User interface design (UI design) is crucial for aesthetics, usability, and branding. It’s a balancing act of form and function, where designers must push the boundaries of creativity while designing a functional, cohesive user interface.
This article looks at some creative web UI design examples and what makes them great. We also include a checklist of 16 UI design principles designers can apply to create great customer experiences.
Creating exceptional customer experiences starts with comprehensive prototyping and testing. UXPin’s code-based design editor allows designers to build high-fidelity website prototypes that look and function like a coded website.
What is UI Design?
UI design is the process of adding color, fonts, icons, images, and other content to convert wireframes or sketches into mockups. UI designers are also responsible for adding interactive design and animations to turn mockups into functioning high-fidelity prototypes.
UI Design Principles
Before we dive into our website design inspiration, we thought it would be helpful to understand essential user experience principles designers use as a guideline for UI/UX design.
- Focus on the user: Make sure you base every design decision on user research and testing. Start by empathizing with users to define the problem you need to solve—next, ideate and prototype before testing and iterating. Good designers recognize the user’s needs and design products and features to fulfill them.
- Be consistent: Consistency is one of the keys to a good user experience. Design elements, components, and interactions must be consistent across every user interface. A design system is an essential tool for developing product consistency and cohesion.
- Easy to digest: UI design and content should be easy for users to understand. Use basic language so users can absorb and understand how to use your web application or website.
- Don’t make users think: Your website navigation and content should be obvious to use. Someone shouldn’t have to think about what elements and components are supposed to do. Try to use industry-standard UI patterns to create familiarity and reduce cognitive load.
- Points, lines, and planes–understand visual grammar: Points, lines, and planes are the building blocks for design. Great UI/UX designers understand these principles and how they affect user experience.
- Identify the problem first: UX designers must study research and user feedback to find the root cause of a problem. Avoid designing on intuition and assumptions–always test these hypotheses to make informed design decisions.
- Simple language is best: Further to point 3, avoid using jargon and insider language that exclude users. Use obvious labels for UI elements, so users always know what to expect if they interact with your design.
- Have empathy for your audience: Empathy is the heart of human-centered design. Designers use empathy so they can relate with users, their struggles, and their environment. When you fully understand your users, you can design an intuitive experience that solves their problems.
- Provide feedback: UI designers must use microinteractions and animations that provide users with feedback and context. Users should always know what’s happening, and error messages should help users solve the issue.
- Don’t forget business value: UI designers must identify ways to solve user problems while increasing business value. For example, optimizing an eCommerce checkout benefits both the user and the company.
- User testing: Designers must constantly test user interfaces and design decisions with real users, especially when adding new UI elements, components, and patterns to a design system.
- Visual hierarchy: Designers use color, contrast, scale, typography, and grouping to create hierarchy and help users identify critical elements and content.
- Accessibility: Website UI design must be inclusive for users with impairments and disabilities. Designers should also optimize UI elements and layout for multiple viewports so users can access the website from any device.
- Give the user control: Users should always have control to opt-out or change their minds. UI design must allow for these options with explicit icons, text, and buttons. For example, adding a “back” button in an eCommerce checkout flow or making a subscription’s “cancel” button prominent on the user’s account page.
- Design handoff: UI designers must ensure they document their work and provide style guides so engineers can understand and develop the final website.
- Reevaluate and revise: Once a website project is live, designers should use tools and analytics to evaluate their designs and look for improvements. How do users interact with your designs? What happens if you A/B test different colors or language for CTAs? You should always look for ways to test and improve. Designers might also need to update interfaces to align with new trends or legislation.
What is the role of UX in web design?
User experience describes a user’s interaction with a product, such as a website or app. Through careful research, iterative prototyping, and continuous user testing, the UX design process ensures users have a satisfying experience by centering their needs, goals, and behaviors.
When it comes to design, UX encompasses every aspect of the user’s experience — including the layout, navigation, visual design, and interactive elements. It focuses on creating visually appealing webpages that are also easy to use to help visitors accomplish their tasks.
A user’s first impression of your website can make or break their decision to explore your site further.
In a fast-paced digital landscape where users don’t have the time or patience to navigate confusing interfaces, seamless and intuitive web experiences are paramount. User experience (UX) design emphasizes simplicity and efficiency in web design, making it critical in meeting user expectations and paving the way for successful online interactions.