles of UI/UX design.

  • Strategy
  • Validation
  • Behavior
  • Usability
  • Inclusivity
  • Empathy

1) Strategy

Strategy is the most important thing in UI/UX design. Before starting with anything, you need to ask yourself these questions:

  • Who are my target users?
  • What are their pain points?
  • Is qualitative data needed?
  • Should I conduct user interviews?
  • What are the relevant metrics?
  • Is quantitative data required?

Strategy is about understanding what user flows are, and how to deliver that experience through your digital products or services. When you build a strategy, you’re designing an experience that helps customers achieve goals and solve problems, while also making sure they have fun doing it! The best strategies are based on goal-oriented insights into who your customers are and how they interact with technology today, and then they’re tested again and again until they’re proven effective at meeting those goals.

2) Validation

Validation is as important as strategy. We validate our designs by getting feedback from actual users and making sure we’re building something that they actually want, need and understand.

Validation can happen in a number of ways. We can do user testing, take stakeholder interviews or post-launch user surveys, but the most effective way to get feedback is through usability testing. This involves showing current users your prototype and asking them questions about their experience with it.

3) Behavior

Unlike the other principles, behavior is not a specific concept. It’s a collection of behaviors that are related to others, but it also covers all kinds of user actions with respect to user personas. It’s important to understand how your current users will behave with your product so that you can design audits accordingly.

Behavior can be divided into three categories:

  1. Internal Behavior: Such as scrolling through pages and clicking buttons. These are the behaviors that you want to focus on.
  2. External Behavior: Such as sharing content on social media or emailing it to friends and family members. You can’t control these external behaviors directly.
  3. Social Behavior: Social behavior refers to how people interact with each other when using your product or service.

4) Usability

Usability is the ability of a product to be understood and used by a customer, and it’s a key principle of UI/UX audits. The purpose of usability heuristics is to ensure that users can interact with the digital products in an intuitive way and overall usability issues are minimized or eliminated.

Some tips for improving usability:

  • Make it easy for users to find what they’re looking for.
  • Compile findings for easier access in future.
  • Use simple language, short sentences, and short paragraphs.
  • Put important information first, and make it easy to read in large font sizes with lots of white space around it.

Want to successfully conduct usability testing? Read What Is Website Usability Testing and How Does It Work?

5) Inclusivity

Inclusivity refers to the design and development of a product that has the potential to be used by anyone, regardless of age, ability level, or other factors. Inclusivity is important because it helps to ensure that everyone gets the best possible experience using your product.

Inclusivity involves design decisions like ensuring that all content can be read clearly by users with different levels of vision (including colorblindness), ensuring that all required quantitative information is communicated clearly through design choices such as text size and placement, and ensuring that all interactions are intuitive enough for users with disabilities to understand them easily.

6) Empathy

The word “empathy” is used so much in UX that it’s almost become a buzzword. But what does it really mean?

Empathy is important in UI/UX because it allows you to understand the experience of using your product from the point of view of the user. It means taking into account how your users feel about their own experiences with your product and trying to improve those experiences based on how they feel.

It isn’t just about making sure that your product works as intended, it’s also about making sure that it feels good to use, and that it makes users feel like they’re accomplishing something positive or getting closer to their goals.

Read More: How to Build a Winning Startup Product Design Team

UI Design Fundamentals

We know that being a UI designer isn’t easy; it’s one of the most challenging jobs in the world. But you’ve come to the right place if you want to learn about the fundamentals of UI design and start building your skill set.

We want to make sure you have the tools you need to succeed, and we’ve put together a list of UI design fundamentals to help you get started.

  • Choose the Correct Interface Components
  • Keep it simple
  • Focus on regular elements and maintain consistency
  • Use Attractive Colours
  • Increase your users’ power
  • Eliminate Complexity

1) Choose The Correct Interface Components

The first step in building a UI is to choose the correct interface components. Components are the building blocks of your user interface, and they include things like buttons, text boxes, and drop-down menus.

When choosing your UI components, consider both their appearance and their functionality. The goal with your UI is to make it as intuitive and easy to use as possible, so always make sure that your components meet these criteria.

2) Keep It Simple

Let’s be honest: the world of UI design is filled with some of the most complex, detailed, and confusing guidelines in all of UX. So how do you keep your design simple?

The answer lies in understanding how people interact with your digital products on an emotional level. The more direct your connection with them, the more likely they are to remember your product, and that means more sales!

3) Focus On Regular Elements And Maintain Consistency

The first thing you should do is identify the most important elements on your page.

Once you’ve identified what parts of your product are most important, make sure those parts are always in the same place on every page of your site or mobile apps, or at least that they’re nearby! This is because users recognize consistency. You can also make these elements stand out by making them bigger than everything else or using color codes for each one (like red for contact info).

By following these three simple steps you can bring consistency to your design audit:

  1. Keep track of all of your elements so that you know what’s working and what isn’t.
  2. Use a style guide that helps you maintain consistency across all of your different platforms.
  3. Have someone do UX review for you before everything goes live.

4) Use Attractive Colors

Colors are a vital part of the design process, as they can be used to convey emotions and moods. They also have an impact on how users interact with your site.

Colors can also be tricky to use. To make sure you’re using the right colors, ask yourself these questions:

What emotion do I want to evoke?

What mood am I trying to set?

What are the measured metrics alongside?

If you answer these questions honestly and clearly, your choice of color will be much easier.

For example, users are more likely to click on a button if it has a bright color. You should use color palettes that are consistent with your brand but ensure you include the full range of colors in your palette so that you can use them for different purposes.

5) Increase User Control

Power is a terrible thing to waste.

It’s true, and this is especially true when it comes to designing user interfaces.

