Bad UI design can have a serious impact on website traffic. A poor design will turn people away and a superb design will keep people coming back.
The UI field is still evolving, so developers often make mistakes during designs that have a lasting impact.
Keep some of these 7 UI mistakes in mind as you are designing the UI for your website.
1. Being Too Obsessed with Rules
Graphic design has a specific set of guidelines that many designers are unwilling to deviate from. Stepping away from the pre-determined rules is a risky choice that many UI designers do not want to take.
In every design field, however, nothing develops if people refuse to try something new. Design provides plenty of opportunities to break the rules, as it is a fluid discipline that quickly shifts and changes between projects.
Designers need to remember that the rules are guidelines, not requirements. You must find a way to respect and address the rules without letting them limit you. Design is not a structured activity with a list of steps to follow.
2. Adhering to “Top 10” UI Design Tips
One of the things that makes UI design so difficult is the sheer number of UI tips. As it becomes a more prevalent aspect of websites, more and more people are publishing guides and articles about the best way to do UI design.
Be hesitant to accept these tips as fact. Each article is bound to have varying pieces of advice, some of which contradict others. Additionally, the advice is often extremely broad.
Websites all have different audiences with different wants and needs. Adhering too strictly to “top 10” guides will damage your website UI design and minimize its effectiveness.
“How to” and “top 10” lists also rarely go in depth about the root of each issue. As a result, new UI designers do not learn the ins-and-outs of how UI design works and do not develop a deeper understanding about the world of design.
If they only know surface level information, their ability to design successful user interfaces will be seriously hindered.
Additionally, “top 10” lists are based on predictions and trends. Following trends limits creativity and will ultimately stunt the growth of your website.
3. Misusing the Grid
All UI design requires a grid. Pixel-by-pixel organization is the foundation of web and mobile interface. Though grids are necessary for an organized design, UI designers should avoid relying too heavily on them.
Do not try to make grids trendy. The purpose of a grid is to serve as a design tool that creates simple navigation from item to item for users. It provides a foundation for the website. Use your grid as a tool and keep it separate from design instincts.
Additionally, do not use the grid to help or kickstart your workflow. If you depend on the grid for your design, you will significantly limit yourself.
A grid is a great way to keep a website organized and logical but you can still have the freedom to develop a creative design on top of it.
4. Using Standardized Patterns in Your Design
Standardized design elements for UI design have been widely circulated. However, standardized things are boring.
Whether it is the interior of a building or the design of a website, users will become inevitably uninterested in patterns that are the same across the board.
Patterns can be an effective way to save time. They can prevent designers from needing to create and develop UI designs from scratch.
However, some designers also see patterns as a way to solve problems. It is dangerous to become reliant on patterns, as it will limit your UI design.
5. Misunderstanding Typefaces
One of the things that many people try to give hard-and-fast tips on is fonts. They claim that certain fonts should never be used and others will always be effective. Statements like these are incorrect.
There are no rules on type, text, and font use other than ensuring that it is legible and conveys the intended meaning. There is no single font that is never effective, as long as users can understand and interpret it.
UI designers cannot completely write off or depend on a few fonts. It is important to have extensive knowledge about each font and how it is best used so you can always choose the optimal font for a website.
For example, many people have recently started claiming that thin fonts should always be avoided, saying that they are too difficult to read and often do not transfer well between devices.
When contemplating thin fonts, think about when and why it would be a good choice. Consider certain contexts that call for a thin font.
In all reality, bold, thick texts are often more difficult to read. However, bold texts are ideal for headers because they stand out.
Thin fonts are optimal for bigger chunks of text because they flow together smoothly. It is important to look at all types of situations and acknowledge that different situations call for different fonts.
Another risk of making hard-and-fast decisions about fonts is eliminating variability in your website design. Using different fonts in different situations can establish a hierarchy, making it clear to the user which parts of the website are a priority and which are less important.
On the flip side, too much variation can also be a poor website UI design choice. If every font is different, nothing stands out and the users are not able to determine which aspects they should prioritize.
6. Creating an Inconsistent Style
As a UI designer, it is vital to have a consistent style throughout the website. Similar to font variation, there is a clear line between confusing inconsistency and exciting changes.
You do not want your design to have the exact same pattern throughout the entire website, as this will quickly bore any users and make your website unappealing.
However, part of designing a website is creating a brand. You want to give visitors a personalized sense of who you are and what the purpose of the website is. Without a consistent style and design, the website will seem unorganized.
Another reason why consistency is important is for usability. A huge part of designing a website is making it easy to navigate.
Users should not need to spend a long time trying to access what they want. If the website has a consistent style throughout each page, it will be far easier for users to understand.
7. Misuse of Contrast
Contrast is another term that often appears on “top 10” lists and tips about UI design. Many experts advise against using too little contrast, as it makes the website more difficult to read and nothing will stand out.
However, it is also important to avoid using too much contrast. High contrast images are appealing and very intriguing.
They are also one of the ways to get people to explore the website. But high contrast visuals quickly lose their impact if every visual is high contrast.
To effectively build a hierarchy of elements, there must be variation between each element on the website. As thrilling as high contrast is, too much of it can overtake and dilute the content on a website.