The graphical user interface is a crucial element of any electronic device in the modern era. The user interface is the component that allows humans to interact with their devices, from coffee machines to high-tech computers and state-of-the-art medical devices. However, not all user interfaces are equal. Some are much more successful than others. The key to a high quality user interface lays in the design, and there are a number of cardinal rules to take into account to help you achieve the best possible graphical user interface.
- Keep it Simple
Although it sounds obvious, a simple user interface is the key to success. Avoid cluttering the interface with excessive buttons, tabs, and extraneous elements. Before taking the plunge and adding any element to the interface, ask yourself whether it is truly necessary. If it isn’t critical to the function of a specific screen, leave it out. Only add elements that provide benefits to your users.
- Stay Concise
When attempting to keep an interface simple, some designers are tempted to explain every little thing, often in the form of pop-ups or dialog boxes. This increases data mass, which in turn, can slow down your UI rapidly AND overwhelm the user.
While it may be necessary and beneficial to explain something to the user, keep it short and to the point, without excessive verbiage. Remember that the point of a user interface is to allow someone to interact with a device. Therefore, they shouldn’t have to spend a lot of time reading usability information. In the fast-paced digital age, people lack patience, and every second matters to them. (more…)