User Interface Matters

Many startup companies are now employing and utilizing the UI/UX engineer or designer. The complexity involved in understanding UI/UX is extremely wide and broad – To be precise, there is a whole dictionary website dedicated for studying user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). You learn about UI/UX in depth if you have more free time from the following website: http://www.usability.gov/. For the purpose of this blog, I will summarize what UI/UX concepts are, and describe them in relatively easy-to-understand terms.

Many people don’t seem to believe the user interface is making improvements in the usage of certain products. They believe that their products will be great if what they design is unique, beautiful and eye-catching. Yet they do not know some of the greatest products in the world is built out of beta-testing and redesigning through the use of user interface concepts.

In my opinion, there are five major user interface concepts you need to grasp:

1. UI design is a principled objective communication skill to explain tasks to the users.
Rather than focusing on the subjective concepts – beauty, style and fashion, the user interface aims to built a comprehensive and intuitive task explanation to the target user. So it focuses on control selections, icon designs, layouts, and colors of a product or web design.

2. UI elements can be evaluated by the effectiveness of its communication.
User interface elements should be used to translate meaningful communication – being more objective. If your UI communication is rude or inappropriate, then it will be rude or inappropriate to your user as well. Building a confusing design control labels, making pages that are illegible, and having awkward flow designs can all cause communication problems between your user and your product/website.

3. UI aims to be human communication-focused approach.
The language of UI – both in terms of interaction and visual design -needs to feel simple, natural, easy to understand, and human-alike. UI aims to make your product/design feels natural to your user and user-goal centered. If you are explaining a product usage in a specific manner, why should your user interface be any different? Making your product/website more human-friendly approach is the goal of effective UI.

4. UI = Human Communication
When designing a product or website, you have to consider how well-conceived products can be used by more people naturally. For example, if you are trying to create an option box that aims on (1) Yes or (2) No, then you should most likely have button options to click only 1 or 2, not both. So, essentially UI that focuses on effective communication gets you to the right decision more quickly and confidently.

5. Design for Purpose, not by preference of opinion or gut feeling.
Designing a product or website appearance on beauty, style and taste are very subjective. Personal and effective communication is much less. If your user interface isn’t comprehensible by your users and they are confused or feel awkward by the design, then nothing else will matter. Confusing is never stylish or fashionable.

The next time you are looking to hire an UX/UI designer based on his/her design, as opposed to relying on just his/her portfolio, ask above five main concepts. Difference between a great UI/UX designer and non-designer is knowing these five major concepts.

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