Top 10 UX Design Principles for Websites and Mobile Apps

Every designer dreams of that perfect design that satisfies everyone. But often, the reality is that they come to crossroads with the client or user or one’s creative urge. 

But, we think there’s a way to go around the problem. Make use of some of the UX design principles that guarantee acceptance from users and clients alike. 

Now, the question is how user experience design principles fit everyone? 

Just think of them like those fundamentals in physics or architecture, that holds things together. These UX design principles are developed by research, experimentation, and designers’ experience over the years. It is the cream of the designing fraternity. 

The design principles consider both user experience and aesthetics. It also balances them with the way human brains are wired to respond to certain visual stimuli. So, following them, you take care of a thousand other factors that make your mobile application or website appealing to users.

Why is User Experience Important?

The user experience is how users feel when they interact with a website, mobile, desktop applications, etc. Just think in terms of a store you go to. You enter a shop and find a friendly receptionist helping you out. The way he talks makes you comfortable and at ease. The look of the shop, the comfort of payments, the pleasant ambience all makes you very happy. You are going to that store again. Right?

It is the ultimate goal of UX design, i.e., to engage users, win their loyalty and trust. It is the very pillar on which every successful business operates. The list of design principles we provide you in the following sections can help create such incredible experiences. And if you are working alongside a UI UX design agency, you can monitor their efficiency by adhering to these fundamental principles.

UX Design Principles for Mobile Apps

1. Make it clean

Mobile devices are something that users carry around all the time. And we don’t want to take anything that makes our head swim. So, it won’t be the mobile that the user will be dropping but an app that reminds her of the clutter. Some mobile apps make us want to run outdoors for fresh air. It is just so suffocating with design elements and content. But take a look at the screen below:

There is no clutter at all. Eyes feel fresh, and inside it creates relaxation. A clean design makes a user feel this inside. As design and psychology are closely related, making a clean design needs to be your priority.

2. The minimum input rule

The mobile screen is a small space. There’s hardly any room for extended para typing. So the UI UX design process you follow should reflect this principle. Because the less it bothers the user to strain his fingers over the keypad, the better the impression it creates about the app.

You can make the app more user-friendly with:

a) Autocomplete features that give intelligent suggestions. 

b) A field check, using colors or icons that let the user identify the field he missed without frustrating them

c) Keyboard customization helps users by responding to the query information with the conventional type of keypad. For example, if a value is numeric, it opens the number pad; if it is an e-mail, it is ready with the ‘@’ symbol and alphanumeric keypad, etc.

3. Intuitive navigation

Navigation makes your app fit into the user comfort zone. Just like in life, we find it easy to flow with people of the same vibe. The connection is secure, clarity is consistent, and stress is non-existent. Your navigation should be like that. You can make your navigation intuitive, like an invisible guiding hand through:

  • Providing universal navigation bars
  • Clarity on the current location
  • Use familiar navigation patterns and icons

4. Make texts legible

The texts on a mobile screen are tiny. It takes an average human being much strain to read on small devices like mobile phones and tablets. Digital vision syndrome is one thing you don’t want your users to get from your app. Make the texts readable, easily distinguishable. Correct and adjust the line length, spacing, text styles, font size, etc. to find the most legible tuning for your mobile app screen. Don’t forget to test for it in multiple device modes.

5. Make it easy to get taps

When you design your mobile app for user-interface, tap size is something you need to know. A user clicks on the screen with a tiny portion of his or her finger. And if that doesn’t create the expected action, then the user is likely to be irritated. 

The solution is to make the tap-size at least a 7-10mm so that they can make pin-point touches and find it easy to move to and fro in your mobile app.

 6. Create a great onboarding screens

The onboarding experience that you create for your users determines the level of engagement that they have with your app. It also happens to be one of the main UI UX design trends today. The onboarding screen is a direct indicator of what the user can expect from the rest of the app. Psychologically human beings think so. So it is essential to make them as attractive and indulging as you can.

7. Suit content for mobile

One of the main reasons people use mobile apps over web apps and other web-based light apps is poor optimization. Optimization is a word that means that there is still to work on. It is never complete in the entire sense. So optimization on the web always wants more. 

Mobile apps solve this issue. So, you need to mind the following aspects to make the mobile content in its entirety fit for user viewing:

  • Content legibility as discussed in the previous sections
  • Optimize images with crystal clear resolution and work on pixellating issues, overstretch, aspect-ratio etc.
  • As the video is today, the most sought medium of content consumption and people use Instagram and Youtube a lot. To optimize videos in portrait mode and landscape for zero distortion when the screen is rotated.

8. Design push notifications

Push notifications should push something useful. It shouldn’t be out there to remind users that, “Hey look, our app’s got push notifications.” So the critical thing is to design your push notifications for quality. They must impart a valuable, actionable course for the user. Amazon shopping app shows push useful notifications, with offers, deals, and game alerts. Netflix also uses push notifications to engage and remind users of shows they don’t want to miss, update the new episode’s arrival, etc.

9. Use white space

The Google homepage is an iconic example of what it means to use white space. The white space is an elemental part of your design, mobile, or web. But in mobile designs, it becomes altogether essential as the white space plays two roles here. One is to create a look of clarity, plainness, and clear view in a small place. Second, it helps users identify the right place to click and note the response, thus making the user journey very enjoyable. So handling white space is a crucial UX design principle, you need to be aware of always.

