5 Elements of Web User Interface Design Best Practice

ui design, design servicesWhen a user visits a website, certain elements will make them feel comfortable about using it. Potential customers will make a judgement about your website within seconds, so your chosen website design company will follow a number of key rules to optimise the user experience.

Clarity

All elements of the user interface should be clear and intuitive. If the user is unsure what to expect from any of them, such as a misleading or obscure icon, they may not have the confidence to click — they’re more likely to move onto another site, that has an interface that seems more familiar or easier to navigate.

Action

The user needs to be guided toward the action you would prefer them to take. For example, if that action is to provide some information then the text field in which you would like them to type needs to be clearly labelled. It sounds obvious, but explaining exactly what’s required from the user will only improve the overall user experience.

Guidance

In much the same vein, a direct invitation to do something is likely to yield greater results than simply presenting the opportunity. If you would like the user to enter their comments, a simple instruction such as ‘Enter your message here.’ will encourage that action.

Context

An important part of the web designer’s role is to ensure that user interface elements are clear; any functionality should always be intuitive and obvious to the user. For example, placing controls close to the element they affect makes good design sense.

Feedback

If the interface provides feedback on interactions, the user will feel confident they’ve achieved the desired outcome. An example of this might be a message such as ‘Your email has been sent’; this provides clear confirmation and the user can continue.

These five steps are vital elements in user interface design. An agency offering professional design services should adhere to these principles in order to provide you with the best solution, allowing you to do the same for your own customers.

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Can Waiting Time be Turned into a Positive Experience on the Web?

ux design, uxIn today’s fast paced society, waiting has become something that many of us like to avoid wherever possible. This is just as true on the web as it is in the real world. Studies have found that we are not only much more aware of the passage of time (or apparent lack of it) when waiting, but the more we have to wait, the more we focus on counting minutes that end up seeming like hours. Of course, sometimes having to wait is unavoidable, so just how can this experience be turned into something positive?

Firstly, it’s important to identify a few rules that apply when we wait. Apart from time passing slower, there are some key points that standout. Uncertain and unexplained waits tend to feel much longer than ones that have a time limit or reason. We are also more likely to wait if we know we are going to receive good service (or a good product) at the end. Both of these aspects are fundamental when it comes to transforming our waiting time into something positive, and a number of web design companies have already implemented inventive ways of doing just that.

By addressing the two aspects of unknown waiting time and unexplained waiting time, a design agency can ensure that customers stay interested and browse a site for longer. Some ways of achieving this include adding simple solutions such as a large, clear progress counter, or simply displaying what is being loaded while the visitor waits. This is a great way to balance sites that offer high quality, elaborate features. These features often enhance the user experience, but inevitably take some time to load. A distraction can be the ideal antidote to a boring waiting process. Some sites for example, incorporate a small mini game as a time sink while the loading takes place, or utilise an amusing loading image or progress bar.

Waiting times can also be used to build brands by using recognisable loading images associated with a company.

Photo Credit: www.irisys.co.uk