In our series “Motee Minute”, we let our Motees have their say on the latest tech trends — unfiltered, frank, and opinionated. This week we’re hearing from Sergej. Sergej is a UI / UX Designer at Motius. His main area of expertise is UX/UI projects, where he mostly works on creating conceptual designs for applications and websites. Before joining Motius, he worked on many corporate identities, product, and industrial design projects in Russia, China, and the USA. Today, he will give his best tips for designing a smooth, beautiful UX Design.
Are You Adding Animations?
Having good visuals and an interface that is perfect down to the pixel is not enough to stand out among many apps. Without animations, even the most elaborate interfaces can confuse users and make them feel like they’re making choices without context. Good animation takes the user experience of your design to the next level, making it enjoyable and smooth. Animations, sometimes combined with audio and haptic feedback (in the case of mobile apps), make the abstract experience of using an app more tactile and closer to reality, which reduces cognitive load because the user can recognize context and all connections more quickly when using the app.
The main objectives of any animation in your application are to provide context and to direct the user’s attention to a manageable and fluid experience. Animations help connect unconnected screens, so the user never feels lost when navigating and using your app or website.
Restraint is key to getting the best out of animation. It’s tempting to get carried away and animate everything on the screen, but this negates the core value of adding motion in the first place.
Do You Know Your User?
A digital product that is irrelevant to the user and does not take into account their needs will never be successful. Even if you are a tech giant, ignoring the user’s wishes still won’t work. What will happen? The product will simply fall into oblivion, as happened in our examples.
It was a long time ago, back in early 2013. The mobile app Hailo, whose mission was to provide good taxi fares in New York, received a $100 million investment. But by October 2014, the developer company had gone bankrupt. What didn’t the developers consider? That taxi drivers in New York were not using mobile devices. It wasn’t that the developer didn’t pay attention to the users’ needs, it forgot that the users themselves existed.
Another example is the Yik Yak app. The app was aimed at schoolchildren and students and allowed them to exchange anonymous messages. Users liked the idea, and in 2013 the app raised $75 million, and in 2014 it had an estimated market value of $400 million. But in 2017, the developers had to scrap it completely. Why? The reason is that although the developers had identified their target audience, they hadn’t considered their specific behavior. Guess what, this audience wanted to send trolling messages and lots of them. A lot. The developers failed to do a good job of controlling all the information coming in. At first, they limited the number of users, app downloads dropped by 75%, and gradually the remaining users began to abandon Yik Yak on their own.
Are You Consistent?
Consistency is a very important principle in life and in design. We can’t get far without it. Consistent design is intuitive design. It is highly useful and helps the user to navigate through the interface.
Ensure that visual and text elements complement one another, including:
- Button sizes
All design elements should be ordered in a grid that allows the arrangement of all components in an efficient and aesthetic way. People who will be using your designs, be it digital or not, have been around for some time. This means they have experienced and learned other designs, and know the patterns used in them. Always keep those in mind!
These two sources will help you to look into patterns in more detail:
Are You Using White Space Wisely?
White space is a key element of good design. Creating a proper margin — also known as negative space — around content helps text blocks and images stand out on the page, also giving the elements the right logical hierarchy.
According to the conversion tool Crazy Egg, users’ attention can be increased by 20% only by padding text, titles, and images with white space. Spacing is what makes your website feel open and easy to use. This “breathing room” enhances how attractive and readable your content is.
We can also define white space as being passive or active. Passive white space doesn’t have a specific role in the design other than facilitating the user experience. The main goal is to make the content easier to read and understand. Active white space guides the focus and attention of users. It’s more about standing out and making a point.
Also, when looking for a balance between white space and the positioning of elements on the page, keep in mind Hick’s Law, which states that the more choices users face, the longer it will take them to make a decision. This presents a challenge for designers of all types, making it imperative to offer the most useful set of options to avoid frustrating the user, keeping those options on a consistent and enough margin from each other.
Are You Using Original Images?
Visual content is increasingly important to users. According to MDG Advertising, 67% of users rate high-quality photos as being very important to an online purchase decision — even higher than reviews and ratings. Also, according to a study by VWO, replacing stock photos with product or service images increase conversions by a minimum of 45%.
Thus, there are many ways in which you can improve the design of your product. There is always something that can be improved.
“There are three responses to a piece of design — yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.” — Milton Glaser