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HomeTECHNOLOGYUser Interface: What It Is And How To Design A UI

User Interface: What It Is And How To Design A UI

What is a user interface or UI? How the User Experience Design (User Interface Designer) creates top software. Look at the golden rules! The UX and examples.

User interface and its design

In the age of technology, apps, websites, and software everywhere, the user interface is the key to moving comfortably… How many times have you entered a mobile application and felt lost?

That useless design, the only thing it brings us is. Frustration and a waste of time! To solve this “chaos” is the user interface design by the so-called UI Designer.

If a product wants to achieve success, it must be simple and have usability!

Before we go into more detail, we must be very organized with the super important information! Using tools to design a user interface, for example, in an organization chart, helps to evaluate better, visualize and understand the graphic decisions of the project, above all, to avoid future problems.

What is the user interface?

A user interface is the visual presentation of the interaction between a device with software, a product or service, and a user. Also called UI ( User Interface ), transforms certain signals, images, symbols, or actions of a system to make them understandable to the human being. A simplification of the concept…

The goal of a good interface is to provide a more efficient, intuitive, coordinated, simple, and easy-to-remember experience.

We always consider digital products when we talk about user interfaces. Although it is the most common, it is equally useful for all types of articles, services, or companies: simplifying tasks or performing them without distractions, improving communication or strengthening the brand, having an organized structure, etc.

This part is very important for creating a brand identity and building user loyalty. Although the changes are not so noticeable now, a few years ago, the difference between a phone with the iOS operating system and a phone with the Android system was a world!

Now I will show you a simple GUI example so you understand the potential. In 2007 Apple launched the first touch mobile…

Which one do you like the most? … Apple was possibly the first technology company to fully exploit the concept that technology should adapt to people, not the other way around.

It managed to highlight in users’ minds that their phones are easy to use, with very good apps that are intuitive and don’t fail… How was it achieved? To a large extent, with a revolutionary user interface design.

The design coordinating the relationship between technology and the consumer is the fundamental pillar supporting whether the software is easy or difficult to use. And therefore, an essential asset for any company that wants to be in the most modern market.

UI user interface design

Entire books discuss technological design adapted to the client; it is impossible to highlight it in an article, but we will see and understand the bases. First, a few quick questions:

  • Who is the UI designer? THE UI Designer, as they call it in English, creates effective communication between the software and the human being. How? Using interface design rules.
  • Who does it? The person in charge of designing the user interface is the software engineer applying predefined processes and principles according to a UI design.
  • Why is it so important? If we are dealing with a difficult tool, we force the client to make mistakes to reach a certain goal; then, they will not like it.
  • What is the user interface design process? The method is based on correlating different elements that need each other…
  • What is the final product? Visual coordination is created through tools to make mockups, organization charts, diagrams, etc. The prototype of the interface that is interactive and active appears.
  • How to make sure that everything works well? Tests are carried out with real users so that all the software and the interactivity between technology and user run well.

We already know what UI Design means, but… How is it done? How the elements are built and designed so the client or consumer is comfortable.

Also Read: Keys To Know If It Is Time To Renew Your Website

Golden Rules of user interface design

In 1996, Theo Mandel revolutionized the landscape of software developers with his book “The Golden Rules of User Interface Design” (The Golden Rules of User Interface Design).

It laid the foundations that constitute a set of principles for designing user interfaces, almost nothing! Where they are grouped into three key objectives:

  • Leave control over the user.
  • Reduce the memory load needed by the user.
  • Make the interface work in a consistent way.

Each of these objectives must be developed to fulfill its integral function. It is our turn to explain the golden rules of user interface design …

1. Leaving control over the user

Building limitations and restrictions embedded in the interface simplifies the programmer’s job but can be frustrating for the user.

Design principles for user control are:

  • The user cannot be forced to carry out unwanted or necessary actions.
  • If applicable, allow flexible user interaction with different elements, from a keyboard or mouse to the touch screen.
  • Every action has to be reversible or interrupted by the user.
  • Allow customization and enable options to avoid repetition.
  • Do not expose technical elements to the occasional user, who does not need to know them.
  • Design an interaction of objects that the user can manipulate. The feeling of control according to work needs!

2. Reduce the memory load that the user needs

When users have to remember many things, it’s easy for them to make mistakes while interacting. Not overloading the memory of users is the goal of:

  • The interface must be designed to diminish the user’s need to remember actions, results, and elements of the past.
  • The preset visual must be coherent with the common user recognizable! In addition, an item to “reset” (restore original values) should appear.
  • Create shortcuts that are intuitive and easy to access.
  • Create a visual interface where the most important elements resemble the real world.
  • The information must be disclosed progressively.

3. Make the interface work consistently

The information must be organized according to specific and understandable rules for continuously and discontinuously interacting with users. The principles are…

  • Allow to know the context of the work in progress. It is important to give indicators!
  • All applications or products must have the same design and interaction rules.

If the interaction models are standard for the user, you know them, do not make changes unless it is an unavoidable reason.

As we have considered, UI Design is very broad. It covers a lot of elements that together form an essential aspect in many companies in the technology sector. But… Isn’t UX Design the same as UI? The user experience.

UX and UI user experience design

The UI is closely related to UX design and user experience design ( User Experience Design), and often they need clarification, or we believe they are the same. However, they are not the same; they are two different sections that form the essence of good software to achieve the desired objectives.

The UX designer focuses on researching and analyzing the needs of the client-user to improve sales (conversions) or a certain objective, usability, or the flows that users practice, but also other topics.

For example, it is concerned that the information architecture is correct or easy to access. From reviewing the product or proposing improvements based on data analysis, a lot of work!

UI and UX designers are already specializations that are part of technicians who come from the world of fine arts, graphics, graphic design, or even psychology.

And… What is the difference between a UI designer and a Front developer? The Front developer is the one who creates an element through code according to the indications established by UI/UX; they all work together!

So… What about the Graphic Designer? The graphic designer is in charge of making the brand’s visual identity, banner design, advertising, etc.

Clearly, the bigger the company, the more technical the departments are. In a small company, a technician will be in charge of everything, that’s the truth!

Types of digital interfaces that exist and examples

Graphical User Interface (GUI): Uses images, icons, and menus to display the actions available on a device that the user works on. This type of interface is fully present in our day-to-day lives when we visit a website, a program, an app, etc.

Menu-based interface: the structure is based on a series of screens or “menus” to perform a specific action. 100% of programs, whether online or not, need these actions, for example, Excel or Word ….File> Save as> In JPG format.

Question and answer interfaces:

  • It is one that the computer shows a screen to interact with.
  • An answer is entered with a click.
  • The system acts on that information in a pre-programmed way.
  • Questionnaires and instructions support it until a particular objective is finally reached. For example, when we want to download software, the wizard helps us install it easily and intuitively.

Command line interface: It is a text-based system interacting with the PC. It is more used for technical users, and the perfect example is all operating systems ( Linux, Windows, macOS, etc.)

Touch screen graphical interface: is the system by which users interact on a touch screen. Of course, it is already the most common in today’s technology. As an example in its own right, touch mobile phones, but we also have car GPS and a thousand other things.

Conversational or natural interface: they are the dream of non-specialized users because they allow daily communication between humans and machines; that is, their use does not require specific knowledge to control it like the programming language. For example, personal assistants like Siri or Alexa.

Also Read: The Importance Of User Experience

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