Efficient UI design: a guide to creating user-friendly interfaces

User Interface (UI) design has come a long way since the Xerox Star workstation designed the first interface in 1973. Most industry experts now suggest updating your UI design every three to five years because of the break-neck pace of innovations happening in the world of UI.

Irrespective of the latest UI trends, the goal of UI designers today is to produce user-friendly interfaces that encourage exploration without fear of any negative consequences.

The interface should be visually appealing and engaging. Designers and user experience design services often use relevant images, typography, space, layout, and color to increase the aesthetic appeal and usability of their UI designs.

How to create an efficient UI design

When creating an efficient UI design, there are some principles you need to keep in mind. These guidelines can be applied whether you are new to UI design or looking to improve existing designs of your products or websites.

Here are summaries of the principles for creating an efficient UI design.

Place users in control

An attribute of a great UI design is that it instills a sense of control in its users. To put users in the driver's seat, the design needs to have an easy-to-navigate interface that makes actions easily reversible, accommodates users with different skill levels, provides informative feedback on actions, and displays the system status on tasks performed on the website.

Make the interface familiar

Users spend more time on interfaces that act in a way that’s familiar to their digital experience. While your product should feel unique, it is important to incorporate familiar elements into your design. Familiarity is important because users often leave websites with a steep learning curve and gravitate to those they can easily find their way around.

Reduce the cognitive load

Cognitive load is the amount of mental processing power a user needs to devote to effectively navigate a UI. Efficient UI designs often don’t require users to think or work too hard to use them.

This debunks some popular UI design myths, including “the more the choice, the merrier the user.” As much as possible, keep the user interface easy to understand and use with clear labels and instructions.

The importance of keeping the cognitive load to the barest minimum is compounded if your website is used by multiple target audiences. To reduce the cognitive load of the UI, aim to keep the number of actions required to complete a task at a minimum and use visuals to clarify actions.

Make it visually appealing

Generally, well-designed UIs increase usability, thus attracting more traffic and use time. In addition, good visuals play an important role in reducing the cognitive load because more people recognize the meaning of the image than recalling written content.

Make the UI consistent

This is one of the most important properties of a good user interface. Consistency allows users to transfer the knowledge they have from one page of the website or app to the next, without needing to learn new things.

Make the UI consistent
Make the UI consistent

In creating a consistent UI, the visual styles need to be the same throughout the app or website. In addition, the UI design should function the same way throughout the pages. Consistent interfaces create trust in users, as they know what to expect about the apps/websites they use. This factor should be considered in the ideation process for UX design.

Test and iterate

After a UI design is complete, it is the users who decide if it is efficient or not. After completing a UI design, it is important to pretest the UI interface. Look for the most referenced feedback from your test audience because it could provide insight into areas that need improvement. The feedback should be used as a guide for improvements to further improve the efficiency of the UI.

In conclusion

Keeping these principles in mind when working on your next project can help you create a more efficient UI that is easy for users to understand and use. Designing a user interface with efficiency in mind can help improve the user experience and overall success of your website or application.

Serhii Hyliuk

Head of Growth

Head of Growth and Customer Success. I'm interested in design, new tech, fashion, exploring new places and languages. My mission is to make our clients happy.

Head of Growth and Customer Success. I'm interested in design, new tech, fashion, exploring new places and languages. My mission is to make our clients happy.

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