Most good website-building tools have the necessary features to enable a designer to create an excellent UI and/or UX. Yet, these terms are seldom mentioned in their promotions. UI and UX don’t just happen however. A knowledge of what a great UI or UX consists of, and how to achieve either, will make you a more proficient designer/developer.
In brief, the UI is a website’s visual presentation, and defines its look and feel. With today’s themes and tools, coding is rarely required to create a good UI, although UI design is a digital task.
A website’s UX on the other hand, is what a website does. Creating a satisfying UX is not a digital task. The focus is on usability and market performance.
Users tend to abandon websites that have substandard UIs, even though usability is satisfactory. They are also apt to look elsewhere if the UX is not up to par, even if the website’s presentation is fantastic.
The UX Designer Toolbox
Unlimited Downloads: 500,000+ Wireframe & UX Templates, UI Kits, Web Templates & Design Assets
In a world of digital overload, the difference between dominating a market and becoming a has-been comes down to user experience. The most design-forward companies in the world rely on InVision to create the best customer experiences at every digital touchpoint.
More than a prototyping tool, InVision is a complete platform for modern digital product design teams. Features like live digital whiteboarding in Freehand and Inspect for seamless handoffs-redline specs and all-mean designers and developers can stop thinking about workflow and focus on unleashing their full creative potential.
Automatic syncing and live collaboration features help teams design and gather fast feedback from stakeholders and real customers. You’re always working on the right file, and you’re always working on the right product for your users.
InVision and InVision Enterprise help leading product design companies create world-class experiences. Sign up for a free trial and discover why brands from Airbnb to IBM rely on InVision.
Proto.io is the ideal choice if you want to use a single platform for all your prototyping needs: designing, previewing on the actual device, sharing, collaborating, user testing, and getting feedback. It’s packed with valuable features, one of which is importing from Sketch and Photoshop that basically lets you transform your designs into interactive prototypes.
It’s easy to use, since no design or coding skills are required, and its drag & drop functionality allows you to transform your designs into clickable highly-interactive prototypes in no time. It’s impressive rich Interactive UI Libraries (iOS, Material Design) and popular design patterns such as slide-in menus, drag to refresh and much more will make your design process much easier & faster.
You can see how Proto.io can help you reach your goals, by signing up for their free 15-day full feature trial.
Sketch supports a wide variety of design activities, including graphics, websites, and interfaces. This app’s video tutorials make it quick to learn, and easy to use. The vector-based workflow lets you create amazingly complex shapes without having to put up with a lot of fuss or annoying tweaking.
Everything you create can be edited, and adapted for a variety of layouts and different styles. Sketch is a modern tool for modern designers.
Notism is a real-time design & video collaboration platform. It will transform your static screen designs into interactive prototypes for websites or iOS or Android mobile devices. These prototypes can then be shared with co-workers and other stakeholders, along with other project related information and content. Information can be shared directly or in video time lines, and everything is subject to version control.
This UI/UX tool’s task management features ensure your project is organized, and remains that way from start to finish. Activity progress for tasks and team members is tracked to provide real-time overviews of project status.
If you’re looking for some of the best and brightest UI and wireframe kits or core elements you’ll find anywhere look no further than Great Simple.Their products are built with an attention to detail that is bound to satisfy even the most exacting designer. Their bestselling kits, iOS Design Kit and Material Design Kit, belong in every designer’s toolbox. They also offer free GUI Kits for iOS and Android. These kits are loved more than 70.000 happy designers.
If you prefer working with Sketch rather than Adobe Photoshop, there’s no problem. All Great Simple products are Sketch compatible. Check them out!
Tips for Making a Better User Interface
Users are much less willing to put up with substandard digital displays than was the case just a few short years ago. Businesses therefore, need to take heed, and pay close attention to the quality of experience they create for their customers.
It’s fine if they do, but it begs the question – what’s involved in creating a quality user interface?
Keep it Simple
A great user interface is nearly invisible. It doesn’t make users have to think, nor is it loaded down with extra design elements that serve mainly as distractions. Don’t try to be clever. Just make it as easy as possible to work with.
Make Everything Clear
The purpose of your user interface is to help users interact with your system. A subtle, but effective way to show off your design skills is to design a UI that enables them to do exactly that; easily, and intuitively.
Users quickly tire of having to pause while trying to figure out what to do next; and often won’t hesitate to go elsewhere.
Make the Interactions Efficient
When designing a UI, look for ways to help users complete their main task as efficiently is possible. It’s also important that they don’t lose the result of their effort, or lose track of where they are and what they’re doing.
Options are fine, but either keep them at a minimum, or hide those that aren’t essential for everyday use.
Be Consistent in Your Design
Users quickly develop usage patterns, which is why maintaining consistency throughout the entire user experience is important. When they are allowed to settle into a comfort zone when working with your UI, they will know where to find things, and what to expect when they find them. Consistency is a powerful UI attribute. Make it possible for users to rely on it.
Use Familiar Design Patterns
We enjoy seeing things that are familiar and easy to grasp. Some designers seem to prefer highlighting their creative artistic abilities in everything they design. In doing so, they can easily jolt users out of their comfort zones. A memorable app is one that provides an easy-going UI experience, and not a jolting one.
Understand How UI Plays into UX
Designing a simple, intuitive UI is not necessarily a simple, intuitive task. There will be challenges involved, one of them being to gather usage information from the user perspective.
This entails moving into the UX design realm, and gaining a solid understanding of user flow, and key brand and product information.
Implement a Visual Hierarchy
One of the necessities of successful UI design is to implement a visual hierarchy in which the most important design elements receive the most attention. While it can be argued that every essential element is important, some are always more important than others. Call to action buttons, for example, are usually large and colorful.
The tools featured here have the capabilities necessary to create websites featuring outstanding UI and UX attributes. Understanding what is required to achieve these objectives is also important. Such an understanding enables you to use these tools efficiently and effectively, and will make you a more proficient web designer.
You can also avoid learning the hard way; that a substandard UI, or a substandard UX, is a recipe for failure.