7 Game changers while Designing the UI and UX for any Software or Website!
Imagine yourself as the Marketing Manager for a company that sells coffee. What’s the first thing you thought of when you read the word ‘Coffee’? Brown beans, roasted to perfection, strong flavors, aroma, and worth getting a cup right now! Now, what do you think when you hear ‘coffee’ as a branded product? Maybe a packet or a jar of coffee powder, the image of hot cup brewing on the front of the label, brown or blackish shade for the jar? If you have noticed carefully, what changed here was not the product, or your position or the brand; what changed was the design of the packaging and your perception as we spoke of different concepts around coffee.
Perception of the consumers has a lot to do when you are selling a product or a service and that, my friends, becomes the base of the design UI/UX.
Now, considering coffee as our base, allow us to give you examples of different perceptions. Imagine yourself as the Marketing Manager for a company that sells ‘Organic’ coffee. So what would your product brand look like - paper or recyclable packaging, earthy or colors in the shades of green or light brown, soft and curvy fonts, the price may be a tad higher! and a perception that this coffee is healthy without any chemical processing. Straight outta lush, green farms.
Let’s change the USP of your company now - marketing strategy lies around waking people up, giving them the caffeine dose every morning so that they shine in their work; this will now change your packaging (not to forget, your website layouts, communication documents and otherwise) into something electrifying; a lightning bolt on the package, with graphics that are bold and stand out. The colours might be dark, strong brown with red or orange added colours for energy.
Customers pick up the two packages and they will instantly choose one based on their requirements; whether they want healthy, organic, and a calming coffee, or one that gives an instant kick to the brain!
Designs and UI/UX are like the faces of your brands; one look and people make their judgments and choices. That’s why, top MNCs and several leading brands pay utmost attention to and spend a fortune on building a brand that starts with colors, designs, and UI/UX.
The perception was our point 1 in studying how to build designs for end customers; of course, this article will not speak on which tools to use and for what. Our readers have figured out that already. But here are some tips in helping build a branding strategy for any company in any industry. Let’s see how many do you know and how many can add value to your knowledge:
Point 2 - Colours that Paint!
Several leading psychologists and confirmed by designers over the world have shed light on the importance of using correct color palettes for our design and UI/UX projects. But why? A solid example of this - have you observed that most food brands have their logos and brand colors fall in the range of yellows, reds, and oranges? Why?
This strategy isn’t just a coincidence; in fact, it is known that reds, oranges, and yellows often ignite hunger when food products are displayed in their vicinity or have shades of these colors in them. McDonald’s, Burger King, Zomato, Swiggy, etc., display food products in these colors. Plus, Oranges assert trust, reds display warmth, and yellows are for friendliness that brands want to use to connect with consumers.
Many have other colors as well; Dominos has predominantly Blue which is for brand trust. Likewise, what do you want your brand to depict - what should be its USP and business plans pave way for branding.
Point 3: Blueprints, Design, and UX!
For the construction of any building or real estate, no sane architect will start with the foundations without first having a ‘sketch’ or a blueprint of what he intends to build. Likewise, beginning the design of any website, communication doc, or a simple email flyer without a wireframe in place can be extremely prudent.
Elements placing is crucial for SEO and digital marketing, along with basic customer experience. This placement is decided while a Blueprint is built and shared with the client. In fact, a good UX drastically improves the session time of any customer, and the chances of desired goal completion increase by a good 33%! Good navigation, sitemaps, easy, and quick engagement process are the key drivers of website usability along with content.
Point 4: Process + User Flow!
Designing a website, web application, or a mobile application requires the understanding of the designer to know what would be the next steps that a user might take. This is particularly needed since the app usability largely depends on this. For example, if a customer adds a product to the shopping cart, all the products need to be reviewed before checkout. If this screen is not present and the customer is diverted straight to payment gateways, he will hesitate to make the purchase without the breakup.
App navigation is another important point leading designers tend to neglect - resulting in poor app engagement. Like the wishlist option has to be close to cart option, My Orders should show all the past and ongoing orders in one screen, the customer support should enquire about the order in concern - all these seem minuscule but play an important role in ensuring the customer realizes his end goal in minimum tours around the app.
Hence, such user flows and screen-by-screen displays should be designed to the T before they are handed over to the development team. Each screen needs to be logically bridged to the next for realizing the full potential of the system built.
Point 5: Design and UX / UI demo
For a static website, there exists hardly any question about a dynamic demo - the elements are present and the CTAs do their job and everyone is happy. But what do we do when we have a product that cannot be justified without explaining its animation, one whose demo needs to have more than just user flow screens.
So use a product that displays the animation while you demo your product. Create pseudo entries, show the entire process animation, and show how each step with its end goal would feel like. Give them the experience a user would have when they use the product. That way, the clients know exactly what they are signing up for.
Simple apps like Adobe XD give a very clean flow of the screens with basic animations; there are more free and paid tools in the market and one should be chosen based on the extent of the requirements.
Point 6: Brand Consistency
If you are given a couple of burgers with their packaging sans their brand names of Burger King, KFC, and McDs, would you be able to segregate them based on their parent companies? Yes!
Why? Are the burgers drastically different? Maybe. Maybe not. Is their brand game on point? A big yes!
Branding is what introduces the company to your consumers without you having to meet them in person. Never would be the best example of a great branding; what are the chances any McDonalds’ consumer will meet Ray Kroc for the latter to explain his products?
Focus on Branding is gradually increasing after realizing how important it is for each and every deliverable, product, or document to resonate with each other. Colors, Language, and Placement is one thing; placement of elements in the product, design styles, padding, and sizes, all play a major role in branding. It’s like hiding your brand in each output for your customer to know it’s you.
So use the same shade of blue, have the same CTA button size everywhere, do not change that font, or think to opt for a different design pattern. Ever seen Apple change their UI/UX across any of their products, online or offline? How do you know if a document is from the company? You simply look at it!
Point 7: Understanding the core objective of the Product to be designed
What is the product made to do? What sector will it operate in? What’s the age group of people that will use what I am designing? These and many more questions are a series of constant communication that goes on between the designers, developers, and the Business development team. This goal is the key to how you will go about creating a design with your company’s branding visible - simple but effective in driving sales for you and your client.
You cannot have a vector image used in apps that are made for a news channel. You cannot have bright colors added if the client wants a website made for obituary services. You cannot have too many clicks for a medical emergency app. Likewise, every software developed is for a purpose and once that purpose is realized, the customer finds the app amicable and proposes to use it.
Remember, ‘people ignore design that ignores people’ - Frank Chimero!
Why is the iPhone costlier than the other smartphones? Many people claim that the iPhone is exaggerated. But it's the UI and the UX that wins the game for them. It becomes difficult to use anything but an iPhone. That is the game-winner for design.