Balancing Content and Simplicity in UI Design

June 13, 2016In Interface, Experience3 Minutes

A digital content strategy can prove to be the most important relationship that a company shares with its audience, helping to build authenticity and ample conversion opportunities. A successful content implementation builds trust and develops a connection without actually being face to face, however, when it comes to designing a clean and minimal user interface to represent the copy, it’s common that the content editing process becomes a problem.

The process of designing and developing a user-centered interface that is simple yet effective is no small feat, particularly when there is detailed content at hand. Distilling information down to the core meaning, while remaining coherent and resonant is a powerful approach and can mean, among many other benefits, a sustained level of heightened conversion and a better user experience – but getting there can be a winding road.

Person on desk writing their content in notebook

Many shy away from a minimalist approach to content and design because adding, rather than subtracting, is just easier.

Content cannot be simply handed over to a UI designer and be ‘dropped’ into the design. Content and design teams must meet first to get a baseline on who the user is, and what the goal of the site will be. From there, content strategy is developed to determine what information will best guide the user along their path to conversion.

Considering the user and the copy that will be relevant to them will begin the process of creating the user journey. In terms of simplicity and ideal user experience (UX), elements to consider are the time to conversion, the number of clicks it takes to get there, and how readily available is the information. A great design won’t mean anything to the user who doesn’t understand the information or can’t get to where they need to go on the site.

The secret lies in discovering the balance of contextual information and visual cues that are needed to get the user to their goal. Too many elements can confuse the user and cause them to abandon the site before they are even given the chance to engage.

To aid in this process, adopting a visual hierarchy, or formula where content and image merge can deliver a clear view for the user to conversion. With a great deal of weight placed on user experience and pathways today, visual hierarchy can be a great instrument in the toolbox of a UI designer and site owner. Both content creators and designers must align to create a strategy for prioritizing their content.

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