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Designing User Interface (UI): Basic Principles

Designing User Interface (UI): Basic Principles

Basic Principles of UI Design:

Designing User Interface (UI) has its focus on anticipating what users might need to do and making certain that the interface has elements easily accessible and understood. To design is much more than simply assembling, ordering, or even editing; it is to add value and meaning, to illuminate, to simplify, to provide clarity, modification, drama, persuasion, and perhaps amusement. These 10 principles offer to show there is much more to designing than just meets the eye. Designing User Interface

    1. Clarity is the first priority Clarity is the most important job of any interface designed. People must understand how to use the interface, recognize it well and there should not be confusing elements. Ideally, this inspires confidence and promotes its use by consumers.
    2. Interfaces exist to bridge users and machines Interfaces prevail to enable interactions. Interfaces do a specific job and their efficiency can be measured. The best interfaces can inspire, mystify, evoke and intensify our relationship with the world.
    3. Preserve user attention by all means In a world full of interruption, it is often hard to read in peace or work in peace without distraction moving past us, directing our attention elsewhere. As you design the UI ensures the user has relinquished their attention, ergo it is precious indeed. Avoid littering in the side of your applications with irrelevant material. If you must show an advertisement when someone is reading let them finish first, doing otherwise would annoy the user and they might decide to forsake the use of the interface.
    4. Give control power to the User Humans feel comfortable when in control of themselves and their surroundings. Thoughtless software, however, takes this away by forcing people into unplanned synergy, pathways that may be confusing and surprising outcomes. Ensure users are in control by occasionally surfacing system statuses. Describing causalities (i.e. If you do this that will happen) and by providing insight into what is expected at every turn will help.
    5. Direct manipulation is always best Strive for that original aim of direct manipulation, design an interface with less digital footprint, acknowledging natural human gestures as often as possible.
    6. One primary action per screen Every screen designed should support a single action of real value to the user. This makes it simple to learn, easy to use and also easy to add to or build on whenever necessary. Screens that support two or more primary actions get quickly confusing.
    7. Maintain secondary actions secondary Screens with a single primary action can contain multiple secondary actions, but essentially they need to be kept secondary! Ensure this by making them light-weight visually or shown after achievement of the primary action.
    8. Introduce a natural next step Few interactions are meant to be the last, therefore design a next step for every interaction a person has with your interface. Anticipate this next interaction and design to support it.
    9. Consistency matters Screen elements must behave consistently with each other. Elements that behave uniquely should look the same. In a bid to be consistent novice designers’ obscure important differences by recycling code.
    10. Bold visual hierarchies work best When the visual elements on a screen are clearly viewed, a strong hierarchy is observed. That is, users viewing same items in the same order every time. Weak visual hierarchies offer few clues about what point to rest one’s gaze and ultimately ending up cluttered and confusing.

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