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UNDERSTANDING USER INTERFACE (UI)

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To non-designers, the acronym UI  is just unfamiliar but it is quite a common lingo in the design industry and so in this post, we will discuss and break the concept down in such a way that people with little or no prior design knowledge can be able to figure out what the acronym really means and some of the best practices that apply in its conceptualization.

The term UI Design simply means User Interface Design. It is an  important aspect of  web or product development.

First of all, UI refers to all the visual aspects , pages or screens and indeed everything associated with product or website that enables you to interact with them effectively.

Interface elements include the following but are not limited to:

Input Controls: buttons, text fields, checkboxes, radio buttons, dropdown lists, list boxes, toggles, date field

Navigational Components: breadcrumb, slider, search field, pagination, slider, tags, icons

Informational Components: tooltips, icons, progress bar, notifications, message boxes, modal windows

Containers: accordion

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(Photo credit :Fast Co Design)

UI directly relates to anticipating what users might need to do  as they interact with a product or as they visit a web page and making sure that your design interface has such elements or aspects that are easily accessible, quick to understand stands it out as an efficient interface. UI  also relates to interaction design, visual design, and  information architecture.

Here are the best practices to have in mind when designing an interface

  1. SIMPLIFY YOUR INTERFACE : It is important to know your users. The best interface is the one that simply works for its intended users. It is crucial to avoid including confusing or misleading elements in your design.
  2. YOUR LAYOUT MUST INDICATE PURPOSE : It is important to carefully consider the spatial arrangements of elements and how information is presented across your design interface. The way items are strategically placed tends to draw attention to or away from them.
  3. CAREFULLY APPLY COLOR AND TEXTURE: It is important to think about the amount of color and texture to be applied to the interface of your design. You can however draw away attention from elements of your design with the right use of color and texture.
  4. KNOW YOUR USERS: Knowing your users is at the heart of your design. The end users are the reason why the design was made in the first place and so it’s appropriate to anticipate their needs and what they expect when they visit your website or interact with your product.
  5. UTILIZE COMMON UI ELEMENTS IN YOUR DESIGN : By using common elements in your UI, users feel more comfortable and are able to get things done more quickly.  It is also important to create patterns in language, layout and design throughout the site to help facilitate efficiency. Once a user learns how to do something, they should be able to transfer that skill to other parts of the site.

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