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Design a better user interface

In creating a good user interface, it is good to remember the maxim “To focus on the user’s perspective”, although it is easy to be lost within the mindset that we know user’s best, there is nothing that beats a real user’s feedback.

In this article, it is to focus on a few things to help you create a better experience. I am sure most of you know of the things below, but it is a good reminder to go back to the basics

1. User’s feedback is everything

To improve your interface, user’s feedback and frustration is all that you need. Address them properly, although in some cases feedback can be quite ambiguous and unrelated, you can ignore those. However, generally, the benchmark of how well your application performs is by having a good user’s feedback and eliminating those frustrating customer’s feedback. Always remember, behind every frustrated customer, there is always a reason why.

2. Be consistent

In one of Ben Shneiderman’s 8 Golden Rules of designing is to always strive for consistency. This is especially true for creating a brand-new feature, utilise familiar icons, colors and menu hierarchy. This provides the user a sense familiarity, and when user’s are familiar with the interface, it increases the usability of the application.

3. Allow Shortcuts

Remember that although it is well to have your interface be as simple to use as possible. When the user has frequently used the application, it becomes more apparent that the user’s wants to have shortcut to certain actions. Similar to how we use our Macs or Windows, they come preinstalled with keyboard shortcuts, which increases their workflow and productivity.

4. Meaningful feedback

More often than not, when we develop an application, we tend to miss to provide meaningful feedback for the users. This is one of the things that increases user’s frustration when using an application, as they do not know what they did wrong and they do not know how to proceed to the next step. It is understandable that sometimes it could be an error in the code, however, to always try be mindful of how the user would feel if they were to meet a certain issue.

A recommendation that could be implemented is to mention a message that they could contact support or have someone come back to them, when faced with an unknown error.

5. Make user feel joy

You often hear “That app is a joy to use” for apps that has such a good experience and is an actual joy to use. Why? Because when the user uses those apps, they feel that it is a ‘no-brainer’, it achieves their objectives in the most efficient manner possible. They do not feel frustrated and it actually makes their day better. And you want to achieve that, although it is a long and cumbersome process of constant iteration. When you have reached that stage, your users becomes your marketing.

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Vincent HalimDesign a better user interface
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