Learn from the experts, if you’re aware you aren’t one yet.
User Interface (UI) styles or patterns are everything designed into a device with which a person can interact. It includes graphical controls in a software program to create certain commands such as menu bar, toolbar, windows, buttons, and more. They invite human response to the program and device.
Here are successful companies and brands on the web that we could spend hours with because they offer the best User Experience (UX) and we also want to give credit to their great UI design. It’s better for you to be inspired by their style and technique during the early stages of the web development process, than regret offering a low-quality user experience once all the work is done.
The UI styles from these top companies are different, addictive and well-hewed to the last pixel, considering the success of their products for years. The following is a list of site with exceptional UI styles that every designer should find inspiration from and consider adapting.
UI styles that iOS possess are founded using the following principles set by Apple:
- Deference. The UI helps people understand and interact with the content, but never competes with it.
- Clarity. Text is legible at every size, icons are precise and lucid, adornments are subtle and appropriate, and a sharpened focus on functionality motivates the design.
- Depth. Visual layers and realistic motion impart vitality and heighten people’s delight and understanding.
As we’ve all noticed, the iOS experience, on any of their devices, displays beautiful UI and fluid motion, with no abrupt transitions or forceful movements. The following is a list of the finest UX techniques offered by Apple:
- Apple takes advantage of the whole screen.
- It lets translucent UI elements hint at the content behind them, to let users see more available content. In iOS, a translucent element only blurs the content directly behind it, but not the rest of the screen.
- It reconsiders visual indicators of physicality and realism without bezels, gradients, and drop shadows being heavy enough to overpower content.
- It uses plenty of negative space to make important content and functionality more noticeable and easier to understand. This is under their principle of clarity in the User Interface design.
- It lets color simplify the UI. No heavy colors that make the design seem horrible are seen in their design.
- It ensures legibility by using the system font, San Francisco.
- It embraces borderless buttons.
- It uses distinct layers that convey hierarchy and position, helping users analyze the relationships among onscreen objects.
- Its design’s appearance and behavior aims to send a coherent message.
- It provides a consistent experience. This consistency technique lets people transfer their knowledge and skills from a part of an app’s UI to another, and from one app to another.
- It offers the users their direct manipulation of onscreen commands, instead of using separate controls to manipulate them.
- Its feedback feature acknowledges people’s actions by showing them the results and updates them on their task progress.
- It provides total user control. Apple believes that people – not apps – should initiate and control actions, while still letting an app suggest a course of action and warn about dangerous consequences.
Android’s UI style generally aims to enchant, simplify the life, and make their user experience amazing for the consumers. Here’s a list of how Android achieves this in their UI by using general UI style principles applicable in all mobile devices powered by it.
- Delight me in surprising ways. Android-powered devices display beautiful surfaces, carefully-played animation, and well-timed sound effects, which contribute to a joyful experience. These subtle effects seem effortless, but actually demonstrate powerful control in the hands of the user.
- Real objects are better than buttons and menus. It allows the direct manipulation of objects on screen to reduce cognitive effort, but emotionally satisfy a user at the same time.
- Let me make it mine. In this UI style, Android provides sensible, beautiful defaults that are fun and they don’t hinder any primary tasks. In short, it wants users to feel at home and in control of their customizable device.
- Get to know me. Rather than asking the user to constantly make the same choices, it learns the people’s preferences over time by placing previous choices within easy reach.
- Keep it brief. This is achieved through the use of simple words, rather than long and boring tracts of text, so that people won’t immediately just skip them.
- Pictures are faster than words. Using pictures to explain ideas is more efficient and entices people’s attention in an instant.
- Decide for me, but let me have the final say. Android suggests the most relevant, but minimal, guesses.
- Only show what I need, when I need it. Since people don’t want to see too much at once, it breaks tasks and information into small, digestible chunks.
- I should always know where I am. It uses distinct transitions to show relationships on screen and provides feedback on tasks in progress.
- Never lose my stuff. It saves what the user took time to create, such as remembering settings.
- If it looks the same, it should act the same. It helps people distinguish functional differences by making them visually distinct.
- Only interrupt me if it’s important. Android shields people from unimportant details that can interrupt and bring frustration.
- Give me tricks that work everywhere. It makes everything for a user easier to learn by using visual patterns, such as swipe gesture for a navigational shortcut.
- It’s not my fault. Android makes people smart, so if something is wrong, it will give gentle and clear recovery instructions and corrections.
- Sprinkle encouragement. It breaks simple tasks into smaller steps, making them easier to accomplish.
- Do the heavy lifting for me. One of Android’s UI techniques is to make novices feel like experts by enabling them do things they never thought they could.
- Make important things fast. Android makes it easy to find important things faster, such as camera shutter button or music player pause button.
Microsoft suggests that a professional looking UI depends on the following:
- Spacing and positioning. Spacing between two controls is very important. Microsoft recommends aligning a label with the text baseline of the textbox or other control next to it, rather than the actual bottom border of a control.
