First of all let me explain you difference between a web designer and a GUI/UX designer.
Well let me explain you with a simple example if you want a website where he can show up some paintings and some simple text, Well in that case a web designer can fit fine but if You wants that people cannot only see those painting plus contact him else they want to buy paintings or we can say any interaction on the page then you need a GUI/UX designer.
So ideally if you want a website with multiple interactions on the page with different widgets, icons, forum etc then UI/UX designer is perfect choice for it.
UX (User Experience)
User experience is how they feel when the user look at the website. So taking all the user needs into an account is how we improve UX and what makes UX feels good is completely based upon how your designer design the interface.
GUI - Graphic User Interface
User Interface design is the part or page of the product that faces the user when he looks at the website or your online application or any social networking website. This is the reason why web pros say that the UI of landing page of the website / application should be very easy to use and engaging.
A visitor may leave in seconds if the site does not impress or not easy to use, So i am going to discuss some of the points which should be considered while making a UI/UX design.
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Major tips for Usability:
1. Speak the user’s language: Don't speak computer language to the user don’t use your area of expertise. Speak natural language to the user because that’s the what they understand.
2. Minimize memory load: Always try to minimize the memory load on the user. Computer has the tendency to do it and this will keep the user engaged.
3. Use constructive error message: Try to use constructive error message. it should not be like “An Error Occurred “ It should be like Why the error occurred and what should done to solve the error.
4. Support recall: If the user is ought to fill up something try to give him finite number of choices rather than giving a blank form that is called support recall. Try to make things easy for the user.
5. Make clear exits: Try to make clear exits in the website, Never get user into the corner where they don’t know how to get out of it. So you should always use: proper back buttons and clear exits.
6. Make shortcuts: Always try to make shortcuts for user where he/she can easily reach every time he visits there. Like in e-commerce websites there is always a list of last view items which creates an ease to the user when he revisits.
7. Give feedback: Always give feedback to users, Always tell them you when something goes wrong and also tell them when something goes right. And also how far they are in completing the task. Users don’t believe in computers they believe in you.
8. Prevent errors: Constructive errors are good but preventing errors is far better. Try to prevent the errors with proper testing and studies.
9. Thrive consistency: Always make sure that what the user had learn in the past also applies in your website in future as well so that they can easily figure out what to do.
How To make a great GUIs
1. Create a Design Study
In this study you can bring Developers, Designers, Users and Marketing experts together, because each one of them plays a very important role in building a UI design. Designer know about all latest designs around the world and people like, The developer knows what is technically possible, The user knows what they want support for? and the Marketing expert knows about the area you are developing for. With this kind of strategy and team effort you can get the best possible ideas for a great GUI.
Following are the points that you have to keep in mind after the design study:
- The result and output of each task?
- The information for each task come from, and how is the information that results from each task used
- Task done by each individual.
- What problems, if any, do people have performing each task? What sorts of mistakes are common? What causes them? How damaging are mistakes?
- What terminology do people who do these tasks use?
- What communication with other people is required to do the tasks?
2. Valid Questions
Now here some question should arise before initiating the project:
- What are we making?
- To whom we are making?
- Why we are making?
3. Provide the necessary knowledge of the platform to the user
If in case you are building an iphone app for a user tell them about the characteristics of the app and best way to use it and explain the process how the app will work.
4. Believe in possibilities not in limitations
Believe in the possibility of exploring ideas and try to insight into users view of field and give them ultimate support of your product. Use pictures because they say more than thousand words and it make things more believable.
a) Screen Flow Diagrams/ Maps : Screen flow diagrams are the first step towards moving a user interface ui design and user experience design from the conceptual stage to the physical stage. They show how a user will experience the content and functions of a specific stage.
b) Wireframes and prototypes: Wireframes are the first rough illustrations of what appears on each screen. They are sketch-like layouts with the purpose of documenting the critical content and functionality that users will see as they move through the screens of the UX.
6. Decent Menu
There should be a decent Menu wherein the user don't have to fatal with the structure. So decent Menu informs and explain navigational structure very well where user can easy find whatever he/she needs.
7. Don't reinvent the wheel
Don't try to invent a new way of going to through a webshop and paying for the goods. Don’t do that because the people can recall the structure from every other website on the web and they know how to use it. So they don’t have to bother with that and move on and actually starts looking and buying the stuff instead of learning to navigate your site. Now here you will think that then your website will look like everybody else is. Where is the new stuff? How do i stand out of the crowd? Don’t stand out of the crowd by making something that user cannot use. Nobody wants to remembered as one website which they can’t navigate Right? Stand out by having a really nice graphical design something unique there. Stand out by being the website where people thinks to themselves when they are done after 5 minutes wow!! That’s the fastest way I have ever shop anything on the web. Thats the way where you can stand out, Not by making something user can’t use.
8. Progressive Disclosure
Divide, Simplify and let the user conquer :
- Use steps for long complex tasks.
- Group it into wizards this avoid overload
- Use multiple levels
- Gradual and Detailed descriptions
In the nutshell i would say that while making a GUI/UX you should follow a set of rules considering user as a supreme, good usability with crystal clear purpose of using your application can make you win the race in this competitive world of web.
See you on the net :)