UI design focuses on the aesthetics of a site and its related materials by strategically implementing images, colors, fonts, and other elements. A successful UI design enhances the content by engaging users and helping to build trust and interest in the brand.
Why User Interface Matters
There are more interface options, devices and interaction methods for users than ever before. There’s also more ways to confuse, alienate or lose those users than ever before. User Interface Design delivers brand cohesion by creating a tactile brand identity.
It encompasses color, logos, typography, voice and tone, messaging, pattern libraries and other interaction points. UI Design establishes the keystone system for how you will communicate with your users. It is a guide for your entire organization to use and your end users to rely on.
UI design is often relegated to the general “look and feel” of a site’s visual identity, but what can be brushed over is that consistency of the look and feel can save time and money for both you and your end user. A uniform interface delivers a sense of familiarity to users. When their assumptions about your site’s behavior are consistently correct they feel in control, and will be inclined to return because your site is reliable. Similarly, your team can envision and understand how your site can be expanded or updated due to the existing, consistent pattern.
By creating a library of reusable elements, when a new component is needed all of the design building blocks already exist, and functionality can be the focal point. A shared, visual vocabulary leads to efficiency during maintenance or new development projects by acting as the base level to any new site feature. It is one variable that is already known, and ready for development. The heavy lifting and vision-generation is done upfront and can be reused over and over.
Behavioral optimization matters
The main goal for any site should be to allow users to perform their tasks efficiently and easily. UI interactions can be the difference-maker in this arena. Clear calls to action can allow a customer to confirm a purchase or pay a bill. Smart user flows can allow a member to access important information quickly. Optimized behavior makes your site more valuable and more powerful.
Our goal is to design systems, not pages. By creating modular components, when any new need is discovered, the design for it already exists. Having components decentralized actually makes them stronger and easier to swap out as organizations evolve. Having a system of components means they are well-tested, consistent and can be released quickly.
The term atomic design is inspired by science where atomic elements combine to form molecules, which combine to form organisms. We start by defining how simple combinations of text and site elements look, then move that component to live within a form, then the form moves within a section of a larger page, and different page types materialize. We design building blocks to fit into a larger picture. Over time, a core pattern library emerges, applying a shared style among all components.
Priorities and goals will change – we understand that. It’s why we aim to offer UI designs that deliver choice to our clients. We design a system of blocks that can be used in in any format without straying from brand. You will be able to mix and match styles, add in new ones and try interesting combinations knowing they all work within the larger UI library. This iterative approach empowers your team to harness your brand to the full potential, while also having the ability to grow and evolve.
We use a variety of visual tools to create these pattern libraries.
Style Tiles consist of fonts, colors and interface elements that communicate the essence of a visual brand for the web. Style Tiles are similar to the paint chips an interior designer gets approval on before designing a room.
Style Guides act as the base for making design decisions in all digital spaces. It is expected to grow and change over time as more goals and needs are identified throughout the life of the site.
User interface kits
User Interface Kits can look at specific elements such as buttons and form inputs. They act as a blueprint for common elements that developers will encounter in a variety of page types.