The importance of creating a functional site should not be ignored. No matter how the website is beautifully made, yet does not create interest in the site visitors, the website is doomed from the start. In other words, every aspect of the website must engage the visitor, and it all starts with great user interface design.
The Importance of User Interface Design for Business Websites
Web designers should always keep in mind to provide a functional site that can easily generate interest among the website visitors to create a steady traffic influx. The type of user interface design plays a significant role in driving in a high volume of web traffic. Therefore, carefully deciding which design to use should be of utmost concern.
In this day and age, e-commerce has been enjoying a steady growth, raking in sales worth billions of dollars each year. This is the reason why a lot of businesses have become dependent on online transactions to reach their profit goals. After all, the internet has emerged as an effective channel to provide information, entertainment, commerce and social interaction.
The success of an online business may start with a user-friendly website that can best provide a worthwhile experience to its online visitors. Following a simple but effective user interface design will definitely help in attaining the financial targets of any company or business. Having a good user interface design has two advantages:
- It can increase the site’s usability.
- It can lead to a seamless completion of any task, thereby allowing visitors to have an enjoyable and enhanced user experience.
There are a lot of ways on how a website can increase its traffic. For starters, integrating online tools and apps into the website can drastically improve site activity. Some examples include installing an online chat application, encouraging email subscriptions to the company newsletter, and allowing visitors and customers to send inquiries, comments or suggestions.
Despite using mind-blowing graphics, a website with poor functionality will definitely fail to produce considerable traffic and provide superior user experience to the visitors. Social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn have become extremely successful in engaging their users through fantastic user interface design.
In other words, in order to keep your visitors coming back to your pages, your site should be user-friendly and easy to navigate.
Attributes of a Successful User Interface Design
Online visitors are attracted to and likely to engage a website more if it is well-designed. Websites that sport the best designs have more than a “pretty face” – they also have better functionality. Unfortunately, some web designers are too technical to the point that they integrate such complicated tools that make the website look unattractive and difficult to use.
To attract more people, your website should come out as something that is welcoming or inviting. Casual visitors should not get scared or turned off by having to deal with a lot of effort navigating the site.
A rule of thumb in creating good user interface design is to come up with a design that allows the user to instantly carry out planned actions in an efficient and effective manner, without having to come across any form of distractions. Remember that creating a user-friendly website is your way of engaging your customers remotely.
To provide an excellent user experience is a vital component of a good user interface design. With your business goals in mind, you may follow the following attributes of effective user interface design:
Simple but clear
Adding a whimsical or quirky look on your website can be a come-on to some visitors. However, take note that having a user-friendly website is more than using visual elements. Users should feel that they can easily understand how to use your site. This involves ease in navigating through all the pages, and a clear picture of what the website is all about.
Creative touch to an accustomed interface
It is every web designer’s goal to add a unique and creative touch to their work. While this can be an interesting feature, web designers should stick to something that visitors are familiar with. In short, try to strike a balance between function and form.
Spontaneous and consistent
With the changes in web design standards, website owners may wish to change the look of their pages. However, any changes made on the website should not interfere with what the visitors have been accustomed to. Keep in mind that branding is an important factor, and retaining customers – and site visitors – is extremely important for the success of the business.
Quick to respond
The interface should keep up with the demands of the user. Otherwise, it can diminish user experience and lead to annoyance or dissatisfaction. For instance, waiting too long for your user interface design to load may cause people to feel frustrated. When this happens, they may choose to leave your website and switch to a competitor site. You wouldn’t want that to happen, would you?
This early, you need to be prepared to add more features on your website in the future. However, even before finalizing the design, web designers should have a clear vision on how to add these new features without causing any conflict with the existing design or disruption in service.
Common User Interface Design Mistakes to Avoid
Whether it is for a website or for an app, creating a good user interface design involves two important factors: the kind of design, and the placement of the design. Accordingly, this means that the design should provide clear information to users while trying to avoid confusion in navigating your site.
Here are some of the most common mistakes to run away from, when it comes to user interface design:
Lack of consistency in design
Any website owner or developer aims to build a following to drive traffic to the website and eventually generate more revenue for the business. One of the first strategies that come to their mind is to create an appealing, explosive, and attention-grabbing design.
Unfortunately, not every website owner may have the eye for the kind of beauty that the online audience may want. Creating a loud design may catch attention in a way, but using a user interface design that looks too busy can be a disadvantage.
Clashing of colors
Different colors have different meanings. In the case of companies and businesses, choosing the right color should be based on branding.
For instance, it is important to stick to only 2-3 high-contrast colors, preferably colors that complement each other. Use these colors consistently all across the pages of the website. Take note that using too many colors can be distracting and uninviting.
Incompatibility to mobile devices
Browsing through mobile devices has become an increasing trend for online users, and so web designers should be conscious of this. Aside from the fact that Google prefers to index websites that are mobile-friendly, a website that looks good on smartphones and tablets will encourage mobile users to return to your site for more content.
In other words, don’t make the mistake of dismissing mobile browsing, unless you want to discourage a huge chunk of your potential market.
Drowning with text
Websites are expected to provide information to users, but not to the extent of having to deal with pages upon pages of text. Websites flooded with a lot of textual content can instantly drive away any visitor.
Yes, visitors want information, but not to the point of having to read a whole chapter about it. If you can summarize your information in only a few sentences, then aim for concise content.
Using different pages to present a list
As a user, you probably want an instant solution or answer as much as possible. One of the trends in web design is breaking a long list into several pages. While this strategy reduces the text content in the page, this may discourage some users to read the rest of the list.
Inability to continue a specific activity
As the website owner or developer, you need to set a goal of creating a seamless browsing experience for your visitors. Unfortunately, some websites are plagued with distractions that disrupt the user interface, the most common flaw of which is pop-up ads or boxes.
Although pop-up boxes are good in encouraging site visitors to sign up for your newsletter, this may turn off some users because of the disruptive nature of this kind of interface.
If you choose to implement pop-ups, make sure that you use them on pages that do not need continuity or involve critical steps.
Overly complex interactions
If you’re an iPhone user, you’ve probably encountered the alarm clock feature. The app allows you to set the alarm by scrolling through numbers 00 to 11 for the hour, and 00 to 59 for the minute. While this looks amazing, it may turn off some people who would rather set the alarm in just a few clicks.
In contrast, Android phones have a drastically easier way of setting the alarm: click the hour hand and minute hand positions to set your desired time.
The lesson here is this: Don’t sacrifice functionality for the sake of showing off your impressive design skills.
Poorly designed signup or order forms
Most signup form need only a few bits of information – name, email address, and password, for starters. However, some websites require users to fill up a form with a lot of fields that are not necessarily needed at the moment.
The same goes in filling up order forms. Every so often, users are asked to re-enter information several times only to end up leaving the site due to a bug that has not been fixed.
Most importantly, make sure that the Submit button is visible and working. Otherwise, this will put off your potential clients.
Creating a worthwhile online experience should always be among the top priorities of a website owner or designer. Gone are the days when web design is too dainty or too fancy. The best and most critical aspect of an excellent user interface design is the ability to provide a browsing experience that is uncomplicated and easy to navigate.