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Different types of UI design every UI designer must know

Choosing the right type of UI design is the first important task your UI designers will do. Here are the main types of UI design you should consider for your product.

18 January, 2023
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User interface (UI) design is an integral part of any web or app design as it determines the usability and effectiveness of the final product. This aspect of design also contributes to the overall user experience (UX) and success of your project; it consists of the visual design and interaction parts of the site/app.

Poor UI design will negatively affect your product’s user experience design solutions, which is why you need to hire professional and experienced UI designers, who understand the different types of UI design and how each design should relate to the key pillars of UX design for the best results.

You should also familiarize yourself with all important aspects of UI design, including the various types of UI design, as well as the most common UI design myths. This knowledge will help you to hire the right UI designers for your sites and mobile apps.

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Types of UI design

As the space through which users interact with the digital product, UI should be simple and friendly to the user. Therefore, choosing the right type of UI design is the first important task you and your UI designers will do. Here are the main types of UI design that you should consider for your site or app:

Command line interface (CLI)

This was one of the first user interfaces designed for modern computers. It’s exactly what it sounds like, a simple line where the user can type in commands that the computer will execute.

Previously, this UI design was very popular, but it’s no longer considered a popular form of the basic user interface for everyday consumer sites, apps, and other digital products. It’s still in use today in most development environments but doesn’t apply to mainstream uses.

First, the computer is instructed to go to the necessary file or index, from which a whole series of commands can be accessed, including file retrieval and running programs, among others. Command line UI design helps to create a simple structure and doesn’t require a lot of memory space.

This design is perfect for slow and low-memory machines. Furthermore, it allows a professional CLI user to command machines and performs other important tasks more quickly than when using other UI designs. However, CLI design is quite complex for new users and the command language is difficult to learn. Plus, it requires minimal error message data.

Graphical user interface (GUI)

GUI design is the most popular type of UI design. It allows users to interact with machines using a mouse, tack pads, or any other peripheral. These tools are used for pointing and clicking on graphics and icons.

The good thing about GUI design is the fact that it’s self-explanatory, easy to use, and doesn’t require you to memorize a command list. It also allows you to run multiple apps, programs, and tasks simultaneously. GUI offers solid support services and uses the same format among different programs for familiarity.

Designing and formatting the GUI is easym thanks to WYSIWYG. However, this UI design uses a lot of memory, making slow-running machines even slower.


Menu-driven interface design offers a wide range of commands and options that come as a list or menu. These commands can be displayed in full-screen, drop-down, pop-up, or pull-down menus. A perfect example of a menu-driven interface design is the design used in automated teller machines (ATMs).

With this UI design, you don’t need to memorize long lists of manual instructions. It also helps to create a simple interface for novice users and features self-explanatory menu choices. However, it can slow expert users down and only offers restricted menu options. Furthermore, it requires the user to access multiple menu screens to complete simple tasks.

Touchscreen graphical user interface

This UI design is almost similar to the ordinary GUI design, but users are expected to use their fingers or styluses to click on icons and complete other tasks, instead of a mouse or trackpad. A touchscreen GUI design is commonly used in smartphones, tablets, medical devices, and other digital machines with touchscreens.

It offers the same benefits and setbacks as the regular GUI design, except that its interactions are more intimate. Furthermore, the lack of a mouse and trackpad makes this design more convenient than the standard GUI design. Lastly, its menu options are self-explanatory.

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