14 Benefits of Good User Interface Design
The most effective User Interface (UI) Design is born from being a part of the wider User Experience (UX) process. While best practice solutions exist, they should never be blindly applied without careful consideration; what works for one site won’t automatically improve results for another. User experience research and design considers the wider user journey, part of the outcome from that process is the UI design. UI design is concerned with look and feel of the interface (or screen) that the user interacts with.
It's impossible to overstate the importance of good user interface design, so if you’re looking for a rundown of the advantages and disadvantages of user interface design, you’re in the right place. Frankly, any disadvantages are few and far between and great UI designs are a sound investment, here are 14 reasons why that investment will pay off in the long run.
1. Clarify your vision
As you’ll make UX and UI decisions relatively early, this process will help you to define precisely how you need to satisfy the expectations of your audience. It will also clarify who you are and what you want to do, ultimately helping you to communicate exactly what makes you stand out from your competition.
2. Make your mark
A large part of standing out from the crowd involves being visionary in your approach. Too many businesses overlook the importance of truly understanding their customers. Often incorrect assumptions of users wants, expectations and frustrations are based on minimal user insights, and as such a poor online experience is delivered. By investing in professionally-led UX and UI design, you have an opportunity to challenge the status quo and to make an impact that will guarantee your memorability (for the right reasons) long into the future.
3. Strike the right balance
Making sure that you don’t confuse your audience is imperative and as the U in both UI and UX stands for ‘user’, you will find that this design process helps you to make the decisions your existing and future users need and want you to make.
4. Customer confidence
Good UI design will give your potential customers confidence in your company and your brand. If elements of your site don’t work properly or look shoddy, they will interpret this as a direct reflection on your company. If you can’t deliver a good looking website, how can you deliver a great product or service?
5. Navigation is a breeze
Poorly designed websites are frustrating and let’s be honest, we’re at a point where we all expect the websites we visit to share the information we’re looking for without us having to work too hard to find it. If a visitor arrives at your site and can’t easily find what they’re looking for, they’re simply going to leave and look for that information elsewhere.
One of the major benefits of UI design, based on UX insight and best practice, is that it helps your audience to intuitively locate exactly what they’re looking for, even if they aren’t entirely sure what that thing is. It’s not wizardry, it’s just skilful design.
6. Everything will be exactly where it should be
Part of good design is predictability. Your audience is going to want to know what every cue is prompting them to do and where they will end up when they click on a link or a button. A well-designed UI will intuitively communicate all the information your visitors need to know, precisely when they need to know it.
7. Interaction acknowledgement
For every action there should be a meaningful reaction. So, for example, when a user interacts with a button, having it change colour will communicate to your visitor that their action has been acknowledged and successfully completed.
8. Optimal on-screen experience
There are so many mobile devices on the market and your audience could be browsing the internet on everything from a pocket-sized smartphone to a large-scale desktop screen. The benefits of user interface design are numerous, but easily one of the most important is its ability to ensure that different screen sizes are catered for. Ideally start with mobile UI design first, you can then progressively enhance the experience as the on-screen space available increases. You need to know that your site is delivering the optimum level of performance to every visitor if you want to ensure they keep coming back again and again.
9. Capitalise on a clear competitive advantage
Top of the list of UI design benefits is the ability to convert customers with ease. If you make the lives of your visitors that little bit easier through good UI design, they’re going to show their appreciation by giving you their custom. Outperform your closest competitors and you’ll reap the rewards in no time.
10. Retain that custom
If you design something that people want to engage with, they will continue to want to engage with it. It’s a competitive marketplace out there, so retaining loyal customers should be at the top of every brand’s to-do list.
11. Reduced support costs
If you design a website that is easy to use and doesn’t confuse or frustrate users, you will find that your customer support line will receive fewer calls as clients can complete everything they need to do online without additional help.
12. Development times are impressive
It’s a sad reality that far too many hours of precious (and expensive) web development time are spent fixing problems that could have been avoided in the first place. When UI design is created as a result of a UX process and incorporates research and insights as its foundation, the UI design avoids all of that because the design decisions are informed and always made at the right point in the process.
13. Design for a variety of users
Not all internet users are equally as familiar with engaging with the online world. Accommodating a range of skill levels is important because you don’t want to deter proficient users in favour of casual users, or vice versa. Integrating helpful (but skippable) tutorials is just one way that you can ensure that your site or app works for everyone.
14. Simplify everything
Engaging with your website should be a pleasure, not a chore. Simplifying your processes will mean that your users won’t have to re-enter information they have already provided or navigate their way through a complex network of pages to make an enquiry or purchase a product.
In this article we have covered an array of benefits that great UI design can bring, as you can probably tell this is something we are really passionate about. We have worked on a variety of projects where simplifying the user interface has brought game changing results to businesses.
Check out our case study and video of Licence Bureau, where MD Malcolm Maycock talks about the process and experience of redesigning his business-critical online portal.