Tips For Excellent UI Design
Wikipedia defines User interface design (UI) or user interface engineering as the design of user interfaces for machines and software, such as computers, home appliances, mobile devices, and other electronic devices, with the focus on maximizing the user experience. The goal of user interface design is to make the user’s interaction as simple and efficient as possible, in terms of accomplishing user goals (user-centered design).
Good user interface design facilitates finishing the task at hand without drawing unnecessary attention to itself. Graphic design and typography are utilized to support its usability, influencing how the user performs certain interactions and improving the aesthetic appeal of the design; design aesthetics may enhance or detract from the ability of users to use the functions of the interface. The design process must balance technical functionality and visual elements (e.g., mental model) to create a system that is not only operational but also usable and adaptable to changing user needs.
Interface design is involved in a wide range of projects from computer systems, to cars, to commercial planes; all of these projects involve much of the same basic human interactions yet also require some unique skills and knowledge. As a result, designers tend to specialize in certain types of projects and have skills centered on their expertise, whether that be software design, user research, web design, or industrial design.
Design for the appropriate screen size/resolution. What screen sizes/resolutions do you have? Is your audience going to be on Mac or Windows or both? If you have a mixed screen environment, you need a design that works great across different resolutions as well as devices. Make sure the UI is compatible on all the browsers you intend to use.
Don’t abuse color
Choose 2-3 colors that complement each other. When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to use shades. You can never go wrong with black and white and shades of gray or another color.
Help users focus
Draw the users’ eyes to what they need. If you’ve seen heat maps of web interfaces, you know that most people look from left to right and tend to ignore elements on the right. Try to put the most important elements on the left side. Highlight the record they are viewing. Don’t reinvent the wheel, because you’ll just throw your users off and make them frustrated.
Use appropriate font sizes. Some things need to be in large font or bold (names, phone numbers, invoice totals). Make an executive decision and highlight the most important details.