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All About UI UX Design Principles

UX UI Design Principles

Businesses that wish to remain competitive in today’s digital world must ensure customers enjoy using their products and services. This process means giving customers a great experience, including making the product easy to use. That is why businesses turn to UI/UX designers to meet these needs and ensure success.

But what constitutes a sound UI/UX design? This article explores practical UI UX design principles. We will start by defining UI/UX design and what we mean by design principles, then explore the best UI/UX design principles for today’s digital customers. We’ll also share an excellent UI UX design program you can take to boost your skills.

We begin our journey by defining UI/UX design.

What is UI/UX Design?

User interface (or UI for short) design describes the aesthetic elements people use to interact with a product, including things like buttons, colors, icons, menu bars, typography, etc. UI interface design principles involve the digital product’s aesthetics. Consequently, there are many similarities between UI designers and graphic designers.

User experience (also called UX) design refers to user experiences when interacting with a service or product. UX encompasses all aspects of the customer’s interaction with the company, including its services and products. The UX designer acts as the customer’s advocate, and UX design principles focus on making the customer experience fantastic.

Also Read: UI/UX Designer Salary: What Can You Expect?

What Do We Mean By UI/UX Design Principles?

Both UI and UX design are dynamic fields that require creativity and research. Design principles are the signposts that guide designers in their efforts to maximize their UI and UX designs. These principles are the tried and tested rules to follow.

Let’s briefly break down UI and UX principles separately, then explore the combined principles in the next section. There is overlap between the two fields, but each is also distinctive.

User Interface Design Principles

  • Accessibility: Designers must consider factors such as font size, color contrast, and keyboard accessibility.
  • Color: Color conveys emotion and meaning. Designers should pick their colors carefully, considering factors like cultural associations and color blindness.
  • Consistency: Products must have a consistent design language throughout, incorporating recognizable and easy-to-use elements. Consistent design elements make customers feel more comfortable and familiar with the service or product.
  • Feedback: The interface should provide timely and clear feedback to users so they know if they have completed a function successfully or if there are errors to be corrected. Feedback forms include animations, sounds, or visual cues.
  • Flexibility: Products should accommodate different user needs and preferences, like different languages, screen sizes, or other factors.
  • Simplicity: The product should be designed to be as simple as possible, eschewing extraneous features or distractions that take away from the user’s experience. Simple interfaces keep users focused on the task at hand.
  • Typography: Typography affects readability and accessibility. Designers should select fonts that are easy to read and suitable for the product and target audience.
  • Visual Hierarchy: This principle uses techniques such as color, size, and contrast to create a visual hierarchy that makes it easy for customers to understand the most vital information on the page.

User Experience Principles

  • Accessibility: The product should be designed for all users, including those with disabilities or who employ assistive technology. Thus, designers should consider factors like color contrast, font size, and keyboard accessibility.
  • Clarity: The product should be designed with concise, straightforward language so that customers understand what they’re seeing and what they are supposed to do.
  • Consistency: The product must have a consistent design language with recognizable and easy-to-use elements.
  • Efficiency: The product should be designed to help customers accomplish tasks as efficiently as possible without needing unnecessary steps or actions.
  • Emotion: UX design must focus on creating an engaging and enjoyable product for customers. This process means designers must consider emotions and create a product that users will love. By creating a product that is easy to use and enjoyable, designers can create a loyal user base that will keep returning for more.
  • Feedback: The product should offer users a means to give clear and timely feedback to know if they have accomplished a task successfully or if issues need to be addressed.
  • Flexibility: The product should accommodate different user needs and preferences, including different languages, screen sizes, and other considerations.
  • Simplicity: The product should be designed as simple as possible, avoiding extraneous features or distractions that diminish the user’s experience.
  • Usability: The product must be intuitive and easy to navigate, including clear and concise instructions. Users should be able to accomplish desired tasks quickly and easily without becoming frustrated or confused.

UI/UX Design Principles

Let’s combine these UI and UX design principles and establish unified guidelines. Sharp-eyed readers will notice that some of these principles were already covered in either or both previous guidelines.

  • Your First Priority is Meeting the User’s Needs. UI/UX design is, above all else, user-centered, so you must ensure that the design meets the user’s needs. Your design must help the users seamlessly achieve their desired outcome.
  • Practice Consistency and Follow Standards. The design should follow a set of standards and use consistent concepts throughout the whole product. This consistency lets users become familiar with new products, so when they learn to operate one product, they already know how to use subsequent products from the same manufacturer. Look at how Microsoft handles UI design, for example.
  • Achieve Harmony Between the System and the Real World. The design should be rendered in the user’s language and use the same concepts they are already familiar with in the real world. Steer clear of jargon or technical terms; simple language makes the design easier to understand and eliminates ambiguity. Additionally, design elements should be like their real-world representations. For example, a trashcan icon tells the user where to find deleted emails. Although, honestly, it’s odd that many designers use a floppy disk icon for “save” since that technology is now ancient by IT standards!
  • Incorporate Aesthetics and Minimalist Design. Remember: less is more! Refrain from overwhelming users with irrelevant or useless information. Minimalist designs help users focus on their goals without getting distracted by overly florid designs. Information bits shouldn’t be competing for the users’ attention. Each screen should contain only items relevant to the task while providing precise and visible means for users to navigate to other content.
  • Employ a Hierarchy. The hierarchy outlines how the content or information is organized throughout your design. Which screen comes first? Which elements or data require more attention, and which are a lower priority? Hierarchy determines the order in which information is consumed and processed. A clear hierarchy helps users quickly scan for the necessary information and smoothly perform their tasks.
  • Offer as Much Accessibility as Possible. The product design should be helpful to as many people as reasonably possible, including people with disabilities such as visual impairments. Texts should have a clear background contrast, meaning you should avoid using colors that everyone can’t see.
  • The System Status Must Be Clearly Visible. Users need to receive clear and timely feedback on the actions they take. The product design must inform them about what’s happening and show users the system status. For example, if a user downloads a file, an ideal design should show a progress bar or similar display to show how much time is left for the download.
  • Give Users Control and Freedom. The design should give users adequate controls, allowing them to redo, undo, and cancel an action.
  • Recognition Over Recall. It is easier to recognize things than it is to recall them. The product design should keep actions, options, etc., visible to lessen the demands on the user’s memory. In other words, users shouldn’t have to remember information from one display to another. A website asking for a user’s name and password every time it’s accessed gets frustrating.
  • Practice Flexibility and Efficiency of Use. Both new and expert users should easily use the product design. It should be simple for new users to learn but also have shortcuts for experts to do things faster.
  • Help Users Recognize, Resolve, and Recover from Errors. Make error messages straightforward, actionable, and rendered in plain language. The design should tell the users what went wrong and suggest solutions.
  • Offer Help and Documentation. Although users usually want to navigate a product without having to deal with documentation, it’s sometimes unavoidable. So, documentation should be easy to find and relevant to the user’s current task. The product design should help users where and when they need it.

Also Read: The UI UX Design Process: Everything You Need to Know

Do You Want UI UX Training?

If you’re interested in a UI/UX design career or want to boost your existing UI or UX skills, why not check out this UI UX design bootcamp to upskill? This challenging 20-week bootcamp teaches you about the top design tools like Balsamiq, Figma, Invision, Sketch, and Mural, and features masterclasses taught by industry professionals. You will even design your Dribble portfolio to showcase your newly acquired design talents to potential employers.

According to the Glassdoor.com job site, UI UX designers in the United States can potentially make a yearly salary of $86,195.

Sign up for this bootcamp today, and get involved in the exciting UI/UX design world!

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