Have you ever wondered what our life would be like today without user interfaces? And we are talking about the environment that allows us to interact and communicate with any computer, laptop, cell phone, tablet and many devices that are part of our days.
We are in a digital transformation era, where it is important to know about the user interface, what it is, what are the main aspects that characterize it and today we will explain it.
The user interface, also known UI, covers the resources, systems and methodologies that facilitate the interaction of people with computers, devices and other machines. The goal is to enable the user to communicate in a simpler, friendlier and more intuitive way, offering a positive experience.
Whoever the user is, the more intuitive and accessible the design, the better.
Why should you give importance to the user interface?
The goal in the user interface is to generate sales, new customers and keep the existing ones. A bad interface can generate distrust, confusion and harm the business, because if the user does not achieve his goal in a simple way, sooner or later he will decide to look elsewhere, and possibly the customer will be lost.
For a business, one of the best ways to satisfy the needs of its consumers is to focus on creating a pleasant and valuable user experience for them. An important fact according to HubsPot is that sites, platforms or applications with a good experience have up to 400% more conversions than those that offer a difficult, confusing or unpleasant digital experience.
Nowadays we are mainly used to graphical user interfaces such as those of web pages, but there are also different ways of communication between a software and a user.
Types of Interfaces:
- Graphic user interface (GUI): is the graphical content where the computer’s information is displayed. Almost all programs have some kind of visual interface. For example, a Word file’s user interface will allow you to view information and interact with a variety of tools.
- Website interface: refers to all the information, graphics and visual tools that appear when a website is opened. They should be much more intuitive and easy to use than those of a computer program since it would be impractical and unattractive for the user to have to spend time learning how to use each web page he/she visits.
- Voice user interface (VUI): these are programs capable of identifying and interpreting speech. The most common and well-known examples we have today with the rise of Artificial Intelligence are Siri, Alexa and Google, which are voice-controlled.
- Text interface: is mainly used in the field of operating system programming. It is the evolution of the command line interface used by early computer programs.
- Natural interface: is the type of interface that identifies and interprets natural human actions, such as movements and facial expressions. An example of these is the Xbox Kinect and the PlayStation.
- Brain-computer interface: is the most innovative interface so far. It does not have many everyday applications yet, but it is being used to control bionic prostheses and give simple instructions to software via brainwaves.
Guidelines for a good user interface development
To create a good user interface it is important to keep in mind certain criteria considering design and development, achieving that the user has a real connection and adequate experience:
Clarity: transmit the information in a precise way and thus prevent the user from making mistakes during the interaction. Example: banking applications, where information must be presented in a clear way to avoid confusion
Accuracy: provide the user with only the information they need and ask for. Example: Spotify with the carplay option where it highlights the most used buttons to play music without complications while driving.
Coherence: allow the person to create patterns of use in a simple and practical way. This is what makes an interface intuitive, reducing the user’s learning curve. Using the same components in actions to provide the same semantics. Example: in Rappi’s application they use an arrow to indicate that the application will send them to a new section.
Simplicity: design an interface with fundamental and necessary elements and features. Example: Airbnb’s platform manages a simple booking system that guides the user step by step to make the desired reservation.
Flexibility: allow the user to restore or undo actions on the fly without going through a painful process or backtracking. Example: Airbnb allows a change of dates or guests in a simple way, even if you have the selected accommodation.
Familiarity: keeping some elements similar to other applications or pages will give the feeling of knowledge and ease of use. Example: there are icons or formats that just by seeing them you already know their function or meaning, such as the inputs or the configuration icon.
Visual appeal: a good interface is pleasing to the eye, so the importance of visual appeal should never be underestimated. Example: event pages in which the aim is to make people feel the desire to attend just by looking at them.
To evaluate whether a user interface is good, various factors must be taken into account, mainly if it is visually appealing with an intuitive and direct experience. A good user interface development in an app, website, etc. helps to have a better relationship with customers and may even represent an advantage in terms of positioning, as it increases the dwell time. To learn more about this, we bring some success stories that show the effectiveness of their interfaces.
3 examples of outstanding interfaces
Airbnb’s interface does two things very well: booking a place to stay and building trust between two complete strangers.
This service has prioritized the facility with which a stay is booked from its home screen, where the user is simultaneously and decently invited and directed to start organizing their stay.
On its page it includes “Book” type buttons being one of the most striking, inviting you to click to finalize your reservation.
On the checkout page it asks to “Greet your host” giving the opportunity to start a conversation and connection between the host and the guest.
It is a simple, intuitive page that allows users to reach the objective they were looking for when they entered the website in an easy way and without confusion.
The most popular application offered by the music streaming service generates excellent profitability for the brand, with a simple and functional mobile application design, where users can create their playlists, edit them in a simple and intuitive way.
The user interface and the experience it provides is the first thing that must be taken care of in a digital product, device or website. The best interfaces are those that make the user forget that he is interacting with a machine.
It is important to emphasize that the user interface is not something static, but evolves with the needs and use of users, constantly adjusting and changing.
A company that seeks to stand out from the competition must pay special attention to the usability aspects of the user interface, making it an ally in your business.
How will you take your user experience to another level? If you need consultancy, with us you will find certified and experienced professionals specialized in creating friendly, intuitive and efficient user interfaces.