In this video, learn how to make the UI flow and make it scannable.
- Our brains are used to picking up on unusual things. It's what kept us alive when we lived on the savannah and needed to know if a tiger was about to eat us. If something looked out of place, it was probably dangerous and worth paying more attention to. That creates a problem with user interfaces. If parts of the interface look out of place, different from the other parts, not grouped how we'd expect, or inconsistent, then it becomes stressful, because a relatively old part of our brain starts telling us to watch out for tigers. That's one reason why consistency feels so pleasing to us in our daily lives.
When everything's in its place, there's nothing unusual, and so there's nothing we feel the need to pay more attention to. That reduces our stress levels. Our brains also do a lot of subconscious preprocessing of what we see. That means we have a certain way of interpreting the elements of an interface. For instance, we tend to automatically group sets of similar items, we have a built-in tendency to fill in missing pieces, and we try to separate what we see into foreground and background details. If we design our interfaces with this in mind, it helps people to quickly understand and work with the information we're giving them.
If we don't, it slows them down and leads to confusion and frustration. We'll cover several different techniques for making the user interface flow consistently in this chapter and we'll talk about how to make sure you're placing appropriate information in the parts of an interface that people pay attention to, so they can scan quickly rather than having to slow down and read.
- Designing around human limitations
- Telling stories
- How we group the things we see
- Making standard and consistent interfaces
- Smart defaults
- Reducing system latency and communicating during delays
- Making error messages into useful dialogs
- Designing for delight