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7 Tips for Designing Effortless User Interfaces

User Interfaces

The fact that simplicity is the ultimate elegance is an eternal truth. The power of simplicity can elevate any design for web and mobile interfaces. Moreover, a simple design is highly human-centric and thus creates a delightful user experience. But, a lot of times designers misunderstand ‘simple’ and interpret it as empty or monofunctional. Instead, it means clear, intuitive and helpful. The website with simple user interfaces not only solves user’s problems but also reduces their efforts.

Websites and apps are generally defined in terms of their appearance, functionality, or content. They are rarely defined in terms of respect. Often neglected, respect for the user’s time and energy is one of the vital goals that designers should aim at. In this article, we throw light on some tips and techniques which could help you in designing effortless user interfaces that reduce the time and effort of users, thereby creating an unforgettable user experience.

1. Put the essential information in headers

Quick and easy navigation is vital for any website. Website headers play a critical role in grabbing a user’s attention and stabilizing connection with the website. Clear, eye-catching details should be included in headers. Being on the top of the web page, users first see the header, before scrolling the page.

The biggest problem is to decide on what is key information? This challenge grows larger in cases of websites with a vast amount of data, like big e-commerce websites, news platforms or multi-theme blogs. The header is the first thing people notice before scrolling the page during the first few seconds of their interaction with the website. Being a sign of invitation, the header should provide the key information that users could scan it in a few seconds.

2. Use visual content to encourage actions

Strong visuals, including photography and videos, are an easy way to grab user attention, and when paired with an actionable element, it can help generate an immediate click. Various visual elements can be used to define the brand style. Guiding the user from point A to point B using visuals is an excellent way of saving time. 

Let’s understand this with the example of an e-commerce website. A user sees a pair of sunglasses on Facebook and clicks on the image to get to the website. A time-saving design would show the shoes with a button to buy now. Use the same image for off-site and on-site promotions. A different picture of those same sunglasses might not register as quickly with the user as the same image. Images are processed faster than text and thus reduces the time for users.

3. Design clear, distinct, and bold CTAs

The call-to-action (CTA) must be instantly noticeable and unmissable by the users. CTA elements are the interactive controls that enable users to take the intended actions. Common types of such interactive elements in the layout are buttons, tabs, or links. In all kinds of user interfaces, CTA elements play a crucial role in usability and navigability. When all the path of interaction and transitions are built clearly for users, but CTA element is not well designed, users are bound to get confused and need additional effort to achieve their goals. 

Bright colors and elements that are oversized can help users see what they are supposed to do with the design immediately. Further, provide content within buttons that tells users exactly what to do and what will happen when they “click here.” A CTA should have plenty of contrast so that it doesn’t blend in with surrounding elements and draws attention to itself.

4. Use numbers, not words

According to a study conducted by Nielsen Norman on user behavior, the eye-tracking studies revealed that numbers often stop the wandering eye and attract fixations, even when they’re enclosed within a mass of words that users otherwise ignore. People subconsciously associate numbers with facts, stats, sizes and distance – something potentially useful for them. So they are hooked with the numbers included in copy while words representing numerals can be missed in the bulk of the text. 

5. Cut down user forms

It is very common to end up asking way too much information from the users while they fill any form on the website. One of the easiest ways to make the design quicker for users is to cut down on asking for information that you don’t need. Forms don’t have to ask for layers of information. Always aim to collect basic, valuable information.

Only ask essential information, such as name and email address, and follow up later for forms designed to generate leads. Use forms that validate data so users know if they’ve entered something wrong, and can quickly correct. Also, minimize the typing efforts and use buttons or checkboxes in forms where possible. Lastly, don’t ask for repetitive data.

6. Be consistent

Consistency is the key to simplicity and drastically reduces a user’s efforts and time taken to perform actions. A consistent design consists of repeated elements, actions, and interactions that work in the exact same way throughout the design. In simple words, it means that a button should always look like a button, have the same color and font, same hover state and work in the exact same way no matter where the button leads the user.

It would be best if you repeated this idea for any element in the design that gets used multiple times. Not just the design elements, but other things like headlines, body text, and image usage should also follow a consistent style. Consistency ensures that the user never has to guess or experiment to figure out how something works.

7. Talk to users in their language

The copy is an integral part of user design and contributes to reducing the overall efforts of a user. It plays a crucial role in communicating with the user. Not just the aesthetics but the style, structure, and vocabulary used in the copy should also correspond to the user’s expectation from a page. 

Usage of too formal or business-like style in an entertainment app for teenagers or vice versa won’t work. A website wherein the copy doesn’t follow business goals, as well as the habits and needs of a target audience, brings down the overall user experience. That kind of content inconsistency is confusing and moves the users away from the website or app. Want some more tips on how to design effortless user interfaces? Talk to our team now!!

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