Having an intuitive user interface (UI) is make or break for an effective business website. Research has consistently found that offering a simple decision path is key to driving conversions—that means that if your website is confusing or overworked, you’re losing out on a huge swathe of potential business. These seven simple rules can help you break through the clutter to develop an interface that just works.
1. Consistency is Key
Being consistent in your design choices is important not only for aesthetic purposes but also because it drastically increases usability. When a customer moves through your website, they automatically begin to anticipate what certain buttons or links will do. When your design elements are consistent, these expectations lead to an intuitive understanding of how to navigate your website. But when you use fonts, colors, and shapes inconsistently, your users will be unable to form these automatic connections, leading to a jarring and confusing user experience.
2. Keep it Simple
It’s often said that good design should be invisible. Rather than trying to be clever with flashy designs or non-traditional navigation schemes, pare down to the essentials. Your goal is not to show off but to make it as easy as possible for someone to buy your product.
3. Prioritize Ease of Use
Going hand-in-hand with simplicity is usability. This means paying attention to every detail that could be a sticking point for a new user: menus, forms, and content structures should all be logical and well-organized. Ensuring your site is responsive is also a key consideration here. Your site should be fully usable at any size and on any browser, including mobile browsers.
4. Integrate Icons
Humans are highly visual creatures. Using symbols (consistently!) throughout your navigation scheme can make it easier for users to recognize key functions faster, especially when combined with descriptive text and streamlined menus. Just be sure not to get too abstract with your iconography or you’ll defeat the purpose.
5. Use Language Thoughtfully
The words you use on your website have power to shape user
expectations. Being too vague in word choices can cause users to get lost
before you’ve made the sale. Menu links, for instance, should be specific and
descriptive enough to differentiate similar pages, and buttons should
explicitly define their action—don’t write “Okay” on a button when
you really mean “Submit” or “Search” or “Delete.”
6. Provide Ample White Space
Beginning designers are often tempted to fill every pixel of screen space with content. This is a huge mistake. Cluttering a page makes it difficult to find the most important links, and it proves fatiguing when using a website for an extended period of time. Instead, use white space strategically to break up your content and provide a break for the eyes.
7. Draw Attention with Color
As important as white space is, you should never neglect the
importance of color. Contrasting accent colors naturally draw the eye, making
it easier for you to guide users to what you want them to see. Just don’t go
overboard—bright colors can be effective, but too many and you risk creating an
8. Consult an Expert
While these seven rules are essential to creating a usable design, truly effective interfaces must go beyond these factors. An expert UI designer can be invaluable to ensure that colors, text, visuals, and interactive elements all work together seamlessly to drive conversions.
If you’re in need of a redesign or even a brand-new website, you need to talk with our team at Neon Rain Interactive. Our experienced UI professionals will evaluate your needs to develop the optimal interface that stands out in its simplicity. If you’re ready to optimize your web presence to maximize conversions, get in touch with us to start the conversation.