Having a website today is indispensable. Every successful business has one because in today's world you need to have an online presence. Designers often overlook the usefulness of the design of these websites and focus on achieving a design that is only pleasant to the eyes.
Nonetheless, having a thoughtfully planned design that fulfills its purpose while looking spectacular could be a game-changer, given that it could help you bring in more customers and keep the existing ones happy. That is the main challenge of a UI designer nowadays.
A website is much more than a group of pages connected by links. It is, indeed, an interface, a space where different things (in this case, a person and a company’s or individual’s web presence) meet, communicate, and affect each other. That interaction creates an experience for the visitor, and as a web designer, it is your job to ensure that that experience is as good as it can possibly be.
6 Tips for Becoming a Top UI Designer
In this section, we will cover some of the best advice regarding becoming a UI designer that belongs to the elite.
1. Define how people use your interface
Before you design your interface, you need to define how people will use it. With the increasing preponderance of touch-based devices, it is a more fast-changing concern than you might think.
People use websites and apps in two ways. First, directly, by interacting with the interface elements of the product. Secondly, indirectly, by interacting with UI elements external to the product). Here are some examples of direct interactions. For instance, you can tap a button, swipe a card, drag and drop an item with a fingertip, etc. Here are some examples of indirect interactions. You can point and click with a mouse, use key commands or shortcuts, type into a form field, draw on a Wacom tablet, etc.
Sometimes, an interaction is just too easy. Who your users are and what devices they use should deeply inform your decisions here. If you are designing for seniors or others with limited manual dexterity, you would not want to lean on swiping. If you are designing for writers or coders, who primarily interact with apps via the keyboard, you are going to want to support all the common keyboard shortcuts to minimize time working with the mouse.
2. Make your interface easy to learn
The design should be simple to use and must not require a lot of learning. By adopting a more simplistic interface, you can reduce the user’s efforts and only show detailed information when needed, instead of flooding the user with all information.
A UI designer can implement this by tucking advanced options away from users but not completely removing them. Doing this reduces clutter and keeps both your average joe and power users happy at the same time.
3. Know your users
Above all else, you have to know who your users are, inside and out. That means knowing all the demographic data your analytics apps can pull. But more importantly, it means knowing what they need, and what stands in the way of them achieving their goals.
Getting to that level of empathy requires more than a detailed analysis of stats. It requires getting to know the people who use your website. It means speaking with them face to face, watching them use your product, and asking them deeper questions, such as the following ones. What are their goals? What stands in the way of them achieving those goals? How can a website help them overcome or work around those challenges?
Do not stop at knowing what your users want. Dig deeper and find out what they need. After all, desires are just outgrowths of needs. If you can address a user's deep-seated need, you'll address their wants while likewise fulfilling more fundamental requirements.
The insights you will uncover from analyzing data and communicating with users will inform every decision you make, from how people use your interface to what types of content you will highlight within that interface.
4. Voice interfaces
VUIs (voice user interfaces) enable people and devices to interact via voice. They are often used as primary or auxiliary visual, auditory, or tactile interfaces.
For those who are new to this, voice interfaces are the interaction we have with the voice assistants like Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, and others. The goal should be to sound as human as possible. While designing voice interfaces, designers should consider a few key points. They should take into account that users talk and type differently, to keep up, voice assistants are required to understand multiple communication styles. They should also show suitable visual indications before, during, and after the interaction. A UI designer must avoid asking embarrassing questions and presenting confusing replies by shaping the conversation interestingly. He or she also should not rush conversations, nor have a comforting tone with a clear and slow pace. They should as well plan accordingly for unexpected diversions and errors that may arise during the interaction.
5. Give feedback fastly
In the real world, the environment gives us feedback. We speak, and others respond. All too often, digital interfaces fail to give much back, leaving us wondering whether we should reload the page, restart the laptop, or just fling it out the nearest available window.
6. Think carefully about element placement and size
The time to acquire a target is a function of the distance to and size of the target. The closer and/or bigger something is, the faster you can put your cursor or finger on it. This obviously has all kinds of implications for interaction and user interface design techniques, but three of the most important are the following.
You should make buttons and other “click targets”, like icons and text links that are big enough to easily see and click. This is especially important with typography, menus, and other link lists, as insufficient space will leave people clicking the wrong links again and again.
These things are all things you need to do if you want to become a master UI designer. It is now only up to you to implement it and scale in your career.