Design is more than aesthetics; it's about creating an intuitive, user-friendly user experience. Whether you are designing an app, a website, or a physical product, the principles of user-friendly product design remain the same. Here are the 5 key principles for product design that will help you create products that stand out in a crowded market.
Why should the product design be user-friendly?
As the saying goes,” first impression is the last impression” — a user-friendly product design decides whether or not the consumer will use your product. So, to remain competitive, companies must use these principles of design thinking to meet customers’ needs and make their digital product design simple, easy, and intuitive.
Hierarchy is an essential element for creating user-friendly digital products. A well-designed product should have a clear hierarchy, with the most important or relevant information presented first.
There are two types of hierarchy — Visual (orderly representation of interactive elements, colors, typography, text formatting, and much more.) and information architecture (organized representation of content).
Using too many large elements or bright colors can create a cluttered and confusing design. Similarly, a sans-serif font is best for modern and minimalist designs, while a serif font is more traditional and formal. By establishing a clear order of hierarchy, users can easily navigate the product and find what they desire.
Consistency is one of the most vital principles of design thinking. It means ensuring that the product’s design elements, such as fonts, colors, and icons, are consistent throughout the product.
A style guide is one of the most common ways to establish consistency. It is a guideline document that outlines the product’s design elements, such as colors, fonts, and layout. Additionally, using consistent language and tonality — other consistency elements — help establish a sense of familiarity.
A consistent design helps users easily navigate the product element and perform specific functions. It also makes the product feel more polished and professional—building user trust.
User control is all about giving users the power to control their experience with the product. This means that users should be able to customize settings, control the pace of the product, and choose which features to use — without having to struggle.
You can provide user control by building user-friendly digital products with menus, search bars, undo or cancel buttons, settings, etc. Allowing users to navigate and customize the product provides a sense of ownership and engagement.
User-centricity is a user-friendly product design principle that focuses on the user’s needs and preferences.
One of the most common ways to incorporate user-centricity is through user research and personas. User research involves gathering information about the user’s needs and preferences and using that information to tweak the design process.
Personas are fictional characters of the product’s target audience. These help designers better understand user needs and create a digital product design that meets their preferences.
Accessibility means creating a user-friendly product design that everyone can use, including people with disabilities or limitations like color blindness, hearing impairment, visual impairments, etc.
Incorporate accessibility into the design process through color contrast and alternative text. Color contrast helps users with visual impairments to navigate the product more easily. Alternative text describes an image or graphic that is read aloud to users with visual impairments.
By creating user-friendly digital products accessible to all individuals, UI/UX designers can build a more inclusive and engaging experience, resulting in an extended potential user base. For real-world accessible design examples, check out these websites.
Implementing these 5 key principles for product design can help ensure that users have a positive experience while using the product, leading to increased user satisfaction, loyalty, and business impact.
Excelling at the art of user-friendly product design is not an easy feat. It requires extensive training, knowledge of user psychology, design knowledge, and much more. École Intuit Lab, India’s #1 design institute, understands these fundamental intricacies and offers the best digital product design courses in the country. The entire experience is replete with industry training, hands-on learning, real-world projects, international semester exchanges, global workshops, and much more!
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