Let’s start with some vocabulary, what is UI design?
“UI” is short for “User Interface”. UI design is the process of strategically creating websites that focus on aesthetics, style, presentation, function, and usability. Simply said, making websites helpful for the user.
Why is UI design important?
Without focusing on looks or usability you may find your website losing users quickly. While there are many reasons this may be happening, bad UI could be the culprit. UI design is more than just a cool new makeover (although, those are always nice), it’s a thorough plan that is designed for your users to perform pre-determined actions. Good UI can captivate users, guide users, and ultimately make them buy into what you are selling or teaching.
So, you may be asking, what makes for good UI design? Great question – we have some answers! The following tips are just a few of many ways to make your website stand out above the rest and keep your users engaged (remember you only have a couple seconds before they bounce).
1. Make sure your website is Responsive and Mobile Friendly
This one may be a no brainer these days, but we all still come across sites that don’t adjust for mobile visitors. This is one of the biggest UI problems because now 51.51% of website visitors are on their mobile devices, according to a continuing study on mobile usage. This means that over half of your users are likely visiting your website on their mobile device. If it’s not mobile-friendly, then your users are struggling to navigate your website, which means…you guessed it…they bounce. By making your site mobile-friendly, you give your users the opportunity to navigate your site without the struggle of having to zoom in/out, or scrolling around to find the home button!
2. Engaging Call-to-Actions
Remember that your users need to be guided along a path to a destination where they make a purchase, fill out a form, call you, or maybe even upload a silly dance to social media (who knows?). This ultimate “directive” is known as a Call to Action and if these aren’t noticeable on your website, you risk your users not knowing what to do.
Everything about a CTA’s design and placement should lead them to do something!
- Make sure the color stands out against the background, but keep your brand colors in mind.
- Keep the size large enough to grab attention, but not obnoxious.
- Use a horizontal rectangle or pill shape to follow the flow of the copy.
- Create a sense of action with the use of short and concise copy.
See an example of what to do and what not to do below!
3. Consistent Branding
We’ve talked about if you need a brand before you create a website. While knowing your brand is a big step in moving forward, you don’t need a full brand discovery. Although, you do need to be consistent in branding on your website. Having random colors throughout your site, uncanny design elements or a font that just doesn’t quite match can ultimately lead to brand confusion and loss of interest.
How can you be consistent?
Throughout the website you can use the same font, the same set of colors that match your target audience, and the same design elements. This can be made easy by developing a styleguide or moodboard (one of our favorite things to do!). By creating a styleguide or moodboard it starts to bring the vision of your website to life while keeping it consistent. We promise this won’t make your website boring, in fact, it can help elevate it to be even more captivating than a website without brand consistency.
Here’s a sneak peak at Muletown Digitals styleguide!
4. Authentic Imagery
We’ve all seen our fair share of silly, what we call, stock images. Whether it’s someone pointing at a board or a bunch of chess pieces, we can’t help but notice how fake it looks. When a site is only stock imagery and it has nothing to do with your brand, or what you are talking about, you risk creating a distance between you and your user.
Disclaimer: not all stock imagery is bad, it is okay to use them as background images, occasionally on blogs or 3rd level pages, or if it truly represents your brand. For example, if you sell watermelons and can’t get your own photography, we’re sure you can find a stock picture of watermelon that works great!
It’s always best to invest in your own photography to capture images that really represent your user, your services, or your products. If you have authentic imagery, it can position you one step above the rest by making your users trust you.
5. Decluttered Pages
This is another way of saying: clean design. No one wants to come to a website with CTAs everywhere, moving elements, distracting colors, paragraphs of texts, or anything that isn’t easily digestible.
Being clean doesn’t mean boring, it means being direct, having a clear hierarchy, and being conversion-focused. You should provide a clear path for your users to interact with.
A few reasons to declutter your website (besides conversion):
- It’s easier for the user to understand and scan, which directs them where they need to go.
- Google can crawl a site faster when it has a clear hierarchy, which can provide a higher ranking through SEO.
- It can be more memorable by placing one or two eye-catching pieces throughout your clean website.
- It looks more professional which gives you a higher authority and builds trust.
Your website is a tool with a job, that your visitors will judge immediately upon landing there. It only takes 3 seconds for user to decide whether to stay or leave your site. When you don’t pay attention to your UI and only it’s crazy good looks, you risk losing customers! You can check over your website to see if you are following these tips or you can have us perform a free audit that covers all these bases & more!