User Interface (UI) - an interface that provides the information transfer between a human user and the hardware/software components of a computer system.
User interface combines all the elements and components of the program, which can simplify the interaction of the user with the software. These elements include:
Means for displaying information, formats and codes;
Command modes, user interface language;
Devices and technologies for data entry;
Dialogs, interaction and transactions between the user and the computer;
Feedback from the user;
Support for decision-making in a specific subject area;
The program using procedure and the documentation for it.
UI defines how commands are given to a program or computer and how information is displayed on the screen. Three main UI types are:
Command language: the user must know the instructions or the code of the machine and the specific program.
Menus: the user selects the command from the list that is displayed on the screen.
Graphical user interface (GUI): the user gives commands by selecting and clicking on the icon shown on the screen.
There are a set of rules laid down by the developer of the device, which enables smooth transition between action and response: a combination of inputs by the user should lead to the necessary responses of the device and task.
work out the user interfaces for each of the screens within the software or application.
These rules should be sufficiently clear for understanding, natural and easy to remember (all this is included in the concept of usability).
User Interface Design Basics
User Interface (UI) Design focuses on the users needs, ensuring that the interface has elements that are easy to access facilitate actions. UI brings together concepts from interaction design
, visual design
, and information architecture
Choosing Interface Elements
Users have become familiar with some common interface elements
, declared as the standard visualisation by operating system standards - iOS and Android. The designers of user dashboards should be consistent and predictable in choosing the existing elements. Doing so will help gain the user’s satisfaction by providing clear and convenient interface.
Interface elements include but are not limited to:
Input Controls: buttons, text fields, checkboxes, radio buttons, dropdown lists, list boxes, toggles, date field
Navigational Components: breadcrumb, slider, search field, pagination, slider, tags, icons
Informational Components: tooltips, icons, progress bar, notifications, message boxes, modal windows
The simple and well balanced combination of all elements, joined as an attractive visual solution for the software interface can be a good example of user-friendly interface design.