UI/UX Design: What is it? Best Practices and Tips

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Julia Sakovich
Author, Geomotiv
Published: Aug 16, 2022

Let’s suppose that you open an app or a website for the first time. What do you pay attention to just immediately, regardless of the app type we are talking about? First, of course, it will be how the app looks. That’s about the user interface (UI). And the next thing is how the app feels. That’s about the user experience (UX). So when you are building a software solution, one of the core things to consider alongside the idea itself is UI and UX design, as they are your app's face and soul.

In this article, we are going to explain the importance of UI/ UX design and provide you with the best UI and UX design tips and tricks. If you are already working on developing a mobile, web, or cross-platform app or are just considering the idea of launching your software solution, we recommend you read this blog post and ensure that you are on the right path!

What is UI UX design?

As stated above, UI is a widely used abbreviation of the word combination “user interface.” UI design is the process of creating visual components that are seen (and heard) by users when they are interacting with an app. The main goal of UI designers is to find the most pleasant way to present and place graphic and text information to make the use of an application or website intuitively clear.

UX stands for user experience, which appears as a result of a user's interaction with a software product. UX designers must create a scenario of how users can achieve their goals by interacting with an app. The quality of the user experience depends on numerous components.

User experience starts from the second when you are just starting to look for a necessary app or website, and it doesn’t end even when you switch off the device after interaction with a software product.

In their work, UX designers closely collaborate with marketing and product teams and UI designers to collect info related to the needs and expectations of users. Then, based on the information provided by other teams, UX designers create prototypes, wireframes, and site maps.

After the product release, the work of designers is still going on. They need to analyze the feedback from users to introduce the necessary updates and increase the level of user satisfaction.

UI and UX design in software development are inseparable components, but they are not just the same. While UI includes such elements as icons, buttons, and forms, UX is about users’ feelings, impressions, and emotions that do not have a physical representation.

Moreover, users interact with UI only when working with an app. Therefore, UX is a much more complex notion. It is still being shaped after the interaction with a solution (for example, when a person thinks about it, tells somebody about it, or is using the results of the interaction with the app).

Importance and benefits of a good UI/ UX design

Whether we are talking about mobile apps, websites, or cross-platform solutions doesn't matter. However, UI/UX design has very high importance. The correctly created design helps to make sure that the solution meets the needs of a target audience and is convenient to use.

UI should make it clear for users what app they are dealing with: an entertainment one, a financial solution, or an eCommerce app, for example. And UX design ensures an easily understandable way for a user to reach a set goal. For example, to win a game, make a transaction, or order a product online.With a well-developed UI/UX design, you will:

  • satisfy user needs, ensure excellent user experience and satisfaction from using your product;
  • let your clients reach their goals quickly and easily;
  • boost your clients’ loyalty;
  • increase customer acquisition and retention rates;
  • promote further product adoption.

What is the UX/UI design process?

It’s crucial to understand that the UI and UX design creation process is rather complex as it includes several stages.

Stage 1. Investigation

At this stage, UI and UX designers have to analyze an idea of the product, its peculiarities, the client’s requirements, expectations, and goals that should be met with a product. For example, if a client has a set corporate style, designers should familiarize themselves with it to use the necessary elements in their work. At this moment, creating customer journey maps and discussing possible scenarios is important.

Stage 2. Design

This step covers a lot of different tasks for designers, including creating information architecture, wireframing and prototyping, developing visual design, and finding the best ways to visualize the available data.

Stage 3. Evaluation

When everything seems ready, a product team conducts usability and emotional response testing, works with focus groups, gathers and analyzes the feedback, and ensures that the design fully fulfills its goals.

Stage 4. Implementation

Implementation is an important stage, but even after it, the work is still going on. Design quality control is one of the core tasks here, which may lead to the necessity to introduce updates and changes to reach the highest user satisfaction.

Below you can find a short checklist of high-quality UI/UX design services components:

  • Wireframes
  • Prototypes
  • Target audience analysis
  • Market research
  • Usability testing
  • Scenarios
  • Information architecture
  • UX audit.

At Geomotiv, we have access to a very rich talent pool. Share your ideas with us, and we will find the best experts to address your needs.

Now, when we’ve answered the question “What is UI UX design?” and explained why it is important for the success of your project, it’s high time to proceed to UI UX design tips that will help you better understand the points to pay your attention to.

Though we are going to highlight the peculiarities of the design approaches in different types of software development, it is important to note that some tendencies and trends for all of them are quite similar (or even the same). It is explained by the fact that the software development industry, regardless of the precise segment we are talking about, is moving in one direction. And key requirements for all types of software products coincide.

