The best design is one that is invisible (not literally, though).
This essentially implies that end-users should not think about the design (or the designer) at all when visiting a website or using an app. The ultimate goal is to create something that does not draw undue attention while leaving an indelible mark on the minds of the users.
This ideal should be the goal of designers across varied sectors, and user experience (UX) and Website Design are no different. With this in mind, let’s unearth some of the best-kept UX UI design secrets that are easy to overlook while designing an app or website:
1. Mastering the Art of Storytelling
We often talk about the power of storytelling in content. But since Design is an integral part of Content in the digital era, visual storytelling is quickly taking precedence over siloed designs. In a world where attention spans are dwindling fast, this can have profound implications for your app’s engagement and UI UX designs. Some handy techniques and tools that you can use in this regard include:
- Color Palettes: Color choices and combinations form an important part of the visual design since they bring elements to life and place emphasis on the correct takeaways, such as CTAs.
- Wireframes: Wireframes help to map out the practical functionalities of web pages and identify UI UX bottlenecks early. Since they push usability to the forefront, it becomes easier to map end-to-end workflows of your web/app.
- Visual Hierarchy: This is directly tied to the overall user experience. With proper composition and placing of UI UX elements, it becomes easier for users to absorb the overall message and intention.
- Prototypes: Once you have your workflow and story in place, prototypes help to understand what the final result would look like. This helps to single out priority elements and streamline the designing process.
2. Quashing Decision Paralysis
Having too many options or choices can be paralyzing. It can lead people to make a decision that they’re not entirely satisfied with.
The more options you give the end-users, the more you’re forcing them to over-analyze. Some may even feel so intimidated and overwhelmed that they may not reach the CTA altogether.
If simplicity isn’t the focus of your interface design, it is likely going to provide a bad user experience. In fact, as many as 88% of them are less likely to return after a confusing experience.
Wherever possible, limit the choices available; it is one of the design secrets that can be handy. Or, you can hide elements that are not relevant during that stage in the user’s journey.
In the case of Aruba, you can see this happening in action.
Here, we have categorized different activities available on the small island of Aruba so that it is easier for users to find what they’re looking for without getting confused. We have got categories such as adventure & tours, art & music festivals, and much more. Users can find and match their interests to further explore.
3. Considering Empty States As Opportunities
Desolate playlists, vacant shopping carts, and default search interfaces can leave users wanting for more. User experience designers should not let empty states remain empty and instead use them as opportunities to prompt actions – such as directing users towards their favorite products or top recommendations.
The idea is to ensure that you do not create dead-ends within the design interface that drive users away. Making use of the empty states is a brand new opportunity to help users discover new functions and features that will be useful to them.
For this, consider the case of Balfour My Year Look that was created to help students from various colleges share their memories, via videos, photos, and much more. When they’re not creating their own, they can check out the ones created by other users or contribute to them.
4. Encourage Seamless Progression
Lengthy processes and forms are dreaded by users, but in some cases, they are a necessity. One of the UX UI design secrets is to make users stay interested until the end.
For instance, many medical or health applications need time and extensive data input to complete. When signing up for the Hospice app, you have to provide various details about yourself, ranging from general information to addresses and information of the primary contact, and so on.
You’ll find that within the interface there’s an indicator that shows how much of the process or form you’ve completed. We created this to give users a sense of progression so that they know that they are very near to the goal.
This sense of momentum is crucial as it lets the users know when the process will end so that they don’t get frustrated and abandon the process.
5. Test the Design at Every Stage
So, you’ve created an awesome user interface and are very happy with the design. Visually, it looks great. But, have you tested it from the POV of your users? Do you know what your users feel about it?
Recording the impressions of your users when they first interact with the interface is crucial, but often overlooked. Whatever experience they undergo should actually be recorded. The resulting data should then be leveraged to redefine the interface.
Wondering when’s the best time for user testing? As early as possible! Not exactly a design secret, but certainly one of the most ignored ones.
This is why:
- Early user testing reduced cost by controlling the inflow and outflow of capital. This is because you know from the start what changes must be made and you can stop investing elsewhere to focus on the problem at hand.
- Design testing can significantly improve the chances of success of the overall design strategy of your app or website.
- Better user satisfaction because the whole point of UX is to cater to the needs of your customers. Testing will reveal if your customers are at ease and if so, your product will most likely withstand the market competition.
The Way Ahead
It’s not always the visible things that matter the most. UX and UI drive more users to the app than just the app’s visual appearance. Additionally, a solid user testing foundation can boost all your future prospects and make you one to watch out for.
Are you on the lookout for hands-on support to get started on your app’s UX UI design? Peruse the broad-ranging UX UI portfolio of Divami to look at the work of our experienced user experience designers!