Which is the one app or website that comes to your mind, when we say the words “good design”? Did your mind just pull out a list of apps? Why do you consider them to be good design?
Here are some of the commonly mentioned answers to the question
- The user could use the app without help from someone else.
- Going from one place in the design to another was easy.
- They enjoyed using the application.
- The colors in the application were not too bright or too dull.
- Everything the user wants to know is mentioned in the app.
These are common answers, and they will help derive the top 9 principles every designer should know when working on the UI of the web or mobile app development.
Before you begin understanding the principles that help with designing your interface, it is important you define the target audience for your application and their app usage behaviour. It will help you define the app accordingly.
The premise for these principles is that you need to concentrate on building systems using which the pages are developed, instead of working on the pages in isolation.
Now that you know what the goal is and the premise for developing the application is, let’s get started with listing out the principles of design.
#1 The choice of colour
Normally, we can differentiate between millions of different colours. Our eyes are trained to see the different shades of the different colours, from red to burgundy to violet to mauve. Each colour initiates a different action in our mind, and we tend to complete the action within seconds. You should use colours to trigger action. At the same time, the rule of the colour is to use a single colour to define your application or, two different colours. At the most, you can go with three colors, and not more than that. This would help maintain consistency. Make sure the colours you add to the application carry some meaning with it.
#2 Opt for the right typography
Fonts play an important role in ensuring readability of the content posted on your application. The presentation of the content is important, which is why you need to choose the right typography. Even a plain text can become impressive and can cause action if presented in the perfect way, especially catching the attention of the user interacting with the text.
There are just too many typefaces available for the interface design; you need to choose one that adds value to your application.
#3 Introduction of white space
The white space is an important ingredient of your design, one that makes your design legitimate. The breathing space or white space allows the elements in the design of some room and keeps them all synced with each other. Negative space is as important in the design as the positive space, and you will need to plan that while you are creating the masterpiece. Too much or too less of the space can ruin your design.
#4 Navigation rules apply
Getting from point A to point B should be planned well before you design the navigation for the application. Where should the user click to go back to the home page? Where can the user click to go to another page? What is the ideal menu style for the users within your target market? All these will help you design the navigation for your application. You will also need to plan the movements from one screen to another and back to the previous screen. A well-defined navigation path will help the users travel along the app with ease.
#5 Planning for user interaction
How the user interacts with the application determines how you design the interface. For instance, do the users stay within the defined thumb zone to interact with the user interface? Do they use the finger to interact with the spaces outside the comfort zone of the thumb? How do they prefer to connect with the interface? These answers will help you place the buttons and other interactive elements and plan for the interaction.
#6 Size of the design elements
Along with proper positioning of the design elements, it is important for you to keep in mind the sizes of the elements that will help improve visibility and trigger actions. For instance, if the button is too big or too small, it can make the users walk away from your application. Too small is not clickable and when you design it too big, it fails to be aesthetic. Similarly, the size of the fonts, the navigation menu and other elements should be kept in accordance with the device where it would be used and the resolution.
#7 Transition of elements
The speed with which the interaction triggers a result is important. You should ideally use vectors and elements that can speed up your website/mobile application launch. So, when the user calls for the application, it should ideally load within 3 seconds, which will help you keep the audience on the page, and ensure conversions. Anything beyond this time can trigger attrition of the visitors.
#8 Standardization of the elements
You should ideally standardize the elements, the sizes, the colours and even the consistency of its appearance on the application screens before you begin designing. This way the users will feel more engaged with the application and will be able to interact better. If the buttons to action are red on one screen and blue on the other, then your user won’t know how to use the buttons and would fail to interact with the application.
#9 Build a visual vocabulary
Have a visual vocabulary or library ready, which can be used whenever you want to insert the elements. This library will provide the base for the addition of elements. Else, the app designers will use their own ad-hoc designs everytime they are asked to create a new screen or application page.
The design elements should be concise and accurate, in line with your design needs. If you have a premise for your application design, and know how to add the different elements, you are ready to take off with an incredible design.
So, what are you waiting for? Get started with your design creation.
Vishal Virani is the Founder and CEO of Coruscate Solutions, a mobile app development company. He enjoys writing about technology, mobile apps, and the latest industry trends in custom web development.