We no longer see computers or other mobile devices as static machines that we watch and click a key or two.
Interaction is becoming a major part of web or app development, and you need to keep things fresh in order to hold viewer attention effectively.
Even if your app has a genius purpose, you need to have a stunning interface to go along with it. From games to online digital content like a Flipbook (click here), you need to have a polished interface for good interaction.
Here are five great ways to build a successful interface.
1. Keep It Simple
Of course, this can be a vital tip in just about any area, and it certainly applies to user interfaces as well. Don’t overwhelm your users with too many options all at once. Use simple and clear buttons or links to help guide them through the process. You don’t want to drag it out over 15 pages and clicks, but at the same time, you don’t need all options right in front of you immediately. Offer a few choices, and only once that has been completed, bring the viewer to the next portion of the task to continue.
2. Keep It Visual
Interfaces these days are all about graphics and color. Not garish or gratuitous cartoons, but a sophisticated collection of images that can provide you with visual information faster and easier than a lot of text. The popularity of infographics as a way of presenting details really illustrates this idea (pardon the pun).
Colors should be coordinated across your app, and help direct the attention of the user. Contrasting colors are an excellent way to make certain elements pop, as long as you use them sparingly. Too much can be distracting.
3. Don’t Make People Search
When using a smart phone, people prefer interacting with taps and swipes, not trying to navigate a tiny virtual keyboard to type. That means you want to make your hierarchy and menu system easy to use and very obvious. A person should be able to find what they want be using the links presented, not by searching. Of course, there are limits to this, so you do need to keep a search function active in your site or app. Just don’t lean too heavily on it.
4. Embrace the Touch Screen
Like we just mentioned, the touch screen interface should be used to its fullest potential. Use a quick swipe to move to the next page rather than offer up a link to click, for example. Moving through an apps functions with motions instead of links is more engaging and allows you a little more flexibility in how your content is presented. Icons can be repositioned, menus can be tucked off-screen and tabs can be swiped open to keep it all interesting.
5. Familiarity isn’t a Bad Thing
Being on the cutting edge of creative interface design is one thing, but being too far away from the norm can confuse people. People are going to get annoyed with unfamiliar icons, strange motions or unexpected options, even if you think your new approach is genius. Along with familiarity, you want consistency too. That doesn’t mean your interface has to be set in stone from Day 1, but don’t revamp your entire site or app too frequently.