When you’re talking about UI/UX Best Practices, design consistency is a good overarching principle to follow. In a nutshell, design consistency is the “sweet spot” where all the UI elements converge to make the User Experience predictable and intuitive for the user. [This builds trust, which builds loyalty— and loyal users are most likely to buy when the time comes.]
UI/UX Best Practices and Staying Consistent
Consistent Design Could be
- Tapping a right arrow always takes you to the next page; clicking a left arrow always takes you to the previous page.
- Every time you tap a photo of a garment, you’ll get a zoomed-in view.
- Whenever you tap “Comment” a drop-down will open so you can type your comment in a box and submit it.
There are two “big idea” industry best practices that out there that can help ensure you have consistent design that works for your target market. Here they are, in a nutshell (along with some tips for digging deep to make sure you get them right):
- Focus any and all design research on your ideal user.
Take your time on this one. Investing time and resources into knowing how your target user behaves online, and what they love (and hate) is critical to solid UI/UX. How do you do it?
Start by Getting Clear on What Your Users’ Goals
- What do they want to achieve on your site?
- How will your app/site/design help them do that?
Set goals according to the answers to those important questions, and refer back to these throughout the design process. You want your user to do exactly what they came to your site.
For example, if you’re designing an app for creating photo books, your users likely want to:
- Connect their social media accounts
- Import photos from all their accounts into one dashboard
- Easily get rid of photos they don’t want in a photo book
- Order a photo book and have it shipped
So you’d know, based on those goals, what features to be sure to include in your design. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with common UI patterns, and the problems and strengths of each. There’s no need to start from scratch when other people have already done the work. You can model your own UI/UX after a format you like, and then tweak it according to your user goals.
Set up (and stick to) design patterns.
Nobody wants to spend forever tapping around in an app to figure out what to do, where to buy, or how to move on to the next part of the process. We all want to be able to complete tasks intuitively, and with a minimal number of steps. Good designers do this by building a few key design patterns into their UX/UI.
Having a set design hierarchy “levels up” your UI/UX. We all pay attention to the order site/app elements appear in, and well all have a sense of how it should (and shouldn’t) go, whether we know it or not.
What to consider in your design hierarchy:
- Size, color, interactivity of your visual elements
- Sequence of those visuals (and what interacting with them accomplishes for the user)
- How quickly design elements complete their function in the app
- How easy it is to figure out what a design element does
If your user can navigate seamlessly, and doesn’t have to wonder what certain things in your app are for, you’re on the right track with your design hierarchy.
Another piece to the puzzle (really, lots of pieces) is how you choose your design elements. Above all, remembering two things will help you nail it when it comes to your design elements:
- Stay “on brand” with your typography, logo, image styles, colors, and so on.
- Make sure the elements have a consistent appearance throughout the app.
Most apps with consistent design have these components as a part of their UX/UI:
- Image cards
- Progress bars
Don’t forget to test your UI/UX across devices, and (of course) to ask the most loyal members of your tribe what they think. [Recruiting a few loyal customers as “beta testers can help bolster that loyalty.] We have no doubt that following this framework when crafting your UI/UX will lead to great results when it comes to design consistency. Still have questions? Ask us!