The key to good UX design lies in stopping to think before you start acting. Structuring the information and focusing on the user are tasks that require a lot of attention and dedication if a good application is to be carried out. Here in this article form we leave you a compilation of tips to help you in the process of designing better APPS.
Typically, 80% of users use 20% of an application’s functionality. That is why before starting to design it is necessary to know the main function and the secondary functions that our application is going to perform in order to prioritize its contents.
In this way, it is possible to eliminate unnecessary functionalities and give priority to the main ones so that our user is not lost by the functionalities of the application that we design and remains focused on their objective.
This task is carried out using structural diagrams also known as mind maps or mind mapping.
When a user does not know how to use an application, they will most likely become frustrated and end up looking for another that better meets their needs.
For this not to happen it is essential to empathize with users and communicate with them, establishing a system capable of guiding them correctly through the application and informing them about everything that is happening.
To empathize with your users, you can use the Empathy Maps, which consist of describing the ideal client through their feelings: what they think, feel, see, speak, do and listen, as well as their pain and needs.
If you want to know more about empathy maps, in this blog you can find other articles such as How to develop an empathy map and what it is for.
To communicate with users, some of the tools that you can use in your application are:
Breadcrumbs or breadcrumbs: they prevent the user from getting lost on the web.
Progress indicators: if you are designing a process, add an indicator that helps the user to detect how much he has completed and how much remains to be done.
Clickable Buttons: In button layout, a simple color change helps the user to detect if the page has responded to their request.
3. Be consistent
Now that you know your target user and their needs, act accordingly. Adapt the information to your language to avoid sending you messages that are contradictory or difficult to interpret based on your previous experience.
This is what explains Jakobs Law of web user experience: “users spend most of their time on other websites than yours” so, if your service follows the same design standards as the others, being similar to those they already frequent, when someone comes to your site they will know how to use it.
It facilitates access to the main functions of the application, as Fitts’s Law says, “The time required to reach the goal is a function of the distance and size to travel to it.” So if you want a user to click or access a place, you should place their access as close as possible to the position where the user is going to be and make it large enough to facilitate interaction.
Divide long processes into different stages, according to Hicks’ Law: “The time it takes to make a decision increases as the number of options increases” so that if you reduce the number of options you show the user, you will avoid saturating him with information and it will take less time to make a decision.
Group all the data that are related in the same block and separate them from the others, either with a space or with another color. According to the Law of Proximity, “Objects that are close tend to come together and in the user experience they are understood as in the same group.” Following this method will reduce confusion for users and facilitate a visual tour of the interface.
Avoid putting too many options in the menus, group them together to reduce memory load. As Miller’s Law states “people can remember up to 7 (plus or minus 2) different items in their working memory.” This is why putting more than this amount can cause confusion and the user gets lost.
But don’t go over simplifying … “for any system there is a certain complexity that cannot be reduced to the maximum.” You always try to reduce the number of tasks to its lowest exponent to make the processes faster, but all tasks have a limit.
The Law of Conservation of Complexity, or also known as Tesler’s Law, is the one that states this principle.
5. Stand out
Get out of the monotony, if you want something to attract attention, do not be afraid to do something that breaks everything else. It doesn’t have to be something very different, just a color change, something that shouldn’t be there or even a different font makes it catch the user’s attention. “When there are several similar objects, the one that differs from the rest will always be remembered” according to the Von Restorff Effect.
6. Prototype, test, test and test
Now you have to put all these tips into practice in your application prototype. This prototype must faithfully reflect how the content of your service is structured and the operation of the different navigation flows, as well as the interaction between the different elements.
Your first prototype shouldn’t have a lot of detail and you won’t need to design all the screens because it will be the basis on which all changes are made before you start designing the UI.
Once the first version is finished: do tests with users. This will be the most important step of all, since here you will check whether or not users understand your application.