What is User Interface?
User Interface (UI) defines the moment where humans interact with the face of a machine. These can include your mobile home screen, a landing page, the navigation of your tv. It is all around our everyday lives without the conscious realization. However, when you run into a moment where you cannot easily figure out how to adjust volume or close out a popup, that’s when you’re effected by bad user interface. While user interface and user experience (UI/UX) typically are paired together for design and functionality, we will outline the UI side of things and give the basics of good interface design.
UI is involved in all things design and what the eye sees. This includes everything from icons, typography, imagery, layout, to even negative space. It prioritizes the ease of getting a user from point a to b with minimal effort and thinking involved. It’s important to keep design aesthetically pleasing to the user as it is perceived to be more user-friendly.
While UX is focused on functionality, UI is focused on styling and interactive moments. The user would find your interface to be clean and easy to use. These are the stylistic choices that a designer makes to create the design. Like branding or a software style guide, consistency is important. Keep the same color palette for buttons, or the same font sizes for headings and body copy. Inconsistency in UI design creates confusion on the user’s end and leads to mistrust of the product. Designs must be reliable to keep the user engaged and navigate efficiently. On the other end, simplicity also ranks high in importance. Keeping your design simple and straightforward also provides the user a stress free interface.
In UI design, specifically for apps or sites, making sure the design is responsive is crucial. This means your interface is viewable and equally functional on larger desktop screens, and can scale down to tablet and smaller mobile screens. As the world evolves more digitally, humans are on their phones more often than not. Your UI design must translate into a mobile friendly version.
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