When I take a look at some great designer’s work, all I ever desire is to design like a legend. I wake up every day to remind myself there is more to learn in becoming the better version of me and to always trust the process.
One of the biggest mistakes we make in any of our chosen career fields is trying to skip mastering the basics. These are what makes the foundation solid and stand you out from the masses in your industry.
One of the articles I read back then says “ Basics first. Anything else is secondary.”
Designing better interfaces involves you to be aware and practice some UI design basics. So without further ado, here are some basics of UI Design that have enabled me to identify and design better UI.
Identify your user
There are always three important questions you have to answer before you start your user interfaces design process.
These are the questions of WHY, HOW, and WHAT
Why are you doing the design?
How are you going to make the why happen?
What are the business and user goals?
Answering those questions will help you to have a better understanding of the user and solve their problems.
When you understand your user, their goals become your goals and this will help you to create an interface that lets them achieve it.
“ It’s not all about designing a beautiful interface but designing an interface that is functional. ”
Follow design patterns
Users expect things to be done in some specific ways they are familiar with called the design pattern.
There is an old saying “ if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it ”. Think about the mobile menu. Designers use the hamburger icon (the three stacked lines), not an exclamation point.
Users will appreciate the familiarity in UI patterns and this will also make the interface easy to use.
Consistency matters in design. Feature placement within your UI is important to be consistent from page to page. Don’t start with a particular font family and end with a different font family. Don’t have the menu on top of one page and at the bottom of another. You have to make sure everything flows in the same direction in your design. This enables your users to have a better understanding of how things work.
Use visual hierarchy
Design your interface in a way that allows the user to have a clear hierarchy for the page view. It leads the user down the page organically and allows them to have a clear purpose of the site.
Large elements that decrease in size as you move through the process, the color, contrast, and placement create a clear path to understand your interface.
Keep it simple
Clarity is one of the factors that enhance simplicity. Maintaining clarity in the user interface you design help the user understand the message you are trying to convey. Joe Sparano would say:
“ Good design is obious. Great design is transparent.”
There must be a reason for adding a feature or element to your interface, this prevents your interface from being loaded with extraneous information. “ Less is more .”
Finally, remember that the great designers have to learn it. All you need to do is to learn the principles of design, master the basics, and dedicate some amount of time every day to browse through experienced designers' projects. Trust the process!