UI is one of the most important aspects to consider when designing a new device or application. Failure to get this right will dramatically affect the success of the final product. If potential customers deem the app to be frustrating, difficult to navigate, or unsightly, it’s likely they will find an alternative – even if the product or service being marketed is far superior to the competition.
A good user interface design strikes the right balance between usability and creativity, providing an easy to use platform for potential customers to explore in more depth. Here are five pitfalls to avoid if you want to ensure the success:
Creating a Design That Doesn’t Display Correctly on All Devices
When creating a GUI it’s important to consider the different types of devices consumers will use to view the finished product. The user may use their mobile, tablet, desktop computer or laptop, with each type of device presenting different requirements in terms of the display.
This should be considered through all phases of the design – from conception through to testing. Thorough testing should reveal any inconsistencies, enabling you to rectify them before the design goes live. Failure to do this may cause your hard work to be displayed incorrectly to the end user. If this happens, it’s highly unlikely they’ll give your design a second chance on a different device, so it’s important to get this right the first time.
Inconsistencies within the GUI design are also likely to impact the user experience, resulting in a negative perception of the application or device. You should decide upon a color scheme, fonts and general layout in the early stages of the design, and ensure that these remain consistent throughout the various pages of the website or application.
The navigation options should also remain consistent throughout – moving the location, size or color of navigation buttons can confuse users. For best results, create a GUI that users quickly become accustomed to – familiarity in design is vital to success.
Failure to Consider the Flow of the Content from the User’s Perspective
When mapping the content flow, failure to consider the user’s perspective will impact the user’s experience, making it difficult for them to find the information they require. This is a common mistake, and can influence the success of the device or application, even when the rest of the design works well.
What would you expect to find, and where? This should be considered throughout the process, starting with thorough research and concluding with user testing.
Overloading the GUI with Information, Images or Features
The best GUIs provide just enough information, without overloading the user with text, images or features. A combination of all three should be included to keep the design interesting, but avoid the inclusion of unnecessary sections, which can confuse and overwhelm the user.
If a section appears to be overloaded, consider separating the content onto different pages, which can both improve the flow of information and minimize the risk of overloading.
Conducting Insufficient Research
Failure to conduct sufficient research is the most fundamental mistake you can make when designing your GUI. The research phase begins as soon as you’re briefed on a project, but extends far beyond taking detailed notes during the initial client meeting.
You must conduct thorough user research to understand who will be using the device or application, what they’ll be using it for, and what the overall purpose of the device or application is.