Being consistent with certain principles will help you to design a great product. If you focus on creating a page or screen that is self-evident, your designs will be intuitive and successful. An average user should be able to look at the screen and say ‘I get it.’
These are some principles you should keep in mind when designing a product:
No 1: We Never Read, We Only Scan
It’s a fact that people love to scan things rather than reading word-for-word. Most users want to get something online quickly. They don’t want to take the time to read the text that you put on the site. Many designers think that adding text on the site can enhance the user’s experience, but in reality, it does not. The way to improve the experience is by doing the following:
Add Eye-catching Headings: By having headlines where it is relevant, the users can scan to find what they want and skip large portions of the page that are irrelevant to them.
Paragraphs Should Be Short: Long paragraphs repel users as most people don’t have any interest in reading them. But when you have smaller paragraphs that are short and crisp, users might be able to scan the text much better.
Use Bulleted Lists: Adding bullet lists in your text is pretty helpful to the users. Instead, breaking big ideas into long sentences, you can choose to add a bullet point before each sensible remark. Bullet lists are easy to read and keep users engaged.
Highlight the Key Terms: It is necessary for you to highlight the keywords or phrases that users usually search. Take care not to stress too many words or phrases in the text, As this can be distracting to the users and it can also lose its effectiveness by too much usage.
No 2: Create Effective Visual Hierarchies
One of the best ways to helps users scan a page is by providing them with a proper visual hierarchy. The appearance on a page depicts the relationship between the elements. Here are some essential principles for your reference:
If there is something that is important and prominent, you should showcase it by making it larger or bolder using a distinctive color set.
Things that are logically related should also be visually related. Use similar styles or headings when things are the same or fall under a group.
Design Mistakes You Should Avoid
No 3: Don’t reinvent the Wheel
There is a temptation for you as a designer to do things completely differently. Designing something new is not an easy thing as you might need to put in an effort to learn a new application or tool that requires you to invest a lot of time. We want to prove ourselves by coming up with novel design concepts.
You might be tempted to “reinvent the wheel” as you do not want to follow the crowd. But in this industry, you rarely get an award when you do something new or different. It’s important to put in your time, effort and knowledge into innovating something, and it is okay to rely on tried and true design principles instead of trying to invent your own.
No 4: Product Instructions are Unnecessary
It is your job to make things clear and straightforward. Where making things obvious is not an option, you may plan on using self-explanatory images. No one is going to read the instructions. Therefore, it is wise to replace the instructions with pictures that are self-explanatory. If having instructions is necessary, cut them as much as possible.
IKEA, for example, makes things easy for their users to assemble furniture, even when there are many parts. People can install things with ease as there is a series of clear images in the directions. Replacing the instructions with pictures is the best way to help users understand things.
No 5: No One Cares How Your Product Works
Most people don’t want to understand how your product works. They simply want to accomplish what they are trying to do. Once they realize how to use your product, they may never shift to another product because of the ease of using it. This is why intuitive design is so important.
No 6: Users Won’t Pick Up On Subtle Cues
We want to add subtle effects to delight our users. But, the fact is that users generally don’t notice these. They are often in a hurry, and sometimes our attempts at subtle design backfire and are irritating. You need to use them appropriately but remove them when they interrupt the user flow. You do not want the users to hate your app or product because of subtle design quirks that don’t enhance the experience.
These are some of the most crucial design principles that you should try to follow when you are designing things.