Kicking Off A User Interface Project With Purpose

July 16, 2015In Interface4 Minutes

The user interface design process tends to be a shifting maze of discovery from project inception to delivery. Many developers and designers kick off a project with the best intentions only to develop an interface that doesn’t align with the original idea or purpose fully.

User interface design is not just about making an idea fit into a box. An immense amount of work goes into providing a great user experience and interface design. It is a dynamic process where test results are constantly used and updated, and feedback is analyzed to change the design and structure of the UI. Meet the audience halfway, and they will greatly assist in optimizing an ideal branding strategy.

Find Purpose

The underlying foundation of every website or application must be, of course, to embrace aesthetics and remain easily navigable for users. Coupled with a clean, original design, the interface’s usability is the key to a website’s success. Proper organization is important, but the creative levels go much deeper than simple functionality. The optimal experience is fueled by purpose.

Begin by identifying your goals, what you’re trying to achieve with your website and the myriad of details that come with each new question. Asking these important questions radically assists with zeroing in on your ideal website structure.

Examples of questions to ask are:

  • Why are my users attracted to my site?
  • How will they be using it?
  • How can my website goals match their overall experience?

Know The User

Once that purpose has been found, the most difficult level has been surpassed. A brand can begin shaping the user interface based on its intended audience. By researching and including any informative and relevant links, you become an invaluable collaborative data source for clients. This includes eliminating unnecessary clutter, links and information that could be inserted in a more optimal location.

Collaboration with individuals on the team who can contribute multiple perspectives to build the typical user personas that would be interacting with your website or app. Consider your goals and tear them apart to the foundation to paint the clearest picture of your website’s or application’s objectives. From those gathered details, please create a profile of the best prospects; using this information, you can interview them to glean the best possible picture of their goals and needs.

Developing these personas gives you invaluable insight into your target audience’s goals and modes of thinking, which will predict their behavior patterns; understanding these views are a powerful tool in the user interface design process.

Of course, it is important to recruit test participants that are similar to your actual site or product users. (Ideally, include representatives from each group and try to test these segments separately, if possible.) Delving deep into the details when forming the user profiles will have the most benefit and culminate in a more well-rounded data pool.

When constructing the questionnaire/survey, pose questions such as (Understanding these details and more will ensure a more accurate prediction of their future relationship with your company.)

  • What are their demographics?
  • What are their lifestyle and interest pool?
  • What major influencers will affect their product choices or interaction with your site?
  • What are their personal goals within those interactions, and what emotional background do they have?

Whether a brand is designing a website or an app, UI design strategy and implementation play a critical role in either project’s success. True engagement starts with the interface, personalizing the website or app in a specified fashion. A well-designed UI can open the doors to achieving your website’s goals, while a poorly designed one blocks the way to meaningful connection. This is easily understandable, but many businesses don’t put the time and creative collaboration into creating the optimal UX design in conjunction with UI.