Of course, there are also specific tendencies (for example, you can read about Edtech UI/UX trends), but we recommend you start your design journey with the most basic general tips.

UI UX design best practices in mobile app development

Tip 1. Minimize content

Do not try to place on one screen all the information that you have. Use more visual elements than text content. It will make it easier for users to understand the logic of your app.

Tip 2. Compatibility and screen orientation

Think about compatibility with different devices, and do not forget about different types of screen orientation. A mobile app's screens can be of different shapes and sizes. Designers need to create and place all the elements in such a way that they are always visible and attractive.

Tip 3. Ensure simple navigation

The faster users understand how to reach their goals and where to click to perform the desired action, the higher the chances that users will continue using your app.

Tip 4. Minimize the inputs

Minimize the inputs that are required from users. For example, if in your app, to order an item, a user needs to make 100 clicks and enter the same information repeatedly, it is an app with a poor design. Everything for users should be simple and quick.

Tip 5. Do not ignore usability testing

This step is important for all software products, but it is of extreme importance in the case of mobile apps created for a very wide audience. Make sure that users can interact with your app efficiently and effectively. Start testing as early as you can, and do not hesitate to ask users many questions during the testing phase. You should be absolutely sure that your app works perfectly and that every user knows how to work with it.

User experience and user interface design tips for web software development

Tip 1. User research

When starting to work on developing a web product, do not skip the stage of close and thorough user research (of course, this advice can be applied to developing all types of software). You should clearly understand who your end user is (let’s admit the requirements for an app for children can be different from those for an app developed for medical experts, for example). When you know your audience, you can offer them what they are interested in and what is valuable to them. A good idea will be to study what your competitors offer. UI UX best practices can be used for inspiration and to create something unique.

You can not only conduct your research and study the available statistics but also organize interviews with the representatives of your target audience, conduct surveys, and even in-house idea testing.

Tip 2. Keep it simple

Just do not complicate things. First, simple things are trendy. Yes, minimalism today is just fashionable. But that’s not the only reason we are advocates of this principle. Web apps created in this style are easier to use and interact with. As a result, users can better understand how to work with an app and reach their goals faster.

Bear the following points in mind:

  • Each page should have only one intention (do not overload pages with extra information that can make users feel confused);
  • Make the intention of each page fully clear;
  • Place a focus on the most relevant and useful info.

Tip 3. Do not be afraid of whitespace

Times when it was bad to leave white spaces are already in the past. Space between different blocks helps to separate them from each other and make them more understandable.

Tip 4. Ensure unity of all the elements

Visual and conceptual unity enhances UX design. All elements have their role but should have the same goal. And it should be clear to website visitors.

The key principles of element unity:

  • The proximity of related elements;
  • The similarity of related elements;
  • Uniformed connectedness.

Tip 5. Make functionality your top priority

Authenticity is very important. But when you need to choose, the functionality should be prioritized.

Tip 6. Ensure fast loading

Ensure fast loading and make waiting time pleasant. Today users are not patient. If your app works slowly, some users will leave the page.

Tip 7. Responsive web design

Make your website mobile-friendly and all-device-friendly (Responsive web design). Even if you do not create a cross-platform app, ensure a positive experience for users who will use their smartphones to open your web page.

UI and UX design tips for cross-platform apps

Cross-platform software development is challenging as you must think about how your solution will perform, feel and look on different platforms simultaneously. What about the design? The requirements are rather strict as well.

Tip 1. Create a universal design

Regardless of the platform, users will choose to work with your app. The design should stay practically the same, with small changes depending on the platform's peculiarities. Your app should be recognizable, and when a user changes a platform for interacting with it, a person shouldn’t have a necessity to get familiarized with an app once again. Everything should stay clear.

Tip 2. Ensure consistency

Think about brand identity and brand awareness. Use consistent colors, design structures, and font sizes to reach the overall experience consistency.

Tip 3. Bear in mind multi-platform considerations

All platforms have their usability criteria and defined design considerations. Users have their platform-related habits and expectations.

Final word

UI/UX design is a very important part of the software development process. You should make users like your product from the very first second, and you will never have a chance to make the first impression twice. That’s why it is crucial to consider all the details in advance.

Moreover, to achieve the best results, you should understand that you should have real experts to rely on in the questions related to your solution design. That’s cool if you have a strong in-house design team, but if you prefer outsourcing, please be attentive!

At Geomotiv, design is an inherent part of the software development process. We are ready to provide you with a team of experienced and talented designers who create apps of different types. Our designers have expertise in working with various business domains and have a good understanding of the latest market trends.

If you want to learn more, do not hesitate to contact us via our website, and we will reach you back to discuss what we can offer you.

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