10 User-Interface Design Tips that Makes Your Site More Human-Friendly

user interface

What are your priorities when designing a user-interface for your Singapore website? Is it attractiveness or cool effects? Or is it the functionality to improve the user experience? What truly matters when designing user interface?

A website is more than just a group of linked pages: it is a web interface where a person or a business meet, communicate and interact with clients, customers and web visitors online. As a web designer, it is your responsibility to ensure that site visitors have the best experience possible when interacting with your website.

And the easiest way of ensuring your site visitor has a good experience is by mastering the key factors that make interface interactive. Let’ start from the beginning, shall we?

1. Know Your Target Audience

As a designer, you craft a user interface to solve somebody`s problem. You need to understand the aim of your site visitors and what they are struggling with. You need to know who is visiting your site.

Knowing your target user gives you the knowledge of the market. But it goes beyond doing a careful analysis of your market stats. Understanding your users at an empathy level extends to conducting a face to face talk, examining them using your products and perhaps, going deeper to asking them questions. And that would be deeper than what you think about the design.

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user interface

Getting yourself into the shoes of your site visitors enables you to design a web user inter-phase that addresses their problems.

2.  Explain to the Public How to Use Your Interface

After creating your interface, tell people how to use it. With the increasing popularity and prevalence of touched-based devices, it is critical to let people know how to interact with your app or site.

For instance, in the Tinder app, the use of simple swipes defines the user experience.

People interact with websites and apps in two ways, either directly or indirectly.

Direct Interaction

In direct interaction, a person interacts with an element of the product. For example, he taps a button, swipe cards or drag and drops an item.

Indirectly Interaction

In indirect interaction, a person interacts with an external element to the product. Examples include pointing and clicking with the mouse, using key command or short cut, typing information into a form field, and drawing in a Wacom tablet.

Your decision on the type of interaction to choose depends on who your users are and the kind of device they use to surf your site or app.

For instance, if you`re designing for the seniors or people with limited manual ability, most likely, you`ll consider swiping as the interaction mode.  And if you`re developing for writers or coders, who mostly interact with apps using the keyboard you`d likely consider keyboard shortcuts to minimise working with a mouse.

3.  Make The Results of a Certain Action Clear

When you interact with a website or an app, one action leads to a consequence. For example, clicking a button may mean spending money, deleting a site, or publishing a comment about something.  And results come with anxiety.

So spell it out clearly to the user to know what will happen when they do specific actions on your site or app.

Here are simple ways to inform the user of the result of their actions in your interface.

  • Highlight the button that corresponds to the expected, e.g. “click here to sign out.”
  • Use widely understood symbols such as a trash can for delete button, a shopping cart to add an item in a shopping list, and a hand lens sign for search.
  • Pick out a colour with relevant meaning, like green for “go” and red for “stop.”

And more importantly, for irreversible actions like permanent deletion of an account, it is rational to ask the user to confirm.

4.  Expect Mistakes

People make mistakes, but they shouldn’t always suffer the consequences. There are two ways to lessen the impacts of human error. One is preventing an error from happening, and another is fixing the mistake when it happens.

Expecting the mistakes is far more satisfying than trying to fix the error after they happen. But sometimes you`ll have to let the mistake happen. And that`s where detailed error messages come in.

Write error messages. However, consider 2 things below:

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  • Explain the problem, e.g. Your password must contain at least one special characters
  • Explain how to fix it, e.g. Enter a valid email

5. Give Quick Feedback

Many digital interfaces do not give back feedback or give slow feedback. Offering quick feedback can make you stand out in your market.

For example, if you place a download animation, make the button pop and snub back when a user taps it but not too much. Moreover, when a user does something of mutual interest, let the user interface thank them or congratulate them.

6. Consider Element Size and Placement Carefully

When an item on your interface is closer or bigger, the user is likely to put the cursor or a finger on it. This has three significant implications in UI design.

  • Make buttons and other click targets big enough to easily see and click. This extends to menus, and separate link lists. Improper sizing will leave people clicking the wrong links.
  • Make the buttons to the most critical actions larger
  • Place the navigation bars at the edge of the screen

7. Pay Attention to Standards

It is right to be inventive, but only when it improves the design. Some time the redesigned version of an interface can make people think of where they`ve come .from.

8. Make Your Interfaces Easy to Use

Limit the number of things people have to remember when using your interface. Break bulky information into small digestible chunks. The simpler the interface, the easier it is for the user to remember.

You can mask a complicated app behind a simplified user interface. You can then tap into the concept of progressive disclosure where advanced features open in the secondary interface.

9. Ease Decision-Making for the User

Many websites appear to scream with banners and ads for visitors to view or subscribe. The more the options you present to a user the harder it becomes for them to make decisions. This gives you all the reasons to design a calmer user-interface. This explains why all landing pages and non-newsletter emails have one call to action.

10. Listen to Data

We all wish our website designs were evaluated purely on artistic merit. But it is essential to give your art a reality check and optimise it to meet the objectives.

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Users research and testing are incredibly crucial in guiding your design decision toward reaching your site`s goal. But more important is the data you gather after the launch.

Set up analytics to your site and analyse them regularly. There a bunch of analytic tools out there, but Google Analytic works well with your project. It enables you to collect data based on action visitors take on your site, session time, and traffic sources.

With that, many sites have used these tips from Webflow and built engaging interactions and intuitive interactions. Here are some of the websites:

Expanding Circle navigation

Do you buy a girl that drink?

Uniqlo Redesign

The Bottom Line,

A website user-interface is more than just the design. The thing that matters most, is how the visitor will comfortably interact with your site. To ensure good user-experience, know your target audience, and craft an interface that tries to address their struggles. Contact us today for more details on how to optimise your site interface and digital marketing in Singapore. 

Author Bio

Tom Koh is widely recognised as a leading SEO consultant in Asia who has worked to transform the online visibility of the leading organisations such as SingTel, Capitaland, Maybank, P&G, WWF, etc. Recently he was instrumental in consulting for a New York-based US$30B fund in an US$4Bn acquisition. Tom is a Computational Science graduate of the National University of Singapore. In his free time he performs pro-bono community work and traveling.
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March 18, 2019

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