3 Incredible Steps To Ensure Great User Interface (UI) Designs.
Coming Up with a superb User Interface design can be quite a hell of a task, but it’s always worth the work in the end. In this article, we’ve outlined a few important steps to ensure great, productive, and frustration-free user interface designs you can implement during your next project.
For better comprehension, I’ve outlined the process in three major divisions.
- UI Analysis and Design.
- User Interface Analysis Elements.
- UI Design.
As we have got them outlined, let’s start with,
UI Analysis and Design
The overall process for analyzing and designing a user interface begins with the creation of different models of system function.
Four different models come into play when a user interface is to be analyzed and designed properly.
- A user model
- Design model
- Mental model
- Implementation model
The user model establishes the profile of end-users of the system. Users can be categorized as Novice, knowledgeable, intermittent users, and knowledgeable frequent users.
The Design model accommodates the information contained in the user model.
The User’s Mental model (system perception) is the image the system end-users or target audience carry in their heads.
The Implementation model combines the computer-based system coupled with all supporting information.
The most important principle of user interface design is to: “Know the user, know the tasks.”
There are four distinct framework activities:
- Interface analysis and modeling,
- Interface design,
- Interface construction,
- Interface validation.
- User Interface Analysis focuses on the profile of the users who will interact with the system (finding out about the user). In precise, a much detailed task analysis is conducted at this stage.
There should be an analysis of the user environment that focuses on the physical work environment. Eg. Where will the interface be located physically? Will the user be sitting, standing, or performing other tasks unrelated to the interface?
- Interface Design defines a set of interface objects (UI elements) and actions (as well as their screen representations) to perform all defined tasks to meet every usability goal defined for the system.
- Interface Construction evaluates usage scenarios by creating prototypes. As the iterative design process continues, a design tool or user interface tool kit may be used to complete the construction of the interface.
- Interface Validation focuses on user task correctness, and task variations, covering user requirements, ease of use, easy to learn, and the users’ acceptance.
User Interface Analysis Elements:
User interface analysis elements include: –
(1) User analysis – (2) Task analysis and modeling – (3) Analysis of display content – (4) Analysis of the work environment.
- User analysis: The goal of user analysis is to understand the users and their use.
Understanding the users and their use can be accomplished as follows: – User Interviews, sales input, marketing input, and support input. – Question to better understand the user of a system. Question to better understand the user of a system.
- Task Analysis and Modeling: The goal of task analysis is to answer the following questions:
- What work will the user perform in specific circumstances? - Use case techniques are used.
- What tasks and subtasks will be performed as the user does the work? - Task elaboration is used.
- What specific problem domain objects will the user manipulate as work is performed.
- What is the sequence of work tasks (the workflow)? - Workflow analysis is used.
- What is the hierarchy of tasks? - Hierarchical representation is used.
Workflow analysis can be represented effectively with a UML Swimlane
- Analysis of display content: Display content can range from reports, graphical displays, or specialized information. During this interface analysis step, the format of the display is considered.
- Analysis of the work environment: In the user interface for a non-computer-based system, for example, noise may be a factor to consider, so a keyboard or mouse may not be an option.
Interface design is an iterative process. The definition of interface objects and their actions is the third and final step in interface design. At this stage, Target, source, and application objects are identified.
• A source object (e.g. a report icon) is dragged and dropped onto a target object (e.g., a printer icon). The implication of this action is to create a hard-copy report.
• An application object represents application-specific data that are not directly manipulated as part of screen interaction.
• When all important objects and actions have been defined (for one design iteration) the screen layout is performed.
The screen layout is an interactive process in which graphical design and placement of icons, the definition of descriptive screen text, specification and titling for windows, and definition of major and minor menu items are conducted.
As we’ve reached the end, let’s wrap it all up.
While following these important steps outlined above, there are quite a few other key tips you should employ to ensure a perfect User Interface Design.
When designing, make sure you maintain high discoverability (Clearly label icons), keep interfaces simple, use proper alignment, draw attention to key features, regularly provide next steps which users can deduce naturally, and always maintain brand consistency by utilizing familiar icons, colors, menu hierarchy, call-to-actions, and user flows when designing similar situations and sequence of actions.
And that's about it.
As it is visible now, for creating amazing UI/UX interfaces, one needs to follow a systematic and organized approach. A UI design process strategy that will help you in achieving great results.
This is why contacting a leading UI/UX design agency to work on your next project is bound to yield the best experience.
Still not sure who’s the right partner for your UI/UX Design needs?
Well, you’re welcome to start your search here.