All posts by RichClientGUI

Interfaces exist to be used

An interface is successful when people use it. Nobody needs a great chair if it is impossible to sit on it. Therefore, designing a user-friendly interface can be compared to creating a comfortable chair. An interface should not only flatter your design ego: it should be used! If you liked the article and the translation, let us know – press 👏 (you can “clap” several times!) And if you have some awesome UX and more article in mind, drop the link for us and we’ll be happy to work on it.

Strong visual hierarchy works best

Strong visual hierarchy is when it is clear to the user in what order to view visual elements on the screen. The visual hierarchy creates consistency and smoothly guides the user’s gaze from one interface element to another. With a weak visual hierarchy, the interface looks overloaded and incomprehensible – the gaze jumps across the screen and is always tense. It is difficult to maintain a strong visual hierarchy if the interface is constantly changing: when everything is in bold, assume that nothing is highlighted. As soon as a new element appears in the hierarchical system, the designer has to edit the visual weights of all other elements in order to achieve a strong hierarchy again. Most people don’t notice visual hierarchy at all, but it can easily enhance (or weaken) a design.

Consistency issue

Building on the previous principle: UI elements shouldn’t look consistent if their behavior isn’t consistent. But if the elements work the same, then they should look the same. But it is equally important that elements that are different in essence and look different – while similar ones will be outwardly consistent. In pursuit of total consistency, many beginners lose important element differences, applying the same visual trick to everyone.

Appearance matches behavior

People feel comfortable when everything happens as expected. When people around us (people, animals, objects, programs) behave predictably, good relationships form between us. In this context, design elements should look consistent with their behavior. First the function, then the form. In practice, this means that the appearance of an element should speak of how it will behave when interacting. If the element looks like a button, then it should work like a button. No need to tinker with basic interactions … save your creativity for higher-order tasks.

One screen – one main action

Each screen of our interface should be based on one action that is meaningful to the user. Such an interface is easier to learn and use, and it is also easier to supplement and extend (if necessary). Screens that have two or more basic actions can quickly become confusing. As well as the basis of any article must be based on a strong thesis, based on any screen in our design should be based on one strong action – the meaning of his existence.

Give users a sense of control

A person feels as comfortable as possible when he feels control over himself and his environment. Poor software deprives users of control: unexpected interactions, confusing processes and unpredictable results are imposed on people. Give users a sense of control: keep them regularly informed about the state of the system, show causal relationships (if you do this, it will be) and tell them what to expect at each stage. Don’t be afraid to repeat the obvious … evidence is generally a relative concept.

Direct control is the best option

The best interface is no interface. This is how we manage physical objects in the real world – directly. But since this is not always possible, and objects contain more and more information, we create interfaces to interact with them. It’s very easy to overdo it and add more layers to the interface than necessary: ​​overloaded buttons, chrome, graphics, options, preferences, windows, attachments, and other junk. As a result, the user is forced to manage the interface elements, instead of going to the main one. Strive for direct control … design the interface as natural as possible, as if it were not touched by a human hand. Ideally, the interface should be so inconspicuous that the user has a sense of direct control of the object of his attention.