Creating a website is necessary for the success of any organization. Today, if a business doesn’t have a website, people are hesitant to trust them for a number of reasons. Either they don’t seem like a reliable company, they’re harder to get in contact with, and you’re unable to get a sense of what the company stands for. That’s why websites are so important. But as we all know, just having a website isn’t enough. You need to have a website that pulls in your target audience with captivating aesthetics so that they can convert to customers and increase your revenue. To do this, you need to focus on website design and functionality.
Rather than opting for a cookie cutter website, you need an interactive website that offers a clear line of communication to your visitor. Yeah, you can go on WordPress, buy a template, and plug your company information in, but what’s the point of that? In the competitive world we live in today, it’s only going to equate to a waste of time.
If you want to rise above your competition and create a website that leaves people wanting more, you need to understand the importance of user interface design.
What is User Interface Design?
The user interface definition is a one that many people struggle with. This is because of the confusion regarding user experience vs. user interface. To make sure that you can differentiate the two, you have to know what each of them mean. User experience (UX) focuses on the overall experience that someone has on your website while user interface (UI) is focused on the overall look and feel of a website. The two design elements work hand in hand and sometimes overlap, but good UI design is more about how a website is presented in general in terms of style and interaction.
User interface design involves the process of making something look a certain way or have a certain style while maintaining strong functionality. It focuses on connecting your visitors to your website with aesthetically pleasing design elements. This also gives people clear directions on how to navigate your website and search through each page of information while clearly displaying relevant calls-to-action so that decisions are simple and straightforward. It includes all of the buttons and breadcrumbs of navigation alongside interactive lists, toggles, and icons.
If you’ve ever found yourself on a website wondering, “what are they trying to offer me here?” you’ve experienced poor user-friendly interface. A website with good user interface design is one that that a strong line of communication that not only extends from your visitors to the products, but also from the products to your visitors. It tells people exactly what you’re offering the second someone lands on your homepage. Poor UI design leads to higher bounce rates and fewer opportunities for revenue.
So, what is UI design really? It’s the overall feel of your website—how it’s presented, how it looks, and how people can interact with it. A lot of people equate this to graphic design, but UI design is an extended version that includes branding and back-end development to produce many of the most important front-end features.
Why is User Interface Design Important?
Once you understand the user interface definition, it becomes clear why user interface design is so important. User interface design is one of the main ways to increase your website’s traffic and therefore move toward higher conversion rates. It captivates your audience and persuades them to stay on your site and take a deeper look. Since people are usually personally impacted and drawn to a good website, it means they’ll be more likely to turn into a customer and go on to recommend your business to their friends or family members. This is how you do business online. Without a user-friendly interface, you’re not going to have a successful online presence. As more businesses have been forced to move to an online presence due to COVID-19 restrictions, your user interface design now has the potential to make or break your company as a whole. It’s much harder to rely on brick-and-mortar shops and with an increase in online company comes an increase in competition.
How to Create a User-Friendly Interface Design
Creating strong UI design means paying attention to everything on your website—even the shape of the buttons you use. These small details have the ability to sway an audience, encourage action, and appeal to your visitor’s subconscious. When you think about it, it makes sense. Consider mobile apps for productivity. There are hundreds of options, but one app is always in the #1 spot on the app store—usually because of the user interface design software. Everyone has basic instincts that can be spoken to using visual design elements and interactive functions and user design allows us to tap into those instincts and see results.
Make sure that your user interface design is consistent throughout your site and implement common elements, themes, and branding to improve recognition and overall site efficiency. The type of font you choose makes a different, so put in some research and consider beta-testing typography before the main launch. By performing usability testing before a website goes live to the public, you’ll be able to see what aspects of your UI design are working and what needs to be changed.
The Top Three Most Important UI Design Items to Consider for Good User Interface Design
Creating a user-friendly interface design requires a lot of moving parts, but some are more important than others. The three most important items to consider for good user interface design are increased user control, user comfort, and providing a low cognitive load.
1 – User Control
You want to give your visitors as much control as possible. It helps them feel comfortable and responsible for their own actions. While your design might use subtle cues that help guide them, you want them to have the options to take action and then reverse that action if they need to. The simple act of being forgiving on your website will reduce the likelihood that your visitors get frustrated with the site design and increase the chances of them sticking around. Give options to quickly and easily backtrack so they have more freedom to explore without any looming commitment over them. When visitors feel like they have to tip-toe around a website, their experience will be more anxiety ridden and often short-lived. Create clear undo or redo buttons that are prominently displayed. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to see people backing out of sales. On the contrary, more people will play around with the idea of buying something when they feel like they can undo an action.
Increased user control also accompanies an interface that’s easy to navigate. The harder it is to get around your site, the more your visitors will feel manipulated and the faster they’ll leave. Instead, use clear visual cues, easily navigable menus, and be predictable.
2 – Increase Comfort Levels
Another way to create seamless user interface design is to make it more comfortable for your visitors to navigate and interact with your website, products, and services. Reduce the amount of irrelevant information that you have on your website, so you clearly communicate your site intent and important information about products or services. People are really uncomfortable buying something that they don’t understand, so take all of the guess work out of it.
You should avoid asking for too much data and never ask them for data that they’ve already entered. The longer a contact form is or the more details someone needs to enter to sign up for a newsletter, the less likely it is that they’ll actually go through with it. Private information is a commodity and many people get uncomfortable with over-sharing. Similarly, if you’ve already had them enter information on your site, don’t ask for it again.
Finally, make sure that you use terms that everyone understands. If your website is laden with industry-specific jargon that can’t be deciphered by your target audience, you’re not going to see a high success rate.
3 – Reduce Cognitive Load
Finally, put some thought into what kind of action you want people to take when they’re on your website and reduce any extra noise. Straightforward, simple, and easy to understand CTAs prove to be more effective. The more steps it takes for someone to complete an action, the less likely they are to finish it. Keep your site minimal and focus on improve the visual clarity of what’s important. Use short, concise copywriting, lists, and relevant visuals to help reduce cognitive load and improve conversion rates.
Best User Interface Design Examples We Love
To demonstrate the versatility of effective UI design, here are several examples of outstanding UI designs. These examples showcase various design principles and functionalities, all of which prioritize usability while captivating users’ imaginations.
Although creating newsletters may not be the first thing that comes to mind when considering UI design, Mailchimp’s website offers an intuitive experience that simplifies newsletter management.
Dropbox’s Responsive Color System
The Dropbox website serves as an excellent illustration of how responsive design effectively engages users during their website navigation. As you explore the site, you’ll embark on a journey of discovery, with each page featuring its distinct color palette.
Spotify’s Use of Color Gradients
Color gradients have gained popularity among UI designers compared to flat colors. They are particularly effective when conveying emotions or emphasizing specific design elements. Spotify, a well-known brand recognized for its extensive music collection, showcases successful utilization of color gradients that enhance the app’s user experience.
If you need to take your website to the next level, consider hiring a professional user interface designer to help. With professional experience, you’ll get the most out of your UI design, which can help to increase your visitors, conversion rates, and overall revenue stream. Get a free consultation with our Chicago web designers to learn more about how we can help your business.