Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Things To Know Before Designing A Great App

User interface design (known also as user interface engineering) encompasses the designing of computing devices, machines, communication devices, software apps, and websites.
The main focus of UI design is to create memorable experience and to guarantee excellent interaction with users. The experience ought to be simplified and efficient, meaning that users will be able to accomplish their tasks without problems or unnecessary delays. This is why UI design is known as the most user-centered design.
Great interface design will enable users to accomplish their tasks with a feeling of ease and comfort. Designers have the essential task of balancing between visual appearance and functionality, in order to provide technically acceptable, but also beautiful design.
Things To Know Before Designing An App
Image source: Julien Renvoye
When reading about things to know before designing an app, you should also have in mind that the system you are designing ought to be modifiable and adaptable to users’ needs.

Platforms for app development

UI style differs significantly from one operating system to the other (try and compare Android, IOS and Windows). Designers should be experienced in a particular platform, so that they will make a suitable design. Choosing the inappropriate platform for a specific UI design would cause some incompatibility.
When developing a non-native app (HTM/CSS), designers should apply the so-called Flat Design style. Skeuomporphic style on the other hand is not applicable because it is complex and slow, and each object has to be modified in order to use images. The final result would be a ‘heavy’ app which takes time to load an image.

The final user doesn’t like changes

The final user doesn’t like changes
Image source: Daniel Klopper
It is sad, but it’s true. It is because change shortens the time users have on disposal for getting their job done. Most final users are always afraid they’ll click ‘the wrong’ thing and they’ll break their device when working in a modified environment. It means that none of the UI changes you may introduce will be positively accepted at the beginning (unless you work carefully and you make a ‘facilitating’ design).
Changes shouldn’t be constantly applied. Your users need to rely on your app’s consistency and you have to make sure that what they’ve learned can be applied for a long time. The essential elements that need to remain unchanged are: layout, design and language. In such cases, users will understand the app much better and they will become much more efficient when operating with it.

Good content creates UI confidence

Good content creates UI confidence
Image source: Gleb Kuznetsov
UI is a deal between you and your customers: you give your customers excellent-quality content, and they are willing to cope with the complexity of your design in order to obtain it. This explains the existence and excellent performance of lower-quality apps that are poorly designed, but have gathered traffic for years so far. It’s a rule-content will always count more than the design standing behind it.

Mobile platforms are different than desktop platforms

Image source: Megan Fox
This is a fact. Your users distinguish mobile from desktop platforms, so don’t expect them to approach the platforms in the same way. Apple is clearly pushing towards the identification between IOS and OSX, but that won’t be such a big user problem because users are familiar with the IOS interface for quite a while.

Using standardized buttons

The biggest dilemma is to choose between ‘Cancel, OK’ and ‘OK, Cancel’ (or Apple’s ‘Previous, Next’ flow).
Designers usually go for Windows’ well-established ‘Cancel, OK’ flow, since most of the population is right handed and they need a subconscious shortcut into approving an activity. Some designers also use colors (green for OK; red for Cancel) believing that in this way, users are enabled to depict the options clearly.
Using standardized buttons
Image source: Padam Boora
Shadowed buttons are not uncommon for flat and skeuomorphic design. In such case, it is recommendable to take really good care of consistency, as the shadow angles need to remain the same throughout the entire website/app. It is a way of replicating daylight experiences, where sunlight disperses equally on any of the present objects.

Keep users focused

Keep users focused
Image source: Alex Volk
In web design, focused equals entertained. You’ll need both dynamic and static elements, and other exiting aspects of UI interface. Your goal is to attract users and to maintain their attention. We recommend you to use bold colors and interesting images.
Human eyes are not so linear to neglect your motions, edges, and patterns. This is exactly why you should avoid distracting or irritating content if you want them to stay focused on something else. Marketing, however, makes the most of this knowledge.
Moderate employing of visual objects can help users to focus and to understand how to perform operations on your website/app without making an effort for understanding technicalities. Visual information is short and concise, and provides an excellent orientation sense among users. At the end of the day, they came looking for simplicity and an easy UI. They don’t really want to know what is happening behind the curtain.

Give them feedback

Remember that interface is a form of interaction-you need to be there for your users at every moment, and to let them know when they do something wrong/right. They should have instructions, guidelines, and to be informed on every exception. We are not talking about user support (that’s not a designer’s problem) but about small cues or messages which can easily take them to the desired result.

What users think about role-interface actually counts

Why would you design a great user interface, if there weren’t the users to evaluate it? You might think users have no enough knowledge to detect the flaws of your design, but they are the first ones to notice complexity or to tag a design as inefficient. Therefore, final users’ feedback should be considered-without user’s affection, even the loveliest website will be ignored.
Users’ opinion is the essential tool of outstanding designers.