- Size. Buttons should have appropriate height and width depending on their purpose, so that the user will know its hierarchical importance within the design.
- Grouping. Only by proper intuitive grouping can you make all those controls easier for the consumer to use.
- Intuitiveness. Great user experience relies on this aspect, since it lessens the need for explanations.
On that note, the following are Microsoft’s standards for a better, functional user experience:
- Use standards. Establishing standards on any software environment, whether it’s at the brand or application level, is very essential.
- Draw attention to important lessons. Microsoft acknowledges the need to direct the user to the most important buttons, even when a number of them are available at the same time.
- Simplify recognition with icons. Icons help speed up awareness of tasks a user has to perform, so Microsoft makes them distinct and easy to recognize.
- Simplify recognition with headers. According to Microsoft, headers are the perfect way to explain the entire dialogue in a single sentence or graphic, so they work more effectively than normal description labels.
- Use custom messages. Windows applications are now becoming easier to use because there are numerous non-technical users requiring them to make dialog boxes more simple for them.
- Include alternate commands. Frustration and laziness dictate the need for alternate input methods, so Microsoft created alternate input methods to get tasks done faster.
- Proper handling of critical actions. It is generally a good practice to make a message box pop-up take an action when performing a critical, unrecoverable functions.
- Radio buttons or combo boxes. The method of choosing among many selections is important so Microsoft made them distinct and purpose-dependent.
- Never disrupt the user. Unnecessary interruption of the user while working something is a no-no in Microsoft UI.
- Provide progress status. Users simply hate waiting, but Microsoft knows that it can ease their aggrevation when the user knows what is happening.
- Simplify complex steps with wizards. Wizards make it easier to divide controls by task categories and place them in separate steps, helping the user stay focused.
- Sometimes, ListView is better. Microsoft often sticks to DataGrid, ListBox or ComboBox for selection tasks, but Windows XP and the later versions applied ListView for larger options.
- Simplify navigation with breadcrumb controls and sidebars. The key it uses to simplify complex UI is by using “sub-navigation,” such as sidebars.
- Use pretty graphics. Although the graphics should not overpower productivity, Microsoft knows that pretty graphics help create a nice impression and work pleasure.
- Provide resizable forms when available.
- Provide more functionality with sidebars and task panes. Sidebars and task panes are a wonderful way to provide extra functionality and utility commands.
- Give a notification choice. Microsoft provides a check box that the user can select to disable a dialogue from being shown again in the future.
- Provide tool tips. Through these, a user can immediately decide what to do without searching for anything in the help file.
- Do not forget the little things.
In terms of web design, Mozilla favors the following:
- Shape forms that are bold and geometric, but with hints of organic softness. This is seen when Mozilla’s UI communicates a sense of handcrafted design through careful content layout and strong typography.
- Its design is minimalist, effective, and instinctive, but is also warm and not soulless. When it comes to UI design, Firefox OS is a catalyst for individual and collective progress.
It encourages the following UI style principles:
- Empowering. Mozilla gives people the freedom to access the web, and exercise personal choice and control over the information it provides.
- Disruptive. The company innovates for the public good through constant progress.
- Dynamic. It creates experiences that bring smiles to people’s faces through confident, spirited, and an always-on-the-move type of UX.
- Optimistic. Mozilla believes that an open web will enable a better future in transforming mobile experiences.
- Inclusive. It values creativity and diversity by inviting people to join the global playing field, while providing the best local content.
In terms of messaging:
- Bold. Mozilla uses confident and modern language. For headline messaging, it keeps statements short – ideally no more than four words.
- Dynamic. It reinforces ides of progress making Firefox OS constantly innovative in order to keep the web open, safe, and useful.
- Human. It uses everyday language and avoids technological jargon to reach a global audience.
- Simple. Mozilla is clear, straightforward, and not overly complicated.
Mailchimp is a web and mobile email marketing service application created by the Rocket Science Group, a US company. Mailchimp’s edge lies in its unique approach of adding custom iconography to its brand assets. These icons represent site functions catering to the product’s specific needs.
In terms of UI style, Mailchimp offers a welcoming color scheme that includes attention to details. It has beautiful reports and deftly approached the problem of empty account by using helpful, visually-pleasing user guides.
UX in MailChimp is just adorably fun and unintimidating. Even though e-newsletter creation and management may not be the most exciting task, the instinctive user interface design of MailChimp makes it more appealing. It is neat, flat, and typographical.
The website has plenty of white space and strong calls to action to guide new users through each step of the process – sometimes even integrating a subtly-animated pointer to indicate where to click.
Most people believe that experience is the best teacher, without knowing it is actually the worst. This is because you have to go through a failure yourself first, before learning that you should and should not have done certain things in the first place.
Therefore, your User Experience will be best achieved through the inspiration of those who have already experienced how to be applauded and rejected by their consumers.