Designing UI for web apps doesn’t need to be a nightmare

Brian Bojan Dordevic
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Brian Decoded

President at Alpha Efficiency

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The user interface design is inextricably linked to the creation of the user’s experience. In a way, UI determines the quality of the user experience, in most cases – it’s not only the app’s visual impression but the feeling associated with it as well. Although it might sound like an ordeal, strengthening the visual aspect of an app doesn’t imply numerous complicated elements, but rather – simple, elegant, and easily navigable designs. Still, sometimes attaining simplicity can be a very complex process.

Designing UI for web apps

Table of Contents:

What is the User Interface (UI) design?

To be pedantic, UI is defined as a human-first approach to designing the aesthetic experience of a product. It applies to digital products only, unlike UX design, which can also be used for physical products.

UI determines how your customer will interact with your product or service via visual touchpoints that inspire the desired action. A quality UI means that a specific web app will function flawlessly and that the overall aesthetics will speak in favor of your business. A worthy UI also implies designing an intuitive and easy-to-use interface representing a particular business’s specific branding strategy.

This is why our web development agency in Chicago decided to present you with 7 core UI principles that make up top-level User Interfaces to provide the best user experience to your customers.

The 7 Core UI Principles that Make Up a Great User Interface
  1. Clarity
    The very first principle every quality UI designer will follow is “simplicity”. All UI design elements such as language, visual content, flow, or hierarchy, need to be convenient and effortless to use, providing your customer with a great user experience.
  2. Conciseness
    The second principle is directly linked to the first one – conciseness. Conciseness and Clarity allow you to use less and focus more on the aesthetic and usability. A wide range of different elements placed on a screen can confuse users, preventing them from finding what they actually want or need. This is why you should not insist on too many elements when designing a UI for web applications.   
  3. Familiarity
    Designing a UI for web applications implies designing the user experience, which in turn means fulfilling the user’s subconscious and conscious expectations of how the app should function. A quality UI design will provide the user with a sense of familiarity with the app, even if they are just seeing it for the first time. When we work on E-commerce web design, for example, we input commonly accepted symbols such as “x” for exit from the app or “+” for adding a product in the chart.  
  4. Responsiveness
    Responsiveness, in terms of UI design for web applications, means that all visual elements of the interface will react differently based on screen size, whether it be a smartphone, PC, MAC, or tablet. In this way, all elements of the app are optimized regardless of the platform. 
    Responsiveness also has to do with the loading speed of the web app and reducing the interface to its simplest form to provide instantaneous interactivity with the user.
  5. Consistency
    The whole UI design should serve one goal, to provide consistent visual and brand identity that is able to function regardless of device. Consistency requires user-friendliness and intuitive design whose aesthetic will speak positively of said product or brand. 
  6. Aesthetics
    Aesthetics are there to encompass and unify all the elements. Creating aesthetics is a specific UI design process that is actually meant to create such content for not only the product but the service and website as a whole. Since the UI design is mostly data-driven decisions are guided based on what works, what doesn’t, and what could improve. Naturally, these answers will effect the aesthetics of the final product.
  7. Efficiency
    Enabling the user to be more productive on a certain web app is how great UI design can directly impact an app’s efficiency. When we try to measure the productivity level of a UI design, we analyze the app’s interface design and use of the screen area against the interactions users are having with it. Is the web app too cluttered or busy? Is it too complicated to use? How can it motivate the user to use it more often and for longer sessions? Answering these questions will demonstrate a certain app’s functionality, efficiency, and potential bugs. In turn, these results will ultimately shed light on what could be improved.
    Bonus Tip that can Boost App’s Efficiency:
    Forming Help, FAQ pages, or a knowledge base can be helpful for users who are not familiar with your app and need extra support. This will facilitate the app’s usage, giving them the freedom to master the process on their own without getting stuck.

However, be aware that designing and changing each element means you’re affecting another. Therefore the UI design should be observed as a system that entails a multitude of decisions on how an app should look and function, so the user has the best experience and interacts to its maximum potential. 

How Visual Interface Design Supports UI

Visual interface design is a specific process that influences the final look of the web app’s interface and how the users interpret it on the screen of their smartphone, tablet, computer, or any other device. The goal of visual interface design is to communicate the meaning of a product and intuitively guide the navigation and interaction throughout the web app. This goal is achieved by combining typography, color palettes, animations, buttons, icons, and loading indicators, to create visuals that portray what the application is intended for and how it operates.

Ultimate Goals of UI Design 

The ultimate goal of UI design is to create aesthetically alluring products that catch the eye of the customer and speak in favor of the brand’s strengths and assets. Designing UI for web applications is a continuous process. It requires constant evaluation of user’s expectations, research and analysis, and implementation of all conclusions into a web app interface. Following these insights and associated steps will enable you to implement regular improvements towards your web app’s growth.

When designing a UI for web applications, functionality, technical constraints, trends, and user expectations are the core elements we take care of at our web design agency here in Chicago. Since this is an ever-evolving process, a quality UI design implies frequent adjustments made to all previously mentioned elements. If handled in an efficient manner, these adjustments will positively impact your website’s ROI and your business’s profits overall – all while providing your customers with a comfortable and enjoyable experience while utilizing your app.


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