UI stands for user interface; this term encompasses the relationship between people and web and mobile applications. Decisions such as the size, location, and color of an app button, the menu style, the font size of a header, the amount of whitespace used, or the checkout process all impact the user interface.
Types of User Interface Include:
- Graphical User interface: Allows for mouse, touchpads, or other pointing devices to control a pointer on the screen to click on graphics and icons.
- Touchscreen Graphical User Interface: The only difference between the touchscreen graphical user interface and the graphical user interface is that a person’s fingers or a stylus are used to select icons and perform tasks rather than a pointer.
- Conversational UI: Allows users to tell computers what to do, whether it be verbal, voice-controlled, or written. Siri, Alexa, and chatbots demonstrate this.
- Menu-Driven Interface: Menu-driven interface is when the only user interaction is scrolling the menu and tapping the items. The menu or list could be shown in full-screen, pop-up, drop-down, or pull-down. The settings menu on a phone or an ATM are illustrations of this.
- Command Line Interface: This type of user interface is faster than other interfaces. It is intended for interacting with a PC on a low abstraction level, and an example would be Windows or macOS operating systems.
To create an excellent user interface, it is key to know the users inside and out and know how they will use the digital interface. Set user expectations through the digital design and copy to let users know, before they click a button, what will happen afterward. Error proofing an interface is a good idea too. Examples of this would be when form buttons remain inactive until all fields are filled out properly.
A Few Common Mistakes to Avoid When Creating a User Interface Would Be:
- Using inconsistent UI elements could mean using both rounded and squared corners for icons instead of just rounded or squared.
- Not having enough distinction between primary and secondary buttons through visual weight.
- No text hierarchy which organizes content in a digestible way.
- Poor iconography leading to unclear brand messages.
- Low contrast could lead to call-to-action buttons, headers, or other important company information to be missed.