The 3 Giants of Interface Design: Colour, Contrast, Content

colour, contrast and content in design

While working on the interface of a website or mobile app, our designers think not only about beauty, aesthetics, and the latest trends, but also about how people perceive structure and content, and react to it. Today we will talk about the magic formula "3C" in the interface design (colour, contrast, content), aspects that have a big impact on creating a user-friendly and intuitive interface.

Colour

 

colourful ui designs
Magora's designer on dribbble.com

 

In the visual arts, it seems that colour is the soul of everything. In fact, colour is power. It can change the mood of the image in no time. It can appeal, encourage, warn, stress, persuade - It can subtly and skillfully express emotions, without the use of words.

In the UI design, colour is one of the key steps to an effective result. This is actually a multi-functional and diverse tool that can simultaneously perform several tasks:

  • Increase brand recognition;
  • Maintain readability;
  • Strengthen the call to action;
  • Satisfy aesthetic needs;
  • Improve navigation;
  • Strengthen intuitive interaction;
  • Decorate;
  • Create a clear and harmonious style.

Here at Magora, we use colour coding categories, specify markers, and use visual contrast to improve and speed up navigation. There are so many aspects that can become much more effective only with the help of colour.

Contrast

 

contrast in ui design
Design example from dribbble.com

 

Contrast is one of the key factors affecting the scanning and visual hierarchy of the page. It is effective in attracting the user's attention to certain elements, thus supporting intuitive navigation and the convenience of using a page or screen.

Contrast can be based on various features of the user interface elements, including:

  • Colour
  • Size
  • Form
  • Direction

When you hear "contrast" the first thing you imagine is something black and white. The monochrome image uses contrast as the primary amplifier. And it works in user interfaces too. Like in photography, the contrast in interfaces not only enhances aesthetics, but also has a significant impact on the convenience of the layout. Therefore, reasonable use of contrast is a powerful way to simplify the use of websites and applications.

One of the first questions is “What general colour scheme to choose?” Should it be dark with light elements or light with dark ones? To find the answer, we usually take into account several important aspects:

  • Clarity. This aspect includes the ability of the user to clearly see and distinguish all the necessary data on the screen or page. The colour scheme should support easy and intuitive navigation, and effectively allocate the most functional elements of the layout.
  • Readability. This is the ability of users to easily read the text. Lack of readability can be a serious reason why users do not want to use the site or app, no matter how good they seem at first glance.
  • Availability. When a lot of people can use your product without special guides - it's availability. This means that the decision to "use or not to use" should mainly be based on the needs and wishes of users, but not on their physical abilities. The colour scheme problem is one of the main factors affecting this aspect. The designer should think about users of different ages, with special needs, and disabilities.
  • Responsiveness: the ability of the product to flexibly convert the layout to match the devices used. This often has a decisive influence on usability, since what looks elegant, attractive and understandable on a professional high-resolution monitor can turn into a dirty spot on a small screen with a low resolution. The colour scheme and the contrast level affect this problem.
  • Environment: Select the appropriate colour scheme and background type for the potential environment in which users will regularly or frequently use the product. In terms of constant use in natural light, a dark background can create a reflection effect, especially on glossy screens typical for tablets and smartphones. On the contrary, from the point of view of regular use in a poorly lit environment, a dark background can take light away from the screen.

Content

 

real estate website design
Real Estate website design from dribblble.com

 

Design is hardly anything without content. It plays an important role in usability: images are objects, which offer basic data about a website or app, while text is a universal tool for interaction with users. Read how content influences your website footer.

There are a lot of types of content, such as:

  • Photos: you can add thematic photos, creating the appropriate mood and transmitting a message, demo, subject photos in online stores, title photos for articles in blogs, etc.
  • Illustrations: made in different styles, custom illustrations represent a popular trend in the UI design as they can look informative and original at the same time, which allows the design to stand out against the background of competition.
  • Hero banners: applied mostly in web design. These are large images, which are usually the first visual elements that attract the user's attention in the first seconds of interaction; they make an attractive visual presentation of the main content of the resource.
  • Icons: these are small but significant pics that support the data exchange between the informer and the addressee. The icons use a picturesque resemblance to the object of the physical world, play a key role in providing clear and intuitive navigation.
  • Talismans: images, usually personified, which in most cases represent a brand name, product or service identification, and therefore becomes its symbol used in the app or on the site, packaging and promotional materials. They can both add something positive to the interaction, and increase brand awareness.
  • Visual identification elements: these are various visual signs of branding, such as logos, corporate identity, and the like.
  • Texts: another visual element of design. Must support the same philosophy as any other part of the layout: everything that is placed on the screen or page should be functional and purposeful. Everything should work for the user.
  • Video: Creative and memorable video is a good way to attract customers' attention. The video makes the presentation strong and memorable, especially if it is based on high-quality graphic design and animation.

And finally..

 

traiding platfrom design
Check on dribbble.com

 

To make the “3C” work, we adhere to the following principles:

  • When choosing the colour and using it in the user interface, we make it convenient and understandable. Colours increase usability, utility and harmony.
  • Contrast helps to inform users about which points of interaction are vital and which ones are secondary.
  • The success of an effective content directly depends on such design decisions as font selection, background, and placement.

The creative process involves many problems that our designers take into account. There are no universal solutions: for each project we make decisions on the basis of user and marketing research, as well as thorough testing.

Read more about how to create a pixel-perfect UI here.

If you are looking for a unique design, want to increase user satisfaction, and achieve your business goals, contact Magora  app designers - we will provide you with the ultimate, winning formula of “3C” specifically tailored to your company.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Max Summers
July 09, 2018
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