Credits: Content sourced from the Interaction Design Foundation website. We are not their affiliates or representatives. We only recommend them as a go-to resource for UX/UI Design education.
What is User Interface (UI) Design?
User interface (UI) design is the process of making interfaces in software or computerized devices with a focus on looks or style. Designers aim to create designs users will find easy to use and pleasurable. UI design typically refers to graphical user interfaces but also includes others, such as voice-controlled ones.
Designing UIs for User Delight
User interfaces are the access points where users interact with designs. Graphical user interfaces (GUIs) are designs’ control panels and faces; voice-controlled interfaces involve oral-auditory interaction, while gesture-based interfaces witness users engaging with 3D design spaces via bodily motions. User interface design is a craft that involves building an essential part of the user experience; users are very swift to judge designs on usability and likeability. Designers focus on building interfaces users will find highly usable and efficient. Thus, a thorough understanding of the contexts users will find themselves in when making those judgments is crucial. You should create the illusion that users aren’t interacting with a device so much as they’re trying to attain goals directly and as effortlessly as possible. This is in line with the intangible nature of software – instead of depositing icons on a screen, you should aim to make the interface effectively invisible, offering users portals through which they can interact directly with the reality of their tasks. Focus on sustaining this “magic” by letting users find their way about the interface intuitively – the less they notice they must use controls, the more they’ll immerse themselves. This dynamic applies to another dimension of UI design: Your design should have as many enjoyable features as are appropriate.
Facebook’s easy-to-use layout affords instant brand recognition.
UI vs. UX Design
Often confused with UX design, UI design is more concerned with the surface and overall feel of a design, whereas the latter covers the entire spectrum of the user experience. One analogy is to picture UX design as a vehicle with UI design as the driving console. In GUIs, you should create pleasing aesthetics and animations that convey your organization’s values and maximize usability.
“If we want users to like our software, we should design it to behave like a likeable person: respectful, generous and helpful.”
— Alan Cooper, software designer and programmer
How to make Great UIs
To deliver impressive GUIs, remember – users are humans, with needs such as comfort and low cognitive loads. Follow these guidelines:
On the course section of IDF’s webpage, they use colors, brightness, and contrast to draw attention to key features.
Always provide next steps users can deduce naturally, whatever their context. Because the best interface is no interface, to offer users the most direct, accessible, comfortable control (and best experience) where they’ll forget they’re using your design, ask yourself, “Can I make things simpler?” Lastly, beware of dark patterns and add-ons.
Learn More about UX Design
You can read and watch more about UX design from the inventor of the term, Don Norman, right here:https://www.nngroup.com/articles/author/don-norman/
If you want to start learning how to work in UX Design now, the Interaction Design Foundation’s online courses are a great place to begin. You can read more about all the courses we offer here: https://www.interaction-design.org/courses
Do you need more info on how Non-Fiction can help you with UI/UX design services?