The UX, or user experience, is as important as the user interface (UI) when designing a website or app. In order to ensure a pleasant, smooth experience for users, you need to consider several factors that affect how they perceive your site and what mood your content and design sets. The best way to gain inspiration for a great UI/UX design is to look at successful websites and apps in your market or others that users already love. By examining what makes a UI great, you’ll be able to replicate the emotions, mood, and ease of use of some of the leading web content in your niche. There are several specific factors affecting overall UI and UX quality and cohesion that should be noted in particular. Read ahead to discover how to take advantage of these factors and create your own inspired interactive web content.
First Impressions with UX Design
When you set out to make a website, the first thing on your mind should be its purpose and value. Expressing the purpose and value accurately is equally important, and most users will naturally try to determine what your site’s main functions are by observing the content on your homepage or landing page. It’s therefore of utmost importance to state your main goals, type of business, and what services you provide right up front on your home page. For example, if you’re building a website that offers photography services, you’ll want to mention photography, scheduling, prices, and available services rendered right up front, to distinguish your site from a simple portfolio. This is all part of the UX, or user experience.
Allowing your visitors to find out your primary services and functions within the first few seconds of looking at your landing page will help avoid any frustration or confusion. To find out just how much information should be displayed on your landing page, take a look at some of the top sites in your niche. A great example is Microsoft’s AI Research Area. This website states its general topic in large letters which the eye is drawn to before anything else. Next, users will notice the one-line mission statement, and detailed subheading throughout the home page. There is no ambiguity as to the site’s purpose, value, or functionality, leaving the users satisfied and understanding of the website’s goals.
UI at a Glance
Practicality and ambiguity aside, your users will also be processing the overall visual details and aesthetics of your site or app within the first few seconds of visiting it. This is a factor in the design process where you can draw tons of inspiration from external sources. To make a website with a great UI, you’ll need to again start with the first impression. Different colors can set varying moods across your website’s front end. Depending on your area of focus, choose colors that set an appropriate mood for your content and user-base. Websites selling home decor or fashion-related items may want to embellish their design with whimsical background patterns, pastel or bright colors, and extra graphics. Alternately, sites and apps with a more serious, academic tone, will want basic color schemes, often with white, black, and blue or gray as dominating colors.
Check out some of the top sites in your field or niche to see what color schemes they are using, and how much embellishment is displayed on the home page. By creating color-appropriate schemes you can set up your site to inspire specific emotions from users.
UI and UX Detailing
After drawing inspiration from top sites in your area of content for a great first impression, it’s time to make the rest of the details in your site’s design equally-inspiring. The first place to start with are the parts of your site or app that your users will interact with. This often includes a navigation bar, some menu buttons, and any embedded media or games. The placement of these items, as well as your other content, is also a factor deserving of heavy consideration.
Familiar buttons and content placement structures help users easily identify where your content is and how to use your website. To best serve your target audience you must first know the demographics to which you’re speaking. Do a little market research if possible to find the ages, geographical, and other demographical data of your intended user-base.
After knowing more about whom your content is speaking to online you’ll be well prepared to cater to them more successfully. This sort of demographic-pandering has been a little-kept secret among marketers since the days of print. For example, younger users may be more apt to understand creative, custom nav-bars, whereas users who’ve been on the web since Netscape Navigator may tend to look for simple list-type linked site-maps. If unsure, simply see what other sites in your field are doing and try to go with the flow. Other details to consider include where your main content is anchored, which will usually be front and center under any headings, but can vary based on creative needs. Ad placement, menu buttons, and embedded content should also be strategically placed for the easiest navigation, while maintaining at least some uniqueness in design.
The overall quality of your UI and UX can make or break your website. By checking out other sites in your field, you can ensure you’re keeping up to user’s expectations and appealing to your intended demographics. First impressions mean the most online, as the digital attention span is ever shrinking. Detail your UI to create a great UX and keep visitors coming back to site. By noticing overall themes, color schemes, and small design details on competitor or industry-leader websites, you’ll be more than prepared to make your own inspirational user-interfaces.