10 Principles to UI Design as a Founder
This article is posted from a Founder’s point of view to create a good UI Design, rather than a Designer’s point of view. The aim is to create a design of the product that makes the user loyal and engaged.
Here are the “10 Principles of Good UI Design”
Design your product according to the market you serve:
The UI for a Music concert website would be significantly different than a bridal e-commerce website.
The color combinations, the icons, the placement of buttons, everything varies significantly with the domain and age group of the target audiences.
Before you start the designing finalize your target audience which domain do they belong to (corporates or casuals), which industry do they belong to (IT, Retail, education, student, etc. ) and lastly the age group of the users of your application.
This will prove in very effective in creating a good UI.
Unless those are your Granny’s panties, they don’t need to be big or bulky:
Try to keep as fewer features or text on a page as possible. Try to make use of icons to make the features more explanatory with less use of words.
However, by no means do I mean that your users should be left confused and stranded. Customer understanding and ability to easily transit from one feature to another should be the utmost priority.
Minimalistic designing is the new Black. (That goes for Steve Jobs dressing as well)
Think of your Core idea as a bride in her wedding, very well differentiated:
What makes your application or website really useful is the core idea. That one differentiating factor you have from your competitors is your products true identity.
Make sure your USP feature is well focused and differentiated from the other functionalities. It should be most easily accessible.
Don’t let your USP get out of focus in the distraction of the generic features. Make it stand out.
Focus on the user journey:
Before starting the UI design form a flow of how the user will navigate on the application/ website. List down the page by page journey of the user.
Mention the buttons he would click on each page/screen to reach the desired next page. While designing you can place the spotlight on the important buttons hence making the user easily discover and navigate the application.
The simplicity of the UI in the flow to find the desired page has always been the key to an engaging and successful product.
Avoid Visual pollution:
Yeah, it is actually a term. Good UI design is environmentally friendly. It should make an essential contribution to the preservation of the environment around the user.
The specific environment that you can save here is the visual surrounding of the user using your application or website. Make user feel at peace and enjoy looking at the screen.
Here is a small test: Once you have the UI design in front of you look at it for 1 minute straight. Now, decide for yourself, how many time did you just feel like turning away from it.
Test it before developing it:
Once your UI design is ready, make a prototype of it before starting the development. And share it with real users to test if they find it as simple to use as you thought them to be.
Some of the handy tools, if you don’t wanna spend, are MavelApp, Invisionapp. Ready a bit about Guerrilla Usability Testing you have to do it to get genuine user feedbacks.
Keep taking feedbacks, practice makes man perfect and so the UI design:
Of course, you won’t come up with the ideal design on the first go, for multiple reasons. Hence keep plenty of space for your users to give you feedback.
Again, not every feedback is worth implementing. And no need to even keep a track of which changes have been requested the most.
If the feature is so necessary and so much in demand, then it will come up most often and would catch your attention. The most necessary feature will stick with you without you making any extra effort.
Be patient, great products aren’t built in 1 day:
As a founder, I understand that you are super excited and want to release your product as soon as possible. But a great design takes time.
And trust me, satisfaction is a myth. Because as a human we keep upgrading. Hence, our expectations and new ideas keep flowing in as you enter design phase.
Therefore, define a deadline and take the best solution you have to the development while continuing to perfect your design and bringing it in version 2.
Designs are not like Wine, they don’t get better with the age
On the contrary, Designs in the web and mobile world are changing at a rapid pace. New features and new ways to do old actions are being discovered and implemented every fortnight.
Pick the 3 Apps you use the most which have similar features to your idea, not a similar idea but a single similar feature like notification, newsfeed, etc. Make a list of the features and the reason why you like it in one application over the other.
Just as an example, try to think how the UI design of the Facebook app has changed in the past 1 year.
Do a facial not a plastic surgery:
Be ready to redesign your product every year. However, you just want to make small tweaks to your UI designs.
Keep the heart of the application/ website constant, always, unless there is something drastically wrong with it. Users form a loyalty with the UI of the product. If you change it too much you might lose the loyalty of your customers.
Even if you want to change it completely, then change it step by step, slowly, over a period of time. Give your audience sufficient time to accept the changes and become comfortable with the new features and UI of the product.
These are some rules which I had used extensively with my clients across the globe. And we have received phenomenal success, I mean my clients have, client success is our success after all. Some have even won best design awards and been selected in Y-Combinator.
So what are you waiting for, go to your designer and bring out the best in your application.
All the best!!