'You've got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology.' - Steve Jobs
Although not always entirely true, this Steve Jobs quote goes to show the importance Apple placed on making their products user friendly. As both the design and tech can be just important as each other. So what are some important user interface design aspects that are essential for usability and functionality? Know your audience After a damming verdict for Skype’s Snapchat inspired user interface, Microsoft are having a redesign. One underlying problem with the Snapchat inspired makeover of Skype was that the applications are primarily being used by two different age groups. The features added to the Snapchat UI haven’t always gone down a storm, so Skype with an older user demographic where always going to struggle with implementing things of this ilk. Legibility Appropriate typography is essential in making a user interface not only appeal to the proposed target demographic but it also links with the usability. A clean typeface will help your users navigate through the software/app/website with far more ease, helping improve productivity with split decisions being made and no head scratching over what a header says. Negative space compliments typography by drawing focus onto the words. A cluttered area has your type getting lost in the shuffle. Then there is use of colour. Which can not only showcase your brand guidelines through a solid colour scheme but also provide order to your content. Strong hierarchy In the earlier years of the internet and website design, sites were populated with their entire content littered on one page. With all the sites page links visible with no decent structure or hierarchy. This was more understandable back then as people were getting to grips with the technology. Fast forward to modern times and Google are showcasing the importance of having a strong hierarchy to your content, with their Analytics page. For example, to view the user’s behaviour on your sites pages you have to go into ‘Site Content’. Which is nested under ‘Behaviour’. Which is on a navigation bar that can be collapsed, allowing for more room to view the main section of the site. With this interface they have established a way to convey their content in a structured and simple manner.
Simplicity Apple is the first trillion dollar company for a reason. They pushed through a design ethos that set trends and went on to be replicated by most of its competitors. Simple and minimal, from layout to typography. As fantastic software can be, pushing forward technology and improving productivity, it has to be usable for your target audience. If improved productivity is one of the outcomes of your software, then that could be a jeopardy with a poorly designed user interface.
On the subject of improved productivity and user friendly interfaces… Our business automating software, SmartFlow, can offer 4000% productivity gain. We have made every effort to make the user’s journey as swift as possible. Find out more on the many benefits of SmartFlow.