10. Make the best use of device abilities

The number of devices its type today present a long list of categories and sub-types. The innovation always increases this device spree. But as app designers, you need to ensure a seamless experience for all devices. You cannot expect that your app will be used by one kind of device user. And such an app cannot win hearts as it must either be a personal app or app for a particular company or trade. 

UX Design Principles for Websites

1. Golden Ratio

an illustration about mathematic ratio
Source

The  Golden Ratio is one of the most fundamental elements of aesthetics. It says that the designs that use the golden ratio proportions turn out to be naturally aesthetic. The ancient Greek structures like the Parthenon use this magical ratio and stand the test of time and admirers. 

Interestingly Twitter seems to have incorporated this principle on its web design, and thus we see the below depiction:

Twitter designs have a reason they look so. The layout width is 960 pixels, and when we divide that by the golden rule number 1.618, which is approximately 593 pixels. So the width of your content area should be 593 pixels with the sides 367 pixels. For a standard website height of 768 pixels, it would be 768/1.618, approximately 475 pixels, and it goes on.

2. Hick’s law

Hick’s law is a great catch. Because it gives you real insights into the user dilemma, it tells you why users love some websites and why they do not love others. According to Hick, it could be the amount of information you place on the website. Hick’s law states that the more options you provide to users on a page, the more difficult it is for them to act on them. So do not overstuff your website UX design and keep it concise and pleasant.

3. Follow the design hierarchy

There is a hierarchy of essential elements on every page. A designer often has to make this choice with the objectives in mind. An e-commerce website needs to give priority to the products that they are selling. The product pricing, the clarity of images, the following details, etc. takes priority. As a thumb of rule, you need to place the business objective in front while ranking the various design factors.

4. Fitt’s law

Fitt’s law proposes the relationship between clicks and the size of what is being clicked. It says that the time needed to move towards a click or target area is a direct function of the distance to that area and the target button’s size. It is quite sensible because a large button occupies more space and thus increases the clickable area. In other words, the size of the button and the frequency of its use have a direct relation.

Fitt’s law becomes essential when your website has direct functionality, like a music playing website or a video playing site. In such scenarios, there will be some buttons that users use often and need handy. Take special care to create buttons of the right size and check that it makes life easy for the visitor and doesn’t have them fumble for it.

5. The Rule of Thirds

It’s a very well-known fact that an image pronounces an idea thousand times more than words. It can even replace a thousand words. That’s the power of the visual element. But the rule of thirds is about how you place the image. Having the right image is one thing and messing it up another. The rule of thirds ensures that you don’t mess good images.

According to the rule of thirds, an image is divided into nine equal parts. It is done so by two horizontal and two vertical lines, which are equally spaced. The most crucial composition elements should lie along the lines or at their crossing-over.

6. Gestalt Principles

Gestalt principles are critical in user-experience design. It helps you to design website pages that make sense to users at a glance. The Gestalt principles give you a complete idea about the psycho-illustration link. The geometry, dots, line, how they need to be aligned, and how your design should guide a user towards the options on your website. Create such deep engagements and help them connect with your organization and brands.

7. Consistent Color Scheme

One of the toughest jobs for a designer, yet the most pivotal principle to follow, is the color scheme consistency. The designer often has to trade-off between colors she loves and the colors her clients love. But the focus needs to be on the target audience. If possible, conduct a mock survey or “what you feel is good?” campaigns on the target audience to gain more data on their inner affliction with specific colors. The chart below is constructive for designers to decide color combos.

It is always best to avoid colors that make eyes water. Bright and dark colors have this problem, so avoid them wherever you can. Also, highlight info that you want users to grasp first. And overall follow a minimalist approach.

8. Honor the King and Queen

Well, you need not look so puzzled. Content is king, and usability is the queen. Regard them with reverence in your designs, and you shall gain much. Website content needs to be crisp, simple, and to-the-point. Because people are excessively online, they already see too much content for their eyes in a day. Your site must not be the one they want to avoid the content.

Give them space and time. Let the user feel at home. The ambience that design creates for them should tell much and only that which it doesn’t need to be presented through content. So usability of content is one of the key UX design principles we want you to focus on!!!

9. Broken pages shouldn’t break user’s hearts

You are going through a website, and suddenly WHAM!!! The page is not there or a 404 error, or it simply broke. It is rude. You are managing your website, knowing where it is broken and what you are working on, but being empathetic and communicating to visitors; you win their admiration. Don’t push signboards over them, but a gentle and amicable design with content will do.

You can be witty about it like this one below from Cloud Sigma:

Or you can be just funny about it like 20th Century Studio:

It all depends on your creativity.

10. Keep UI Simple

The UI is where the user interacts with your website. It is where users touch your design, the navigation, the overall look, and feel, etc. So try to keep the UI as simple as possible. Enrich it with consistency in fonts, colors, layout patterns, etc. Make intuitive features play a significant role in the overall user journey. It is done by asking some real questions like:


“Who the users are?”

“What functions the site serves?”

”Where the functionality meets the user?”

Lastly,

UX design is a continuous process. You need to work on it every time you discover new insights and feedback. We hope that our UX design psychological principles help you in designing personalized experiences for your customers. And remember that redesigning ourselves is the best way to provide a fantastic user experience. 

Aufait UX is a leading UI UX design company offering world-class design services. We serve every industry to transform their digital experience with our unique design innovations. You can collaborate with us to improve an existing project or begin your new project from the root. Schedule a call with us to start your next project.

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