Is your website design looking a little worse for wear these days?
Has your mobile app not been redesigned since you launched it back in the day?
Do your customers roll their eyes when you ask them to use your online payments system?
If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’, it’s probably a good time to revisit your online UI.
Your website’s look is critical, as 94% of all visitors base their first impressions of a website on its design. This is where great UI comes into its own.
What is UI?
UI is short for ‘user interface’. It’s the process of altering the look of a website, app or digital product, so people are more likely to interact with it.
This means looking at all the design aspects of a digital product. By design, we mean anything from the images and photos used, all the way through to fonts and colour combinations.
Many people think you can use the terms UI and UX (user experience) interchangeably, but this is not the case.
While UI is preoccupied with reviewing a digital product’s aesthetics, UX is more concerned with the journey customers take to complete a transaction and how it can be improved.
The two concepts do go hand-in-hand though… you don’t want a website that looks great but is absolutely awful to use!
With this in mind, here are five ways you can review and amend the user interface of your website or app.
1. Sometimes simple ideas are the best ones
If you want to improve your UI, you don’t have to redevelop your whole website. Even changing the font or the shape of the buttons can have a significant impact on conversions.
Here’s an example of a great UI move that was a straightforward one. Twitter (now known as ‘X’) introduced ‘night mode’ across its website and app in 2016. It was exactly the same as the original; it just used a black colour palette instead of a white one.
People loved the change and as a result, ‘night mode’ found its way onto a variety of different apps including Slack, WhatsApp, Facebook and Gmail.
In fact, four of five Android users admit to using dark mode all the time!
2. White space is your friend
It may be tempting to cram lots of visual elements into your website, cross your fingers and hope for the best. However, having a little bit of blank space can be a good thing when you are redesigning your website.
White space (also known as negative space) is the empty space between design elements. It looks pleasing to the eye and can make content easier to read and draw the visitor’s eye to key calls to action.
Think of brands like Apple. Apple’s website is intentionally minimalistic, highlighting the brand’s quality instead of relying on bells and whistles to sell products.
When you redevelop your website – take white space into account. Don’t stuff key features too close to one another and always ask if page components are 100% critical.
If they’re not, take them out.
3. Don’t be afraid to try something different
You may think you are bound by certain things when considering the UI for your website or app, especially if you are in a more ‘serious’ industry like finance, insurance or healthcare. However, there are things you can still do to inject personality and fun into your online design.
For example, take the colour in your logo and use the opposite one on the colour wheel. Got a blue logo? Use pops of orange to add striking accents to your pages. Red logo? Do the same but with flashes of green.
If you use a particular font style and size in your usual branding, try using a different style to highlight critical information. For example, if you usually use a serif font, use a sans-serif one instead. This will automatically draw your visitor’s eye to your call to action.
4. Show, don’t tell
Stats on websites are great – they add credibility that can help visitors to convert. However, walls and walls of text can be mind-numbingly dull.
After all, the average online attention span is about eight seconds, so you need to provide web visitors with the information they need as quickly as you can.
You can make your website look more appealing by replacing text with visual content. Photos, graphs, infographics, animations and videos are fantastic ways to highlight your key information in an engaging way.
5. Test, test and test again
As with all digital marketing endeavours, the key thing with UI is to regularly test amends to see if they have led to positive results for your business.
Implement a change to your website, wait a short while and see if it has led to increased purchases, visits or leads. If it has, great! If not, give something else a try and repeat the process. UI works best when there are lots of small changes taking place frequently rather than large infrequent ones.
If you have processes in place for A/B testing, use them. That means you can serve your updated web page to some visitors and your old web page to others and see which performs the best.