The Three Laws of User Interface Design

When it comes to user interface design, there are things on the user’s side that need to be considered. The goal of any user interface is to make it easier and more enjoyable for users to work with, so it’s important to always try and improve your customer experience. As a designer you should always keep the following three laws in mind when creating a new user interface or editing an existing one.

The Law of Clarity

Always remember Google and their lack of following the Law of Clarity in terms of their latest Gmail update. This law states that your user will avoid elements in the interface without a clear meaning. During a previous Google update, they moved all connected programs from Gmail, such as Calendar, Drive, Youtube and the Play Store behind an ambiguous Grid box icon. The reason that this example is important is that Google got flooded with email requests wanting to know where the other applications went. In general, since your customers are in the “Want it now, buy it now” mindset, if they cannot immediately understand the something, they will ignore it, never bothering to find out.

The Law of Defaults

The second law to keep in mind in user interface design is the Law of Defaults. This law means that your user will rarely change the default settings. Most notably is the most popular ringtone on the planet – the Nokia default ring tone. Most people never bother to change the default settings, such as their background and ringtones on their phones, nor the default fridge setting for the temperature. Defaults can be very powerful. To this end, make sure your default settings are as practical and useful as possible.

The Law of Guided Action

The third important law is the Law of Guided Action. Your user will more than likely do something if they are asked to do it. There is a large difference between asking a user to do something and expecting them to know to do it. Case in point, LinkedIn introduced its Endorsements feature and took the initiative to create highly-visible, call-to-action banners that appeared at the top of the profile pages.

To create a user interface that is both interactive and provides for the laws of clarity, defaults and guided actions, you must create an interface that makes use of the dialogue of the user, while assuming that both experienced and new users are seeing your work for the first time. Never assume all users will understand all the time and make it as easy as possible for them to use your interface.

The Bold Circle specializes in user interface design and our experienced team can help you to improve your current UI or create a brand new one for your customers.

Connect with us today to find out more about our user interface design solutions.

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