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Designing the ideal User Interface

16/10/2018
Designing the ideal User Interface

‘UI’ refers to the term User Interface which is the concept and understanding of anticipating what users might need to do. It also ensures that the interface has elements that are easy to access, understand, and use to facilitate those actions.

UI brings together concepts from interaction design, visual design, and information architecture. Like any pre-design stage, UI needs to start by having a good idea of who the target audience will be and how they will interact with the product. Identifying the key traits of every audience will be the fundamental basis of the UI design.

When the target audience has been identified, the user interface will focus on two major rules, simplicity and consistency. A UI which is simple and consistent will be easy to understand and interact with. The users should not require a guideline to help them navigate the product as the design itself will guide the user from their initial position to their desired destination. Colour, typography and other visual hierarchies will all help the user with a pleasant visualisation. Consistency should be kept progressive so as to avoid any breakage of the visual immersion created by the experience. Also, when designing the product, research is recommended as is making use of common elements. These help create a sense of familiarity between the user and the product and will produce an easy to navigate interface.

One of the key methods utilised when creating a user interface is visual hierarchy. Visual hierarchy refers to the specific arrangement of elements in a structure that implies importance. When implementing a visual hierarchy, the designer should identify the key aspects of the design and highlight them for the user. This can be done by using methods such as increasing the size of the typography or utilising defined brand colours. You could also break a visual pattern from the norm of the product and create a focal point in the design. If this is done in a dispersed consistent manner it can achieve the desired focalisation intended by the designer.

Typography is another very important factor when creating a user interface and should be explored in depth. The design should take advantage of the different combinations of typography and how they complement each other. Utilising contrast via colour with typography is an effective way to improve focalisation and hierarchy. This will guide the user’s attention to the desired location. Colour can not only be used as a mean of contrast but also as a general emotion which sets the tone that reflects the product. Choosing an ideal colour combination and having a good understanding of basic colour psychology will greatly increase the user’s chances in experiencing the desired feelings when the product is being viewed. It is also good to note that warm colours such as red, orange, yellow and all in between give off different emotions from cool ones which are green, blue and violet. This is why it is crucial for the designer to identify the desired mood and project an ideal impression. A good balance between heavy and light colours can result in an equal sense of depth in the creation of the design.

The designer should continuously look for feedback to progressively evolve the product according to the audience’s desired visualisation. Collaboration with a large group of individuals will always project a finer product. When all is properly discussed and taken into consideration, the product can proceed to its final step of design which is implementation.  

Jean Luca Pantalleresco is a Frontend Developer at Deloitte Digital Malta. For more information, please visit www.deloittedigital.com.mt/web-mobile-development