The Art of UX/UI Design
By Adwright, 27 June 2022
45 seconds. This is the average amount of time internet users spend on a web page. Needless to say, the time window to successfully entice users to stay on a site is extremely narrow. In this digital era, websites are associated with brand credibility, which means that they hold the power to either elevate or hurt a brand. In fact, it is estimated that 38% of users will stop engaging with a website if they find its contents or layout unattractive, making website design a potential key weakness for many businesses. In this article, we will explore the ways UX/UI design directly correlates with user retention, and highlight key considerations one should take note of when building or upgrading a website. It has been more than 45 seconds, are you still with us? Good, we are glad you are.
Demystifying UX/UI Design
For starters, UX (User Experience) quite literally refers to an individual’s experience of navigating a website for an intended purpose. Whether the objective is to purchase an item of clothing or find the best flight prices to a holiday destination, a well-designed UX would enable the user to locate the information needed with ease. Conversely, a website with poor UX would mean more difficulty on the user’s end to carry out the aforementioned tasks.
While UX is about functionality, UI (User Interface) refers to the graphical layout of a website. This includes visual elements like web design, images, and text entry fields. To put it simply, UI is concerned with aesthetics and encapsulates a brand’s personality. A well-designed UI is clear, intuitive, and responsive, whereas a lacklustre UI is typically confusing, clunky, and sluggish.
It is important to note that UX and UI are complementary to each other, with both elements working in tandem to increase a user’s satisfaction when interacting with a product/service on a website. Now that we have established what constitutes UX/UI design, let us take a look at the qualities that make each element great.
Key Considerations for Good UX Design
1. Information Architecture
This refers to the structure and organisation of information. Just like how an architect designs a house, an information architect plans out how information is laid out on a website in a way that ensures users obtain information they need in the shortest amount of time. Having a good grasp of information architecture allows for a UX that is efficient, systematic, and intuitive. An easy way of harnessing information architecture is to categorise all the content into groups, before using a sitemap to present the sorted content. As a sitemap showcases how each web page links to another, this method provides a great visualisation of the information from a user’s point of view, as well as reveals possible roadblocks in a user’s journey.
2. Stick to Conventions
Where UX design is concerned, it is best to refrain from reinventing the wheel. While we are strong advocates for fresh ideas and creativity, the truth is that many individuals are accustomed to certain practices when browsing websites. Our navigation behaviour has been moulded over time, such that we are accustomed to finding information we need under certain headers or that we expect certain icons to be clickable links. For instance, a user looking to find out more about our company would typically expect to locate the information by clicking the “About Us” tab. To give another example, by clicking the icon of a company logo or name, a user would likely expect to be brought to the landing page. Therefore, with our past browsing experiences ingrained in us, going against conventions can lead to a rather stressful experience on the user’s end.
Key Considerations for Good UI Design
1) Visual Hierarchy
Referring to the principle of arranging elements in order of their importance, visual hierarchy controls the delivery of a browsing experience. In a website crowded with content and design elements, good visual hierarchy helps to highlight important information and limits supplementary information. In turn, users can be guided effectively through a web page and also comprehend what they are being presented with.
To achieve an ideal visual hierarchy, brands can play with colour and contrast to make key information stand out in a sea of words and visual details. Additionally, font size can be varied to direct attention to headers and key messages.
2) Design Consistency
As briefly mentioned before, most users are used to certain practices and behaviour when navigating a website. Well, a similar sense of familiarity is built during the process of browsing through a website’s various pages. In order to reduce the cognitive load on users who are adapting to a site’s interface in real time, it is crucial for designers to be consistent in their design styles. By doing so, users feel more familiar with the website quicker, leading to an intuitive and seamless browsing experience.
“If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design,” Ralf Speth, former CEO of Jaguar once quipped. To a branding agency like us, a website is more than just a pretty face for your brand. It is a brand asset and an important communication touchpoint for customers and businesses. A well-designed website can be a long-term money making machine while an outdated website could well be the obstacle hurting your company’s development. Here at Adwright, our expertise in UX/UI design has helped brands like Elucidation and KED Energy Solutions launch their first website. We propelled them into the digital space, increasing their brand awareness and strengthening their online presence.
Adwright is an award-winning integrated branding agency in Singapore with over 25 years of experience in the industry and counting. We have collaborated with clients ranging from local SMEs to global corporations, spanning across many industries. We provide integrated solutions in UX and UI design, branding, design, communications and beyond to help you bring your brand’s presence to market. Partner with us and embark on your unique brand journey today. To find out more about the services that Adwright provides, call us today at +65 6227 7227 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.