“Good design is like a refrigerator — when it works, no one notices, but when it doesn’t, it sure stinks.” — Irene Au
Imagine you designed an ‘automated, transparent door with a ‘push and pull’ sign on it. What do you expect your users to do? Where will your users be? The answer is simple; in the world of astonishment and CONFUSION.
Designing is not only about visuals but also how effectively your design interacts with the people using it. Here are a few guidelines that designers follow to create a mindful and impressive design-
01. Know the fundamentals of design
While designing for a wider audience, it is already assumed one has a clear conscience about what the users are expecting. Creating a seamless design comes with a bit of practice and a lot of clear understanding.
Although only sticking to books might not be your gateway to the brighter future of design, reading a few will surely enhance your skills. You can dive into ‘The design of everyday things‘ and ‘As Little Design as Possible‘ by Dieter Rams to better understand the foundation of designs.
P.S — You can’t build substantial skyscrapers of design on weak foundations.
02. Design around your Client, not yourself.
Whom do you keep in mind while designing? Yourself? STOP DOING IT.
Creators regularly accept that users who will utilize their interfaces resemble them. Yet, feeling that ‘you are your client’ is a deception. This impact in brain science is known as the False consensus effect.
Generally plausible, the individuals who’ll utilize your design have various foundations, various attitudes, diverse mental models, and multiple objectives. All in all, they are not you.
Testing with genuine clients (not your colleagues, companions, or family) permits designers to figure out how to make ideal items for the individuals who will utilize them. It might be tedious; however, it’s the best way to be sure that you’re moving the correct way.
Testing with genuine clients is a fundamental piece of the planning cycle.
P.S — Think about the ‘crowd’ and build your ideas around their needs.
03. Avoid overloading users with excess data.
An ability to focus on a particular data is the measure of time somebody focuses on an undertaking without getting occupied. A recent report directed by Microsoft found that the average human capacity to concentrate has declined from 12 seconds to 8 seconds.
It implies that we currently have a more limited ability to focus than goldfish.
Designers need to adapt to this conduct and focus on providing one piece of information at a time. Putting too much on the users’ plate will only lead to dissatisfaction and hence the failure of a versatile design.
The best way to deal with this is to improve interfaces by eliminating components that don’t fulfill users’ needs. It includes removing the extra elements that crowd the screen. Instead, go for a more elegant and clean design where users can focus on one lament at a time.
Simultaneously, this doesn’t imply that most components should be restricted. All data should be meaningful and significant.
P.S — Adjust configuration for limited ability to focus.
04. Reduce cognitive load
In 1956, therapist George Miller acquainted the world with the hypothesis of ‘chunking.’ In his works, Miller says the human working short-term memory could only hold about 5 to 9 chunks of information and deal with two “chunks” of data at a time.
If you design an interface where users have to input huge numbers, try to keep them separated or in chunks. It dramatically reduces repeating mistakes while putting the number data.
It allows us to coordinate and gather things. For instance, if your UI powers clients to enter phone numbers without normal dividing, it can bring about a great deal of inaccuracy and put the user under a ‘not so pleasant experience.’
That is actually why telephone numbers or card numbers are separated into more modest pieces.
Do you recite your 10 digits mobile number in one breath? Nobody does. We all chunk numbers.
P.S — Design to keep the users hooked, not fall apart.
05. Do not ignore Design Prototypes.
Ever thought of diving into the building stage without prototyping? Resent it. Even Leonardo da Vinci never did so.
Skipping prototyping and investing a ton of energy into building a genuine item is another typical (and hazardous) botch among many plan groups. Imagine working for days on something only to watch it fail in the hands of real users.
Prototyping permits you to test your theory before investing energy fabricating the genuine item. Planners can utilize diverse strategies for prototyping. One helpful prototyping procedure is called Rapid Prototyping.
It’s a well-known method of rapidly creating the final product/item, be it a site or an application, and approving it through clients’ gathering.
P.S — Start with a small step and then prepare for the giant leap.
06. Keep it sweet and simple.
If your users have to ask Google at every step of the interface, consider redesigning.
For instance, using unique shading plans on various pages on a site regularly creates disappointment in clients. Subsequently, it’s imperative to keep plan components recognizable every step of the way. Make sure to apply the Principle of Least Astonishment(PoLA) to your item plan.
In other words, your design should not contain elements that would surprise, astonish, or startle the user whenever flowing through the steps. This act creates turmoil and leaves the user ‘lost.’
The bottom line here is that providing a predictable, positive experience improves your chances of successfully meeting the user’s expectations, as well as the mental model he or she already has about how the experience should unfold. When what happens on the screen corresponds to their expectations, they are more confident, comfortable, and happy. It means that they will continue to visit and utilize what you have designed.
P.S — The sign of a great design is effortlessness and consistency.
07. Seek early feedback, fail smaller.
To blunder is in human nature. Mistakes regularly happen while designing.
It may be an awkward process, especially at the beginning. You think you have your perfect design; then you find that the test user cannot carry out the tasks. You can convince yourself that the first user lacks something, but you learn that you lack something after the second or third time.
Bear in mind that feedback is growth. It can give you mental resilience to go through the initial prick of feedback, but you will only grow after that.
P.S — No feedback is a bad one.
It’s never too late to start brand new. If you have the zeal to understand the users and are not afraid to go past the criticism, an incredible journey awaits you.
Originally published on Coditas Blog