UX is a mosaic within the scientific realm that helps in interaction, conversion and retention for any business. We base an excellent design on a clear understanding of the basic UX design principles. A seamless UX revolves around creating delightful and fitting experiences for the user. When created with continuous improvement, it enhances the usability and perceived quality for the user. Now, a UX Design can be successful for many reasons, however, but these core design principles uphold the significant experiences a UX designer tries to create.
What are design principles?
UX design principles are a set of values that act as a foundation for the design. Think of them as checkpoints that help everyone working on the same path through the design process. These principles allow everyone to build products or services that capture the hearts of the user and their precious screen space. And it remains a known fact that an excellent product or service is generally one with flawless UX design that most users don’t even notice it.
Modern design principles
I want to point out that in the book, Universal Principles of Design, There are 125 principles (I think!) mentioned to come up with an effective UX design. That said, seven UX Design principles are most often mentioned and utilised throughout the process, with UX Design principles examples, of course!
The essential principle in UX design is to make the product or service user-focused. You would come to notice that any great design has always been a heavenly match of form and function because, at its core, this principle combats a pervasive issue of providing real-life users with an excellent experience.
Applying this principle involves stepping into the users’ shoe and walking a mile – everyday tasks one would use it for and keeping those significant concerns in mind.
Smaller businesses build their user feedback mechanisms, whereas corporations have the luxury of a dedicated UX research team.
Maintaining consistency is a more specific principle of UX design. If you look at the bigger picture, consistency means that designs and functionality of the product or service stay the same all across the board. One must recognise that many successful brands utilise similar templates in their UI to maintain flow.
For this reason, businesses remain consistent knowing that users would revisit and it’s imperative to respect that notion. One must create the product or service around familiarity, as the more familiar it is, the easier it will be to use.
Implementing this principle should be approached in many ways; however, one must refrain from trying new ideas. I understand that innovation, but not at the cost of usability.
A core principle of UX design that is often forgotten is the hierarchy. A hierarchical approach allows one to think through the full functionality and then map it into a tree-like structure in which all those aspects flows naturally. Facebook, for example, uses a Z shaped pattern on their login page, which goes unnoticed. This gets to show that if implemented effectively, the hierarchy can be invisible.
As the famous industrial designer, Dieter Rams said, Good design is as little design as possible. Adopting this approach at the earliest comes with its advantages like the search and navigation become easier. It also shows the designer how the product or service works.
One of the fundamental design principles of UX is to build context. It is of utmost importance as it determines how users will interact with the designs. In this regard, context is about paying attention to the scenarios that create accessibility for the product or service.
Designing contextually also means catering to a wide variety of factors. The central idea here is to cover the entire emotional spectrum for the users depending on when, how, and where they would utilise the product or service. Paying attention to those factors can enhance the level to which the designs are relevant to the users.
Let the user be in control
Allowing the user to be in control is another one of the fundamental design principles of UX. UX research has reflected over the last two decades that nobody can provide meaningful insights about a product or service like its users.
Don’t get me wrong; total user control can overwhelm the user. Just remember, the product or service must remain easy to use even with its advanced features. Such features should be well hidden only to be available to those who would like to use them. A careful balance needs to be maintained that would not create a gap in your design as it caters to both the average and advanced users.
Keep things clear
Another one of the crucial design principles of UX is clarity, which means making the design of the product or service as straightforward as possible. Providing clarity for the user is as it allows one to create accurate customer journey maps. It also allows one to use widely known UI components such as buttons, animations and icons, so the user does not get overwhelmed.
It also helps the designers avoid creating false affordances within their design, which is a dead-end. Avoiding such miscalculations allow the user to stay on task and gain meaningful experience.
User testing the design
Here is one of the crucial design principles of UX. To implement a human-centred design strategy, one must consult the users of the product or service at the beginning of the design process. To gain meaningful insights, one would need to create a continuous and meticulous practice of usability testing.
Consider design as an iterative process, where one is continually trying to understand how users are utilising the product or service and use that fact to improve upon the current version.
UX Design principles software
Well, there is not a single software that can determine design principles, per se. It is more of a mixture of different wireframing tools, mockup tools and even prototyping tools to determine various UX design principles.
Click here for a list of UX tools.
Explain how design is important to the content
We have all heard the phrase Content is king, which was the title of an essay that Bill Gates wrote in the late 90s, which was issued on the website of a billion-dollar brand we call Microsoft today. He furthered his philosophy by saying content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting. Now that is how a futurist thinks!
Content drives users to the product or service. Design only influences and enhances that content – the impressions created within the product or service should reflect on the user as well. UX design, when used effectively, helps the user find that content easily and quickly. The design also helps in terms of organising the content, giving users a seamless experience, allowing them on the product or service regularly.
Understanding and implementing design principles mentioned above are vital to the success of any product or service, and in turn, the business itself. One must remember to recognise a fundamental truth that they are designing the product or service for the users and not themselves. What may seem apparent to one might not be the same for others.
UX Designers should aim to understand these principles and notice the impact on their designs. Creating an optimal user experience can be done even without thorough understanding, but that is a slippery slope and may take a lot of trial and error to create something that looks good.