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Great User Interface Design

responsive-design

Since the emergence of Web 2.0, design has emerged as one of the most important factors of building a successful web or mobile application. Previous to Web 2.0, the bar for design was actually pretty low. If you could implement a reasonable pleasant user interface, with a reasonable functional user experience, you could get by in the market.

Today, that is all changed. The user interface cannot just be average, it has to stand-out from the competition. The user experience needs to also be ahead of the rest.

In addition, today we have design tools and technologies that are very powerful. So, we are able to achieve a cross of both beauty and function in designs, that were previously unthinkable.

Today you need to design your web or mobile application like a sports car.

Software design is tightly coupled with marketing, however it can still be outsourced. Providing you can provide the correct marketing messages, content and branding, Tier Nine can provide highly professional designs for both mobile and web applications.

Design Factors and Heuristics

Relevancy

The system design should be relevant to the physical world of the user. For example, if you are building an application that is facing investment bankers, you will want to build a very clean and professional application, that is similar to any modern financial system on the web. Or, if you are building an application that is facing auto-mechanics, you probably want the theme to resemble cars, tools and the auto shop generally. This concept should include color schemes, branding, icons, graphics and system messaging.

Control with Freedom

The user should feel that have all controls over the system at hand. It should be intuitive. They should not feel that they are inhibited by the system. They should also have an “emergency exit” option to leave the system in an undesirable state without having to redo and entire set of dialogues or workflows. For example, they should not have to complete a dialogue based form and hit enter to learn that there is an error and that they need to start from scratch.

System Status Visibility

With proper training, the user should always know the exact status of the system. If messaging is required, it should be timely during the workflow of the user.

Consistency

The taxonomy, use cases, and system behavior should all be consistent. For example, in the case of taxonomy, the system should use similar wording, such that similar words do not have different meanings. Or in the case of behavior, the user should expect that the system provides consistent behavior across all screens and functionality. Finally, errors should be handled in a similar manner and error text should be consistent clear and relevant.

Minimize memorization

The user should not have to write down or memorize any variables, fields, actions or options. The system should be intuitive and all information should be clearly visible to get through screens or functionality.

Aesthetics and Minimalism

The system should not display content or messaging that is distracting or not meaningful. If the user were to squint his/her eyes to unfocus the screen, the elements which should still be recognizable are the critical path for the user to finish his/her task.

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