User interface is important to meet user expectations and support the effective functionality of your site. A well-executed user interface facilitates effective interaction between the user and the program, app or machine through contrasting visuals, clean design and responsiveness. When designing a UI for your site, it’s important to consider the user’s expectations in terms of accessibility, visual aesthetic and ease of use. An optimal mix of effective visuals and efficient responsiveness will improve your site’s conversion rates, as it anticipates the needs of the user and then satisfies those needs.
More specifically, here are the most important overarching elements of a great UI:
Information architecture: The functionality of a site is built according to the IA. Structuring and organizing your website’s content in a logical way is important to help users navigate the site with minimal effort. Components of IA include three main types of organizational structures: hierarchical (level of importance), sequential (logical order of steps) and matrix (in which the user chooses the organization of the content they see).
Example: Navigation elements (buttons, tabs, icons), labels (terminology), search features (search bar) and organization systems (categories).
Interactive design: Elements of ID aim to turn passive readers into active participants by presenting instances of user input. Keeping the user in mind while creating the UI will help to improve the interactivity and execution of specific behaviors that satisfy user needs. Additionally, efficiently-designed interactive UIs can ‘learn’ to anticipate and remedy any problems that may come up before they negatively impact the user’s experience.
Example: Social-share features, toggles, buttons.
Visual design: The importance of your site’s aesthetic value cannot be underestimated. Effective design utilizes color, contrast, font, video and photo elements to attract visitors and make it easy for them to read and works with the content, rather than around it, to create a logical, intuitive flow of functionality.
Example: Contrast, color, white space, typography, mobile optimization.