How to Make A Good UI. Tips for Devs in 2019.

how to make a good UI

If you've downloaded enough apps from new developers, you'll notice that the vast majority of developers have no idea as to how to create a good UI, or a User Interface that rocks. I see the worst cases of bad UI in app developers, specifically Android Developers as they are newer to programming . If you fall into this category and you have trouble designing a UI, you're going to need more than great coding knowledge.

Creating a good UI can be very tricky. One thing that I've noticed is that an app that has a great UI, but has terrible code and poor functionality will be preferred by the majority over an app with great code and amazing practicality, but terrible UI. This is a really funny thing about humans. Most people don't want something that is aesthetically unpleasant taking up the space in their phone. This is especially true of perfectionists. In total, UI can be a major factor when choosing an app over another. 

So how do you make a good UI? There are many articles out there on the internet that can teach you how to do this, but there are a lot of things that these fail to mention. I'll cover all these things and more.

How to Make A Good UI (User Interface)

Making a User Interface is very important if you're making your program public. There is a really powerful statement that designer Frank Chimero made:
“People ignore design that ignores people.”
This should be the principle that you design by. But that isn't enough to make a powerful User Interface that attracts people, is it? When building your UI, apply the following tips.

#1 Simplify

how to make a good ui
Illustration of what it means to be simple
A long time ago, when I started app development, I asked professionals what it would take to help me make a good ui for my app. All of them gave powerful advice. But there was one common tip that all of them gave me, "Simplify".

When it comes to software development, your primary goal should be to make your software so simple, that even a tech illiterate can understand it. That may not be easy, especially if there are many things that your program can do. That's fine. It won't always be easy to make you app simple. But there is still a lot you can do.

For example, if your program was built to calculate the area of shapes (just a simple example), it may not always be the best idea to add pictures of each shape. Chances are, the users of the app will know what a square looks like.

When making a good UI, you have to remove the unnecessary bells and whistles included. It can really go a long way, after all "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.


#2 Design and Test Beforehand

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Illustration of Designing Beforehand
Before I started making any app, the first thing I'd do would be to draw it first. I would start out by writing down all the features of the app, then I would sketch how I could implement it in the app. From there, I would redraw my chosen preference on a design software such as photoshop before wireframing and prototyping. Then finally, I would get coding.

This was a really good way for me to keep my UIs on point. The major benefit of this method was that I was able to stay focused. I never forgot what I wanted to put in the app. And I didn't get sidetracked when I saw another library I would like to implement. 

I basically followed this layout

Paper ---> Computer ---> IDE 


Out of these three steps, the first is the most optional. Not everybody would like to draw their UI on paper first, I get it. But drawing on the computer should be compulsory. It will stop you from getting sidetracked, trust me.

And if you are building a mobile application, it could help you in better ways than you may expect. After all, App UI is a great factor for good app promotion.

#3 Check Online For Inspiration


how to make a good ui
Illustration of checking online for inspiration
I know some people may get annoyed when they see this tip, after all, it's really obvious. But there's more to looking for inspiration than you think.

First of all, if you're new to programming, then do this immediately. This is a great way to find examples of UI from already powerful designers.

But here's what you need to know, even if you've been doing this for a long time. 

 Use the Designs you find as Inspiration, not as a template

This is the biggest mistake I made during my course of learning how to make a good UI. None of the UI designs that you see on Google Images, Pinterest, Behance or Imgur were built for you. Your app is most likely different. Trying to make an exact replica of the UI you find on any site will do you more harm than good.

So what should you use these sites for? Like I said before, inspiration. The purpose of looking up designs isn't to copy them. No! You use these designs as a guiding force for yours. You take away things like the color scheme, the fonts, the overall concept.

I know, this may sound confusing for the majority of people looking for how to design a good UI. I just hope you get it.


#4 Let Others Criticize



Another huge mistake I made. Remember that you're not the only person on earth. What may seem good to you may not seem great to others. In fact, other people may hate it. That's why before you launch any program or software, you should let at least 5 people test it, while they give you the pros and cons.

If possible, you can even post online in places like reddit, instagram, pinterest, imgur etcetera, etcetera. On these places, you can get feedback from tens, if not hundreds or thousands of people.


#5 Don't try to be Perfect

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Don't try to be perfect, you can't be.
One thing that I learnt when I started designing UIs is that you can't be perfect. It's very hard to achieve, if it's even  possible to begin with. Every UI has its flaws, and sometimes, you just can't see them. 

Most (not all) of the UI's that you see in programs that look so perfect have been worked on for a really long time. And if you're new to programming, or you haven't taken time to learn UI design, and you want to achieve instant perfection, don't even try. It just won't work.

Instead, you should build a simple UI that can accomplish most tasks and work on it over time. Some people may view this as a useless tip, but trust me, perfectionism can be a curse. In fact, it can damage your workflow as a coder instead of boosting your productivity.


Conclusion

There are too many people who don't know how to make a good user interface. Hopefully, after reading this you are no longer classified as one of these people. And even if you already know how to design a good UI, I hope you've taken a tip or two from this article. Now you know  how to make a good UI!




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