Often when we hear the term ‘design’, we think of aesthetics and colors and fonts. But, as expert UX designers would agree, UX designing is so much more than what appears on the screen.
UX designing not only makes a software product or application aesthetically pleasing but also functional, usable and navigable. And that contributes to UX designing being a rare art.
An experienced UX designing team can put you years ahead of the competition by making your product look, feel and function like something your ideal users would want to use and come back to repeatedly.
Since it’s both a science and a craft, let’s look at the top design principles that help UX designers create experiences that last and linger.
Principles of UX Design
Know and follow these design principles to create user experiences that awe and serve your product users.
Meet the Customer Demand
The first principle that a proficient UX designer knows and follows is to stay centred on the user. It’s all about enhancing the experience of the user from the product.
So, learn what the user expects from the experience at each touchpoint and stage of interaction. A particular design or feature may impress you, but are you the user?
This is when user testing and other validation methods come into play. Designing in solitary can be a big mistake when it comes to this principle. You want to engage end users early and often, so that you don’t make assumptions that prove to be different from your customers’ reality.
Take Care of the Hierarchy
To achieve smooth navigation and ease of use in your application, you need a transparent hierarchy. The primary hierarchy will arrange information throughout the design (laying down the navigation bar and the main sections). And the secondary hierarchy will delve deep into subcategories of functionality and content.
Keeping important information in visually prominent positions and hiding lesser relevant information in deeper layers will improve the overall simplicity, navigability and flow of the user experience.
Make sure the content and functions flow effortlessly and naturally from the last level to the next throughout the design.
Keep it Consistent with Current Habits
A critical component of user experience designing is knowing your customer’s habits and inclinations. Since we know this about humans- they don’t want to change- it’s important to use a familiar user interface and layout as some of the popular brands that your customers are already habitual of.
This cuts short the adjusting your users have to do as your app feels and looks familiar to them, which adds to the user-centricity part of UX design.
Users will come to your app with a pre-existing hunch of how things will be and their presumptions should be respected because it’s not the easiest thing to try to change them.
Moreover, ensure you offer the same design and functionality through different products for consistency purposes.
Design for Accessibility
An increasingly critical principle in UX designing is accessibility. It’s important to ensure that your app is usable by as many people as possible, respecting everyone’s ability to consume and process digital information.
Designing for accessibility is not only the right thing to do but a profitable thing to do, too. People with disabilities contribute over 10% of the world population today and it’s important to keep them in mind when designing an experience.
A few simple ways to build an accessible UX are to use contrasting colors for text against a background and having captions on videos.
Factor in User’s Context
Designing in the users’ context is equivalent to designing with empathy. Here’s why:
When you factor in the contextual data points, you start empathizing with the user in the very moment.
Contextual data may include the user’s geographical location, their whereabouts, their surroundings, emotional state, physical state, mental well-being, the time they have available, the device they are likely using and the people who influence them and so much more.
The more contextual data you work with, the more likely your UX design will resonate with your customers. For instance, say your user is likely accessing your application on their phone on a lunch break at work. What design elements could make their experience easier and better?
Or, if they are accessing your app in a dingy club at midnight, what sort of experience would help them take action?
Focus on Usability
Your app or solution aims to solve a problem for the user. So it makes sense to focus primarily and heavily on the usability of your application. How easily can a user achieve what they intend to on your application?
A cluttered experience will overwhelm and confuse the user and lose them. Make sure that your UX design is purposeful and meaningful. Concentrate on clarity of messaging and functionality to bring out the best in your product.
Usability testing is key to finding out how users interact with your design. Conduct usability tests comprehensively to discover and plug usability loopholes.
Design for Simplicity
A simplistic design beats a complex one all the time. Less is more when it comes to UX designing. Minimalist designs that offer just the right options and functionality to get the job done are winners in this distracted age.
Not only that, simplicity in language can also make your application user friendly and usable. Consider every aspect of UX design end-to-end from a simplicity perspective and strive to build the most straight-forward application your users have ever experienced.
As you delve into UX designing, you will realize that UX designers are rare specialists. At KiwiTech, we house sought-after UX designers who create functional, usable and pleasing experiences for startups and enterprises. Contact us today if you’re looking for UX design services.