What is meant by User Interface (UI)? User interface types, characteristics, responsibilities of a UI designer, and FAQs.

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What is meant by User Interface (UI)?

User interface is the means or medium of interaction of the user with a software application or website or any device. U

The user interface is directly related to the appearance of the application, how the user sees it, and what information can be inferred from the interface. For user satisfaction, the user interface of the application or website or any other kind of software product must be easy to understand, to use, and should invoke the user’s interest in the product. 

User interface should attract the user to make use of the product. The user experience should be effortless and entertaining. A user’s comfort should be prioritized while designing the UI.

Types of User Interface 

  • Form-based user interface: This asks the user to enter required data into fields or options. For example: an online application for school, or login page for any kind of online account. 
  • Graphical user interface: User engages through visual indicators. GUI displays objects on a software page. The visual appearance is directly linked to the graphical user interface. 
  • Menu-driven user interface: Display menu containing dialogue boxes of specific information for the user to choose from. Example: ATM machine UI.
  • Touch user interface: Where the interaction takes place through the user’s touch. Examples: Touch screen of mobile phones. 
  • Voice user interface: Interaction through voice command. Example: Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, etc.  

Responsibilities of a UI designer 

A user interface designer has to ensure that the interface appears good and is easy to operate. It should be explanative but should not bombard the user with irrelevant information.  

Basically, a UI designer works on: 

  • Examining the appearance and experience of the interface.
  • Designing and maintenance of style guides. 
  • Visual design – that includes typeface, buttons, color palette.
  • Interaction design – animation, interactivity, prototypes
  • Front-end development. 

Characteristics of a good UI 

  • Adapt your design in accordance with the user’s thought process. Example pinch-to-zoom feature, it’s just a behavioural response of a user to pinch out to magnify the screen, so the presence of such features based on user’s expectations for comfortable operation shall be included in the UI design.  
  • Clear depiction of the buttons and icons.
  • Keep it simple, minimal and also invisible to the user. 
  • Prioritize your key features by colour highlights, animations and other visual elements. 
  • Objects and action buttons should be near. 
  • Provide proceeding steps for going to the next page which users can infer themselves.

FAQs 

Q: What are the types of user interfaces? 

A: Form-based user interface, Graphical user interface, menu-driven, touch, and voice user interface are some of the major types of the user interface. 

Q: What is the difference between UI and UX? 

A: UI stands for user interface and UX is user experience. UI is basically the set of elements that composes the look of the workflow of software or computer-based product. The UX is a design method that deals with the experience that a user has while interacting with the UI. 

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