7 Pillars of UI Design: Keep These in Mind
  • Product Design
  • 8 February
  • 6 min read

Web designers, in general, are faced with a variety of challenges. Right off the bat, the field has evolved dramatically throughout the past few years, shifting substantially towards UI/UX design as well.

 

What’s more, this is only projected to grow in importance. There’s a demand for customization, and that has to be reflected in the UI design, including the UI design for mobile.

 

Why? Well, mobile devices are growing in usage – that’s evident. Hence, the requirements of mobile app UI design will only grow as a result.

 

In any case, there are certain fundamentals which need to be kept in close consideration, especially when it comes to UI design.

 

We’ve taken the liberty of suggesting 7 pillars, or laws of UI design which are quite critical, even when it comes to mobile app interface design.

#1 The Pillar of Clarity

This basically suggests that users tend to avoid interface elements which fail to communicate a clear meaning.

 

People don’t like things they can’t understand – it’s as simple as human nature. Therefore, they tend to ignore them.

 

As an integral component of your mobile UX design, you need to guarantee that there’s nothing meaningless.

 

The take on this is fairly simple: don’t design stuff without a purpose. Make sure everything is as clear as black and white.

#2 The Pillar of Preferred Action

This pillar suggests that your users will feel a lot more comfortable if they clearly understand what the preferred action is.

 

This is something quite critical and it comes down to the overall mobile UX design. You need to make sure that the user is clearly navigated through any page on your website.

 

He needs to know what follows next. If you’re a booking site, for instance, make sure there’s a clear order. For example, the user lands on your page, and gets to search for listings. Once on the listing, he gets to check pictures and availability. Once he’s checked availability, he gets to make a booking.

 

That’s a particularly basic and rather primitive example, but you get the point. Your mobile UX design has to be as clear as A, B, and C.

#3 The Pillar of Context

 

This one is quite important. Users expect to see interface controls which are close to the object that they want to control.

 

Imagine you’re on LinkedIn and you want to change your professional occupation. What do you have to do? Easy – click the “Edit” button right next to it.

 

Now, do you remember what Facebook was like prior to the latest updates? We had to go through the general settings menu, select our profile settings and adjust our information through there. It was as annoying as one can imagine.

 

Nevertheless, the point here is that you should provide your users with the chance to control objects quickly and contextually.  

#4 The Pillar of Defaults

 

When it comes to mobile app UI design, you need to understand that users are highly unlikely to change the default settings.

 

Defaults are particularly powerful. That’s why a lot of people have their default background wallpaper, as well as ringtone on their phones. Apple, anyone?

 

That’s also why a lot of people never change the factory settings on their phones or TVs, for instance.

 

The example can go on and on.

 

Hence, you need to guarantee that your default settings are practical and useful. You can allow yourself to make an assumption that people are unlikely to change them.

#5 The Pillar of Feedback

 

Clear and constant feedback is very important – users will feel more confident and comfortable if you provide it.

 

The thing is, we need validation. It’s part of our nature. That’s why case studies, examples of your work, resumes, CVs, cover letters, and all that, is essential when trying to impress someone.

 

The same principles apply when it comes to mobile UX design. Users need feedback to feel comfortable – that’s just it.

#6 The Pillar of Easing

This principle stipulates that your visitors will feel a lot more inclined to perform a complex action if you break it down into smaller, digestible steps.

 

People rather complete 10 small and quick tasks rather than one giant and complex task.

 

This is particularly handy when you are designing your fill-out forms. Make sure they are broken down into clearly understandable requirements such as “Enter your name”, “Enter your email”, and so forth.

 

Don’t combine these, even though you might feel tempted to. Apply the same principles whenever you need your mobile UI design to navigate the user towards completing a complicated task.

#7 The Pillar of Guided Action

 

Users are likely to do something if you ask them to.

 

There’s a tremendous difference between asking your users to do something and expecting them to do it.

 

Here comes the power of the call to actions (CTA). Carefully selected and well-placed call to actions are going to make a huge difference.

 

A hint here is to use CTAs whenever you can, but make it subtle. You don’t necessarily need to push the user to do something – just make sure you are subtly guiding him to it.

That’s it

That’s pretty much it. Of course, there are other things you might also want to consider and as an experienced UI design agency, we can assure you of it.

 

However, the above postulates are absolutely critical and timeless – they will stay evergreen and applicable regardless of the current themes and trends in mobile app UI design.

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