There are no fixed rules of designing a website’s User Interface. Since, all businesses have distinctive set of objectives to achieve, their website designs too are targeted at spelling their unique business characteristics. So, there are no set methods of designing a website that can be deemed perfect for all websites as a few things might work for certain businesses but might not prove beneficial for others.
Here’s a hand-picked list of some essential tips on how to improve your website’s user interactions through UI patterns.
• Making effective use of input controls
Input controls are used for effectively facilitating user’s interaction with the site. However, with the increasing numbers of input controls, the screen tends to clutter up, thereby obstructing the UI Patterns and process.
However, by making the input controls appear only on demand, one can achieve a balanced user interaction process on the website. One way would be to secretly conceal the controls rather than completely wiping them out from the scene. This, in fact, is such a useful functionality that it has already been adopted by major players such as Pinterest and Google.
Controls are made available by hovering over content (Pinterest) or hidden inside collapsed drop-down menus (in Google Docs). Next important thing is your text box customization that effectively infuses a unique personality to your website. You can play around with different colors to check what goes best with your website’s color scheme.
Moreover, if your site has just one input control then setting an auto-focus on that control proves to be a good idea. Auto focus is nothing but the placement of cursor inside the control on page load as commonly used by Google. For example, Google search allows you to start typing in the text as soon as you open the Google search page as the cursor is inherently placed inside the text input control. If you wish you can go a step ahead and try incorporating Google’s advanced default values and auto-complete features to expedite your users’ actions and help them navigate smoothly through your site.
• Easy Navigation
Creating a fully functional navigational platform is the key essential of UI Patterns design. Therefore, it is highly recommendable for your website to allow for easy user navigation. In this context, two standard rules of navigation offered by Collis Ta’eed, Co-founder of Envato, are very helpful:
(a) Make the users fully aware of their current location on the website– If you wish to make sure that your users can comfortably navigate through the site without having a fear of getting lost then it makes sense to allow for easy streamlining of your site. You can achieve this functionality easily through breadcrumb trails, highlighted menu items and headings too.
(b) Do not restrict website’s viewing consistency– Make sure your menu bar doesn’t move around while your users are looking at it for options. It makes sense to maintain consistency in your site navigation to ensure that your users are able to easily find their way in case they find themselves lost on your website.
Another essential component of navigation is the subject matter highlight because it would be useless designing a navigational website if it does not interests and helps users.
This can best be explained through Google Maps API that uses a simple horizontal menu for a primary navigation. Thereafter, a secondary navigation appears on the right side. However, the secondary navigation is given a lower priority. Thus, horizontal and vertical corners are considered most obvious places for adding navigation menus. And despite everything else, content too holds its space and relevance providing users with easy UI patterns interaction.