Detail matters in business. How your brand is perceived and the experience it delivers will decide whether you gain and retain customers, which means getting the detail right.
What’s perhaps less appreciated is how precise this understanding of detail needs to be – a slight color difference, 5% shadow opacity or .25px line thickness on a button could be what makes or breaks the experience of a user and could be the difference between them buying a product or closing their browser.
This underlines the importance of a sophisticated understanding of user interface design, which is not about making a digital space look beautiful, but about guiding the user’s attention in the right direction, based on the intention of a digital environment and the experience a user needs to have.
From composition and color to animations, designing interfaces is the extension of user experience design with the objective of transmitting the values, mission, efficiency and effectiveness of the service they are engaging with. One slight shade lighter or darker of any color can express two very different messages and shift the user’s perception. Getting this right can create brand affinity and generate sales, while getting it wrong can not only make the overall experience less visually appealing but also make it more difficult for users to navigate, resulting in missed sales.
There are several key elements that any UI/UX designer needs to balance carefully to transmit the desired message, tone, values, and overall experience through a 2D screen:
The elements that the user engages with need to be arranged in a way that best fits the objectives of the digital experience as it flows. There are several basic compositional structures that can provoke a sense of dominance or dynamism. As UI and UX experts, it is our job to determine the most appropriate formats based on the objectives. Any element that does not add value to the narrative of that objective can instantly feel overwhelming to the user, while the same is true if there is a lack of information or cues.
Color may seem subjective but it plays a very important role in how a digital experience evokes emotions in users. It is also a design element that can provide consistency throughout a digital environment, in particular when defining a brand. The chosen color combinations used to help narrate the experience are of particular importance and can mark the difference between an appealing and clear experience or an experience that harms brand reputation and results in missed sales.
Design Principles are rules used on design elements to generate the perception of emphasis, perspective, weight, movement and direction. These principles are relevant to express and give continuity to the experience’s intention and help drive the attention of the viewer from one corner to the other in a way that is comfortable and easy.
Animation provides life to otherwise static elements. It offers a dynamic presence in the digital environment that again helps give further coherence to the principles mentioned above. Despite this, there is a fine line between movement that enhances or harms the experience. Animation is great to help move the narrative, but if not used wisely it can become a distraction rather than a valued element.
Simplicity is generally confused with minimalism, when, in fact, it’s not about reducing the number of elements being used. Instead, it is about ensuring that every element, principle and tool has a justification for being used, ensuring that everything is in place for a well-designed user experience. It’s less about asking whether a certain button or banner needs to be on the site and more about asking whether there is a more efficient way to provide the same information. It is a concept that helps refine design, honing high-quality experiences that give the user an effective understanding of the digital space’s objectives.
At Stefanini, our UI and UX experts work together to create the best interface experiences that suit the needs of both your organization and your users in a way that embodies ease of use, innovation, progress and differentiation. UI is ultimately the end result of much research to create the best possible solution, not only because it is attractive, but because it strikes the right balance between adding value, showcasing your organization’s positioning and offering efficiency
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