Ten Important Basic Principles That are ignored for UI Design
User Interface (UI) is the point of human-computer interaction and communication in a device, usually a computer and Mobile Phones. It is also the way through which a user interacts with an application or a website. The growing dependence of humans and businesses with web application and mobile phones applications has led almost all the companies to place increased priority on the UI design in their web and mobile applications and there is a constant effort on their part and also on part of developers community of applications to improve upon overall users experience.
But often the UI design principle is frequently ignored by business and ignored and this leads to businesses to achieve their business goals and resulting a great amount of monetary loss to them. In this write-up, I have compiled a list of Ten important basic principles that are ignored for UI design by the developer community. This list is compiled through interaction with the enlightened developers/designers, and the best practices they follow in UI design for you to improve upon UI design element in your next web or mobile application development.
- Empty States: Generally in some users interfaces spaces are left blank so that user can choose topics, products and preferences for his use when he first-time login the application on the web and mobile phones.
Designers of UI can add some contents like books, projects, to-do, customers, or songs on these empty spaces as leaving a blank slate where the contents would be is missed opportunity for you to provide a necessary piece of guidance and information about what your application or software can do.
To orient users, you should use these empty state with advice, guidance, an overview of possible action, or simply replace the empty state with a screen allowing the users to input the missing information. Whatever is your decision, make sure that there is something on these spaces instead of saying “ There’s nothing here yet…” and missing an important opportunity to provide useful information to the users of your web and mobile application.
- Sliders: Sliders are often used to select some specific numerical value. Sliders are often used for qualitative values like brightness, volume, colour pickers and so on. But slider many times proves frustrating to the user because he/she wants to set it on a certain specific number say for e.g. 7 but he/she lands either on 6 or 8. This is not the fault of the user but a fault at the designers end. You should never use sliders in your application for selecting specific numerical values and they may be ineffective or cause frustration to the user.
- Dropdown Menus: Dropdown menus are used where there is generally a lot of options are given to the user to choose like your country, birth year and date, your favourite hobby, and they are the perfect component to use where a lot of options are there.
However, if you have very options to fill then instead of using dropdown menus you can use other option like buttons in place of sliders. But in case your dropdown menu is very long with many options, then consider adding a mini search or filters so that user can go to the required option of his choice very easily and quickly.
- Targets:In applications where touch screens are used and your interface is used by touch, then consider giving an adequate size to the trappable element.
Hidden options are frustrating for the users as it doesn’t provide a pleasant experience if they choose an option that they don’t intend to select.
There should be 2mm padding between elements as it prevents mis-taps. Apple’s iPhone Human Interface Guidelines suggests a minimum target size of 44 pixels wide and 44 pixels tall, bur Microsoft’s Windows Phone UI Design and Interaction guide put the target size of touch targets to 34 px but it should not be below 26px. So by following these guidelines touch size should be within the permissible limits and UI designers should adhere to this practice while developing applications for touch screen devices.
- Infinite Scroll bar: Many Social Media apps are using infinite scroll bar as for better user experience as it eliminates the need to click to next page, the content load asynchronously as a user scrolls the bar. This is a great UI design and it works great in a newsfeed, but it leads to confusion if it is applied to messages, emails, to-do items search, as the user won’t be able to determine where the beginning, middle, and end of the scroll.
- Pagination:Pagination is now thought to be an old and outdated method, but still it is considered a better as it has several benefits.
* Help the user to orient themselves instead of creating a feeling of as though they are searching through an endless list.
* By automatically remembering the user’s position it displays the current page to them
* Provide a clear indication of where the content begins, where it is middle and where it ends.
* It allows user to use the footer to reach at the page end.
* Allows the user to narrow down his content search and their results.
- Instead of telling show it:User’s don’t like to read to understand- they instead like the contents are shown to them visually to have a better feel of the same. It is better if the products are shown to users visually instead of telling them, and video demos are ideal suited for this purpose. But the videos are not possible, then you can give onscreen tips for a great start of search at the starting point. Only visually appealing tips leave a great expression on users.
- Labels should not be ignored:It is useless to give mystery icons with proper description labels as they perform terribly in users tests very often.
Often the icons are provided for a quick visual reference to allow users to instantly recognize a control. The main job of labels is to explain the function before the function is discovered.
The icons in the menu need a toolbar to explain descriptive text and its meanings. Many times some icons get away with not having labels, like bold, italics, underlines and so on. This should be avoided at all costs.
Icons are often misused that it is difficult to give then one single meaning for most of the icons. Often different designers use various icons to explain the same thing or the same icon to describe different actions.
- Use Native device component: To allow a better user’s experience use native inbuilt components in the device by leveraging components already built into the product and this avoid input errors to a great extent. No matter how good a designer you are always trying to use the components that are already built into the user’s device instead of creating a new one. This use of native components reduce the friction of your user’s and save time and efforts at your end also.
- Easy Loading:It is better to provide a progress indicator with a percentage of time until completion is ideal. In places where you cannot determine how long a loading process will take, it is better to use a spinner Progress bar. It is a perfect tool to know precisely uploading or downloading process and how long a process will take to complete. Make a provision of stopping spinner if anything goes wrong or some error occurs in downloading process, and alert the user to take corrective action, and not keeping your user waiting long for knowing the final result.
IMAD is a leading app development company developing apps for Android and iOS platforms. We have developed apps and software solutions with the latest technologies for diversified business fields like Car rentals, Music streaming apps etc both with React Native and Native technologies.