User Interface Design and the Web

April 3, 2013 - 7 minutes read

If you are looking for great user interface design to help your online business website … You are at the right place!

There is so much information that goes into what defines a great user interface design. It goes as deep as studying details of human interaction and the psychology of a sale. I will try my best to explain the concept of a great user interface design as it pertains to websites, and converting traffic into sales or turning a new visitor into a returning user.

What is UI (User Interface Design)?

UI stands for User Interface. Pretty straight forward actually, but what it means and how it is defined is a little more tricky. Since the beginning of time a great UI could lead a product to success or quite the opposite to failure. The interface is the face of your product and how users will interact with it. In the early days of product design, user interfaces were pretty straight forward, and accomplished usability. The times have changed, and are constantly changing.

Take a look at the image below, and you will see how things have changed over the years. What we perceive as usable today is completely different than 20 years ago.

user interface design mac

 

Apple, is a great example of the evolution of design and user interfaces. In fact I believe they set a pretty good standard and push the boundaries of usability, and simplicity thereof. Another example of UI that has dramatically improved over the years are the interiors of our vehicles. Take a look at the image below and you will see the difference in user interface design as it pertains to vehicles. We perceive the interior on the left is way more advanced, and up-to-date, while if we traveled back to 1980 the one on the right would be just as advanced. This same perception is carried over to web pages and website design today, as well as pretty much everything we use.

user interface design cadillac

 

What has changed in User Interface Design?

Changes across the web have changed dramatically over the past 10 years. Most of which is driven by the devices we are viewing the web pages one, and the speeds at which we view them. A few of the very many changes that have taken place when it comes to web ui are form elements, images, the way we display content, as well as the different ways we can display dynamic information.

user interface design windows 95In the early days of web design, we used tables to layout web pages, and the pages couldn’t really do much except display text and a few images. As internet speeds increased and browsers became more efficient at what the possibilities are of designing on the web … these page designs became more graphical, and dynamic. Remember Windows® 95? Well it was great when computers had 500MB hard drives and 32MB of RAM … whew crazy to think things functioned on those machines. Well just as Windows® made improvements so did the web. Browsers like Firefox, and Chrome made things easier for web ui designer and developers to make web site a lot more advanced.

So how does Web UI help your website?

Well that is a great question. When user visit your website you want to draw their attention. You have approximately 3 to 5 seconds to deliver your message and keep them engaged. If the user interface design of your site fails to capture them, you probably have lost them as a visitor, which means you also lost the opportunity to sell your product or service.

How can I help you with your website user interface design?

This is a strategic approach … I could just draw you up something that looks really “nice”, integrate the UI design into your site, send you on your way and cross our fingers that it helps. I don’t want to do that … The way users “use” your site is a tangible measure, and there are several ways to determine what will actually work. It can take some in depth research to accomplish this. Most of the time websites have very minimal traffic to test against. This makes it hard to get real data to work with. If that is the case we can do one of two things to develop a better UI for your website.

1: We can base this on your target demographic audience, and competitor sites. Looking over what others are doing and what is working for them can help us come up with a good starting point for a better UI. This method will help get your site up and running and over time will give us some measurements as to what works and what does not.

2: Building traffic to test against. This will result in some split testing also known as A / B testing. Where you design and develop 2 separate looks for a page, drive traffic (see more about how to build traffic). Using Google Web Optimizer  or The Five Second Test to generate some statistics for us to work with. Once we have a pretty good measurement of what your uses like and what makes them click “Buy Now” then we can start implementing the UI design site wide.

These are the beginning steps to creating great web UI. For more information or to get your project started click here.

 

 

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