A FRIENDLY USER INTERFACE (U.I); WHAT IS IT?
User Interface in theory is the Heads up display (H.U.D) or in other words, the front interactive page of any website a person visits. The friendlier the user interface, the more likelihood of a person visiting that particular website again. Though, User Interface is a broad term, we are discussing Website User Interface.
How to make Website Interfaces User Friendly?
How to make such interfaces user friendly? It all lies in the hands and the magic of the web designer. User Interface (UI) brings in concepts from interaction design, visual design and information architecture on a single platform and today, designers are wondering whether to bring in ideas from artificial intelligence in website UI’s or not.
Is it important to keep all website layouts simple? Yes it is. But does simple mean just a few options? Or an array of options laid out in simple words? The latter is the best choice. The following are included in interface elements:
- Input Controls: Buttons, Text Fields, Check boxes, Radio Buttons, RSS Feed clicks, Drop down lists, list boxes, toggles, date field.
- Navigational Components: Breadcrumb, Slider, Search Field, Pagination, Slider, Tags, Icons.
- Informational Components: Tool tips, Icons, Progress Bar, Notifications, Message Boxes, Model Windows.
At times, multiple elements may become suitable for showing content. However, it is important to consider trade offs and keep things simple. Otherwise, many users and visitors are not only overwhelmed but also dread the prospect of being forced to assume what is within the drop down list.
Best Practices for Designing a User Interface:
For Web Developers, they need to know their users and visitors, understanding their goals, skills, tendencies and preferences. Once they get to know their user and visitor, they must keep the following things in mind:
- Interface should be simple: Keep the interface clear and concise as most high quality interfaces are invisible to the user. Most website visitors and users avoid unnecessary elements.
- Consistency and usage of common UI elements: Common elements help users feel much at ease which then aids them in completing tasks quickly. Creating patterns in language, design and layout facilitates the site’s efficiency and makes the website user friendly as well.
- Have purpose in page layout: The items on the webpage and the webpage’s structure are related. Web Developers should place them carefully in order to draw attention to critical information which aids scanning and readability.
- Carefully choose textures and color: Avoid usage of bright colors as they can lay stress on user eyesight. Also, the contrast must be well balanced as well in order to attract users.
- Using typography to create hierarchy and clarity: Web Designers must be careful in creating hierarchy and should avoid making headings too fancy. Apart from font types and sizes, content’s arrangement helps aid in legibility, readability and scan ability of websites.
- System should always communicate: Users should always be informed of location, changes in state of website, breakdown, errors or any other action. Various elements of a website’s UI should be able to communicate status.
- Defaults: Considering the goals people bring to a website, Web Creators should create defaults that reduce burden on website users. It becomes important in form design, where some fields are either chosen earlier or filled out.