A good UI design increases the user control. They should be able to accomplish the company’s business goals faster and easier than before. A bad UI design does the opposite: it makes users feel like they have less control over their experience, which leads them to do more work than necessary and get frustrated.

The best way to increase your users’ power is by making sure users find what they need at all times.

  • This means that if you have multiple tools in your app, each one should be clearly labeled.
  • If there are tools that aren’t used as frequently, consider putting them in an “advanced” section of your app or on another page altogether.

Make sure there are no dead ends or dead links on your site/app; that way people won’t get discouraged from exploring new functionality because nothing happens when they click on something.

6) Eliminate Complexity

Complexity is an enemy of user experience and it can lead to frustration and confusion for users. Eliminating complexity doesn’t mean that you have to make every single part of your product simple, it just means that as a whole, it should be easy for people who use it every day.

There are several ways that you can reduce complexity in your UI:

  • Use only one or two buttons per screen
  • Minimize text and avoid long paragraphs
  • Make sure that every button has an obvious purpose

Want to become part of a dedicated UX team remotely? Read this guide: How Can You Work Remotely as a UX Designer? Best Tips

Fundamentals Of User Experience

A lot of people think user experience (UX) is just about making things look pretty. After all, we’re not talking about the hard stuff, the code, and the algorithms that make a product work.

But don’t be fooled: UX is about so much more than aesthetics.

Let’s face it, UX is just like a good date. If you’re not paying attention to the fundamentals, you’re going to have a bad time.

We’ve got some basics that will help you build a foundation for an intuitive product, no matter what kind of app you’re building.

  • Create a solution to user experience problems
  • Should be easy to use
  • Make it Attractive or simply don’t make it!

1) Create A Solution To User Experience Problems

The first step to improving your user experience is to determine what the problem is. This sounds simple, but it can be incredibly difficult to identify the issues that are affecting your customers’ experiences on your site.

You may have heard about the five-second rule: the time it takes for a potential customer to decide whether or not they want to stay on your page.

But did you know that there’s also a two-second rule? That’s right: if someone doesn’t understand what they’re looking at in less than two seconds, they’re likely going to leave your site.

This means that you need to be able to create a solution before the established criteria so that you can make changes before it’s too late, and before your competitors steal all of your customers away!

2) Should Be Easy To Use

The most basic principle of UX is that your users should be able to do what they want without being distracted by anything else. This means keeping your site simple and easy to navigate, with clear aesthetics and minimalistic designs. You should also make sure not to overload your users with too many options; you want them to find what they’re looking for as quickly as possible, so don’t give them too many choices!

It’s also important that you don’t confuse your users with language that isn’t clear or jargon that’s too technical. Try using language that everyone understands.

3) Make It Attractive, Or Simply Don’t Make It!

If you’re going to make a product, you need to make it attractive or don’t make it at all. The reason is simple: People are lazy. If your product is ugly, they won’t use it. If they don’t use it, they won’t buy it. If they don’t buy it, google analytics will stop showing your products altogether.

There are plenty of products out there that are ugly and get a lot of attention because people like their function or brand enough to look past their appearance. But if your product doesn’t have both a functional purpose AND an aesthetic that people like, then you might as well not even bother making it in the first place because no one will buy it. We’re just being honest here.

Read More: What Is Quality Assurance(QA)? Process, Research Methods And Examples

Fundamentals Of UI/UX, Who Wins?

The answer is… both! UI/UX are two sides of the same coin. They’re two different ways of looking at the same thing.

As a user, you want to be able to navigate through your experience and find what you’re looking for in an intuitive way. As a UI/UX designer, you want to make sure that the layout is clean and that users can see where they are on their path toward completing their tasks.

Both sides of this coin have an equal amount of importance, so it’s important that UI/UX designers and product managers work together when creating these experiences.

If you’re a UI/UX designer and you don’t understand how the product works, then it’s impossible for you to design something that makes sense for users. And if you’re a developer and don’t understand what makes sense from an aesthetic point-of-view, then how will your product look good? It all comes down to communication between both parties involved in creating these experiences.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you’ve ever wondered what all this UI/UX stuff is about, now you know! It’s not a bunch of jargon to throw around at parties (although, who knows? Maybe you’ll find yourself in a situation where it comes in handy).

It’s a field that can help you understand user pain points on a deeper level. It’s also one of the most interesting ways to apply psychology and communication skills to your career. You don’t need to be an expert, but maybe you will be one day! UX will greatly benefit your career.

Well, that’s it! We hope you’ve enjoyed this guide on the fundamentals of user experience and user interface design. If you have any questions about anything we covered here, please feel free to reach out. We’d love to hear from you!

FAQs

What are the 5 key concepts of user experience design?

The five key concepts of user experience design are:
User-Centered Design
Information Architecture
Visual Design
Interaction Design
Content Strategy

What are the three pillars of the UX?

The three pillars of the UX are:
Content
Code
Design

What is UX framework?

UX framework is a set of rules and guidelines that helps designers evaluate and create a user-friendly app. It gives them a clear idea about the features and functionalities that should be included in an app.

What is a UX design tool?

A UX design tool is a program that helps you create the user interface of your product. It allows you to create wireframes, mockups, and prototypes for your app.

What is a user objective?

A user objective is the reason why a user wants to use your product. It’s often expressed in terms of what the user wants to achieve, and it’s usually tied to their goal.

What is UX audit report?

A UX audit report is a document that summarizes the findings of a UX audit. The report is prepared by the user experience auditor after the audit has been completed. It includes a summary of the goals and objectives of the audit, as well as recommendations for improving user experience.

How to conduct a UX audit?

The first step is to figure out what kind of audit you want to conduct. There are three main types: desk research, contextual inquiry, and user testing.