Nowadays, there is increasing competition between companies at websites, web applications, and mobile applications levels. They compete to make innovations and presentations that meet the users’ needs. One of their efforts is by focusing on building more effective and attractive user interfaces (UIs) to boost user experiences and interactions.
This article will define UIs are, outline the formats and essential components, and some rules of thumb in designing UIs.
User Interfaces – What are they?
User interface—or commonly UI—is a know-how of graphical layout for a web or applications. The elements of user interfaces—animations, texts, transitions, images, etc.— construct a visual language. They create the proper display the users see on the web pages and interactivity.
UI ensures consistency across any content, providing user-friendly navigation while operating any electronic or communication devices. For example, you can think about scrollbars, buttons, menu items, checkboxes, and other small interactions.
Designing UI requires aesthetics since the ultimate purpose is to reflect or deliver the desired message, characters, or even personalities. It is true with content marketing, in which many businesses have applied UI as a way to turn users into loyal customers.
User Interfaces – The Formats
Efficient user interfaces should be appealing to the human senses like sight, auditory, touch, etc. Input devices for user interactions are, among others, keyboard, microphone, mouse, touch screen, e-pen, fingerprint scanner, or camera. Meanwhile, speakers, monitors, or printers belong to output devices. Let’s see a few UI types or formats.
Multimedia user interfaces. The users use multiple senses to interact with the devices or the content. For instance, users use a keyboard and mouse (tactile input) with a monitor and speaker (visual and auditory outputs).
Graphic user interfaces. The interaction between users and visual representations through digital control panels. A computer desktop is one example (using a keyboard as tactile input and monitor as visual output).
Menu-driven user interfaces. The users will find UI in a list of navigation options in a program or a web. One of the most common examples is ATM.
Voice user interfaces (VUI) or voice-controlled interfaces. The interactions between users and devices through auditory or voice commands. Virtual smart assistants are VIUs, such as iPhone’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa. Other examples are GPS, talk-to-text, etc.
Touch user interfaces. The users engage with any device through touch (haptic or tactile input). Today’s smartphones, tablets, and other touch-screen gadgets are some examples.
Gesture-based user interfaces. The users interact with an especially 3D design using their body (physical) motions. One of the instances is VR (virtual reality) games.
Form-based user interfaces. The users use this UI to input data into an application or a program by choosing from limited options. A setting menu on a machine or device is one of the examples.
User Interfaces – The Elements and Examples
The following are essential elements of user interfaces and a few common examples.
- Input Controls
By using input controls, the users can input any information into the system. There are two necessary input controls, namely control on commands and text field.
The navigational elements help users move around easily or browse through a web, content, or product. The iOS tab bars or the Android’s hamburger menu are two of the most common examples.
This informational element shares information with the users.
Containers are one of the IU elements that unite or stick related content together.
More examples of IU elements users usually come across are buttons, breadcrumbs, icons, cards, checkboxes, feeds, dropdowns, forms, toggles, tap bars, and more.
Designing User Interfaces – Rules of Thumb
The designers should know some of the following aspects before designing any impactful user interface.
- Knowing the targeted users
The UI designers should know the user characteristics for particular websites, including their know-how, experiences, and needs.
- Likeability and user-friendly (usability)
UI has the function to help users find any information they need on the websites easily. The designers need to create enjoyable or at least less frustrating user interfaces, so the users will keep coming back. The use of simple yet important patterns, along with gamification, can be helpful here.
Consistent UIs help the users easily understand other functions of the tools in the web or apps, hence improving their effectiveness.
Users find IU designs as good if they can communicate the brand values and evoke trust. By using the elements of user interfaces, you can make them the presenter of proper display of the web or apps that will lead to the user’s loyalty or even convert them into customers.