If you’re in the startup field, you’ve probably heard the terms User Experience Design (UX) and User Interface Design (UI) before. They’re the tools required to achieve an intuitive, aesthetically pleasing and accessible result. Good UX and UI design create a product that resonates with your users and draws them into a conversation.
To achieve a well-designed result through UI, we need to consider a few initial steps that will not only lead to a better endgame product but will also clear up your thoughts on what your product or service should be accomplishing.
1. Understand Your Product Objectives & User Needs
The foundation for a successful user experience comes from a well-devised strategy. Understanding both what the product has to accomplish for the business, and what problems it should solve for the users, will then inform the decisions made about every aspect of the user experience – including the user interface.“People don’t care about your solution, they care about their problems.” @davemcclure Click To Tweet
Here are a few things you should understand about your product or service to facilitate the design process and improve your business:
- Business Goals
- Value Proposition
- Success Metrics
- User Personas
Usability testing and User Research are also both key to ensuring the viability and success of your product as well as ensuring you have a thorough understanding of your audience. If you miss these two vital steps you will be working with an incomplete picture and your end result is likely to not be as strong as you’d like.
2. Know your goals
After underlining what’s best for the product and the users, you’re then able to evaluate how to satisfy the product’s strategic objectives. In this step, you’ll translate your user’s needs and product goals into specific requirements for what content and functionality the product should offer to your users.“Knowing what you are not building also means knowing what you’re not building right now.” @jjg Click To Tweet
The real value in collecting all those great ideas comes from finding appropriate ways to fit them into your long-term plans.
Questions you should be asking at this point are “Why are we making this product?” – “What are we going to achieve?”
Once answered, you can start defining requirements to apply to the product or service as a whole, things like functional specifications and content requirements could be determined at this step.
3. Align your Structure to Achieve a Design-Centered Result
After defining and prioritizing the requirements, we have a better understanding of what will be included in the final product and can, therefore, attain a more design-centered result.
Although at this point of the process, the requirements don’t yet define how the pieces will fit together to form a cohesive whole – the puzzle is still incomplete. Here’s where we shift our interests away from the abstract, and step towards concrete components that determine what users should see & feel in the final outcome.
Some aspects of design that should be considered and defined are:
- Branding Design
- Customer Experience Design
- User Experience Design
- Interaction Design
- User Interface Design
The results of these features will be translated into a wireframe, then an interface design, branding design, and finally they come together to form a unified, cohesive and interactive product.
4. Tell a Story Through Aesthetics
With all of the above explored, you’ll have a rounded off result that’s ready to be translated into a finished design. And that will subsequently fulfill all the goals covered in the previous steps.
Judgments on website credibility are 75% based on a website’s overall aesthetics. Therefore, a well-crafted website can pave the way to increased conversion rates. Another statistic to keep in mind is that 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.
Here are few things considered when finally designing the UI of product, it being a website or a mobile app:
- Contrast & Uniformity
- Internal & External Consistency
- Color Palettes & Typography
- Mobile Responsiveness
Getting a great UI is achievable with some in-depth research, a good sense of your market and a great design agency by your side.
The results achieved can not only effectively reflect the vision of your business, but also give a brief description and idea of your functionality, products, and services from a professional standpoint.
Creating a design that stands out from your competitors isn’t just about having more compelling images or animated icons – Marketing Week writer Morag Cuddeford-Jones said it best: “It’s also about considering the brand’s ability to future proof, and it will ultimately influence what a brand does when it becomes more established.”
Need some extra help nailing your products core before getting ready for design? Please contact us, or come and join in the conversation on Twitter at @melewi.