Creating a great user experience (UX) is crucial for any business. When it comes to designing apps and websites, there are several key principles that can help you achieve an intuitive and user-friendly interface. In this blog post, we'll discuss some of the most important principles that we focus on when working with clients, such as consistency, inclusivity, responsiveness, simplicity, clarity, and speed.
Essential Design Principles for Great UX
When clients come to us looking for UX/UI design assistance, one thing we look for is consistency. If the goal of UX design is to create a system that is intuitive and user-friendly, inconsistency disrupts user flow and increases pain points and frustration. Some examples of consistency that improve overall UX include placing a primary call-to-action (CTA) buttons in the same place across form UIs in the app, providing the same visual feedback for error states, and using distinct navigation patterns for getting from a parent to a child element or from step to step in a workflow. Check out this article for insight on types of consistency to look out for.
Great app design is inclusive. If your focus is on human-centered design, you have to consider who is using your platform, their lifestyle, and background, and what they’re capable of doing. Some examples of universally important accessible design considerations include color contrast, easily readable text, alt tags for images, closed captions for videos, and clear-form labels.
Apple said it best:
“Inclusive design gives more people the opportunity to enjoy your app by ensuring that everyone can use and understand it. These three best practices can help you create an inclusive app:
1) design with accessibility in mind
2) support personalization
3) audit and test your app for accessibility.”
Responsive design is an approach to creating content that scales or transforms in relationship to the browser window size on which the app or website is being viewed. This allows the same website code to look one way on a large second monitor, but also fit perfectly on a mobile device screen. This design approach helps increase functionality, readability, and user engagement when interacting on sites across multiple devices. When working with team's to design or improve apps, we look at what percent of user traffic comes from each device size and discuss strategies to provide good experiences across all device sizes while giving extra attention to where we see the most traffic. If we’re working with an e-commerce website with 75% or more traffic coming in on mobile, we design “mobile first” and spend extra effort when testing on mobile devices to make sure everything is perfect. If we’re working with a B2B SaaS company that has users primarily setting at their laptops and a second monitor for work, we make sure dashboards and report data tables scale up to make use of extra space on large monitors in a way that creates workflow efficiency for the end user.
Ever visited a site or used an app that is overloaded with information? In our opinion, less is more. Sites with screens that are cluttered with text, funky images and graphics, awkward buttons, and annoying popups generally see bounce rates higher than 70%. When working with clients that have B2B apps that help users navigate large amounts of data to make decisions, we spend time interviewing users and potential customers to understand how the app fits into their workflow, what decisions need to be made, and how they prioritize features to make sure apps help proactively call out what needs their attention and user interfaces are quick and easy to navigate when they need to input data or review information.
Another aspect we look for when enhancing UX design is clarity. If you’re working on a marketing or e-commerce website, does it pass the “five-second test?” If you have a new user load the site and look at the page for five seconds do they understand what your business offers? If you’re creating a SaaS product, is a user able to sign up for a subscription and onboard themselves easily? Do they understand the product enough after the first use, that they continue to return and engage with the product’s core features? Following each of the design principles in this list will help achieve clarity, but strong UX copywriting can also have a significant impact. Anticipate user questions and write content to address them proactively. For example, make sure form titles and input labels are clear. If there is a common point of confusion, add help text or a tooltip to address the question on the screen to reduce customer support needs.
According to Radware Research, 57% of consumers leave websites that take more than 3 seconds to load. Websites with slow loading times increase user pain points and result in poor UX. You can decrease page load speed and improve overall UX by compressing images, enabling caching, and minifying your CSS and JS files.
Creating a great UX is essential for any business. By focusing on these 6 principles, you can ensure that your apps and websites are intuitive, user-friendly, and engaging for your users. Remember that great UX design is a continuous process, and it's important to keep testing and iterating to improve the experience for your users. If you're looking for help with UX/UI design, feel free to contact us for a consultation.