UI and visuals do not define UX by themselves, but surely form a huge part of delivering the ideal UX. The user interface and visual properties of a site, an interface, or an application is what is perceived by each user. The user can summon functions based on the UI design, keeping identities relatable to the user and allows communication between abstract tangible machinery and intangible, visual senses. The die-hard computer geeks complain that GUI cannot be relied upon and hence the geeks prefer command line for most of their needs. But the reality is that the UI is incredibly important and many people have hated some UI experiences in the past.
Here are some important UX visual design tips that blend workable and pleasant aesthetics to the levels of UX desired by designer and user.
Singular control set
While it's advisable to the native custom set, it is important to refrain from mixing control sets including themes or interaction patterns that will reduce the entire solidity of the interface. People like to use a specific set of controls with a smart layout and interaction pattern. If rules clash then the entire experience is broken instantly. Stick to one single control kit, either custom or native.
Consistent form layouts
Different forms have different purposes and hence the forms or fields should not be identical to one another. The common recurring elements will be arranged likewise especially in general areas of interaction. The frame deduction should depend on users and their experience by maintaining a sense of consistency throughout.
Contrast is essential wherein the borders, combinations, fonts, and all the elements should stand out from each other. One should opt for reactions of people, as well as testing their ability to read and utilize the layout, which would hint at performance of the design too. One should consult aesthetic experts where possible for maintaining healthy contrast through the design. The UI serves as an important layer between man and machine and contrasts help in differentiating elements in an efficient manner.
The UX industry places usability on a high pedestal too. Visual stories, sitemaps, wireframes, and their overall usability are highly important along with aesthetics. Understanding and visualizing every element is important since that determines which elements hint at perfect usability. Every element should inspire positive emotions, deliver pleasure, and boost happiness. The usability is directly proportional to how comfortable the users are, when browsing the site.
Use an efficient grid system
The principle of proximity helps people perceive objects in a single unit and a well-designed grid system works on the simple principle. The grid is easy to customize and replicate in Photoshop. Utilize the grids to differentiate and balance out elements for easy viewing and navigation for users.
Take advantage of design patterns
Humans tend to group objects with similar structure, shape, color, and shadows. Hence it is important to give similar elements their own design patterns. When the user sees a similar shape and style over and over again, they'll recognize it easier. Have a photo to represent photos in a folder. The power of design patterns helps in reducing memory load with instant recognition.
Work with the fold
The principle of closure helps objects to be perceived as being whole when they are shown incomplete. When a user sees cropped content, they will want to complete the incomplete shape to form a box or a complete structure. The idea relies on the principle of closure as it lets the user's eye to fill in the remainder, by exploration.
Balance your layout with symmetry
The principle of symmetry helps in dividing objects into symmetrical parts that deliver pleasure. Balancing the white space is an art since the visuals speak for themselves when displayed in a minimalist manner. Instead of using more content, one can balance visuals and space. The principle of symmetry can deliver stability, consistency, and harmony, thus resulting in perfect user experience.
Use of balanced animation
Since humans perceive objects as lines, adding animations to design helps big time. A menu that slides from the corner of a page creates a relationship between different links in that menu with synchronization.
Use subtle lines for displaying component connections
The principle of continuity helps in grouping different objects when they are aligned with each other although in invisible manner.Not every connection to elements is obvious, even if they're aligned. To make it obvious, one can connect them with subtle lines that draw the user's eye to the same.
By following some fundamental principles of UX design under Gestalt and some others, one can better understand why some designs can be so pleasing and effective. Since every human being can identify great design and experience it with senses, it is the job of the designers to bring the elements to bring the entire user experience together.