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Tips for Your Website: Designing to Engage Users

August 08, 2019

In today's world, people are reading content less and embracing visual solutions more. A high-quality user interface and interesting design solutions make businesses stand out and create an easier experience for users. 

A well-thought-out interface helps to create a positive first impression and get the users engaged with the product, be it a website or an app. 

Our 11-years of experience in software testing brought us a number of cases where our team worked on the software interface quality assurance.

As such, we are positive that great UI is one of the top aspects that translates engagements into sales. Along with design trends, graphical user interface (GUI) testing is an effective strategy to shape users’ first impression of the company by a faultless interface. 

GUI testing refers to checking the functions of a web/app that are visible to a user. The test would confirm if the software responds correctly to clicking on menus, buttons, toolbars, etc.

Here QA engineers would also check if fonts and images conform to the product design specifications. 

These are some points to check before software release:

  • Text. The way content is displayed on any website can affect your brand reputation. Set the background to read-only mode and take a careful look at the colors, fonts, and field alerts. Proofread the texts displayed in the window, check the error messages, pop-ups, and landing page for correct spelling and grammar. 
  • Images. Make sure the entire app or website is free of broken visuals. Along with image clarity, test zoom in and out options, the size, alignment, position, width, and height of the uploaded graphics. 
  • Buttons. Make sure active command buttons are clickable and well-visible. 
  • Scrolls. In this case, take care of horizontal and vertical bars. Even if the scroll isn`t visible, still make it available via mouse or touchpad gestures. 
  • Layout. Check that the website sections don`t overlap with each other and that the text is kept readable. Also, make sure layout spacing (linewidth, line height) are per requirements. 

Web Design Trends in 2019

While testing user interface, we`ve come across a diverse set of design solutions, creative ideas, and unique approaches for creating a design strategy. 

Some of the interface design trends have just become popular while others are not new, but still relevant to the user experience. Below is a list of the top design trends your company should be focused on:

1. Include 3D Graphics

The way people behave online can affect their relationships with your company. This is one of the reasons our interaction with websites has become a priority for designers. 

Today, designers are looking for ways that 3D blurs the lines between digital and physical worlds that breathe life into graphics. 

3D design brings us together to interact with the imaginary spaces, manipulate the elements, and engage with the product. 

A photorealistic 3D site gives users the opportunity to dive into the interactive world of animation, which is more enjoyable than just flat illustrations. 

Below is an example of a 3D design that incorporates bright colors: 
 

3D Design Example

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The above image is much more dynamic than a simple drawing. The headphones look as though they are directly in front of the user, which makes the experience more immersive. 

2. Evaluate Your Long-Form Content 

Research, new insights, and industry news are the types of relevant and helpful content people will always be interested in. Valuable content can motivate users to spend more time on your website. 

 When planning website design, consider the strategy for textual content. 

This article example from The New York Times is a great example of how a long-read piece of content is designed. The story is about how an avalanche endangered a group of skiers and snowboarders’ lives. The NYT demonstrates the danger that the group was in with moving pictures and chunked text. 

New York Times Article

The author formats the article so it doesn’t have a dense paragraph and includes images that recall the scene. This approach makes the story reader-oriented and encourages people to visualize what the ski team went through. 

Businesses should always make their long-form content dynamic and visual so as to engage people's attention. 

3. Consider Your Typography

Make your fonts bold and catchy. Follow the typographic hierarchy rules and consider what font would be the best choice for your platform.  

Whatever the task is — to highlight the core message, brand the company name, or emphasize a new product — creating readable elements for the layout will come in handy to succeed. 

Well-Balanced readable typography can be emphasized by the illustration, choice of colors, or unusual text arrangement on the page.  

Marshmallow Font
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The text reads out "Marshmallow" and with the white and curvy lettering, the font also conveys the meaning through the format. 

4. Examine Your Card Style

As more users connect to the Internet on their phones, it is important that your web design is mobile-responsive. Mobile design favors small screens, which makes a card-like design useful for sharing essential information and preserving space. 

The below minimalistic travel application exemplifies the convenience of such a design approach. 

Minimalistic Travel Application Card Style

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Be it a cultural spot in the area or a tourist attraction, the app briefly informs the user about the highlights of the location and then supports the content with high-quality visuals. 

Simplicity in user interaction is essential for a better design.  

5. Incorporate UI Animation

Interface animation is one more way to create an interactive experience on your website. 

The content and functions of an app become clear and understandable once designers work out tabs, buttons, scroll animation, graphs, and data display. 

This bookstore app is an example of a smooth and enjoyable shopping experience. 

Bookstore App UI Animation
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This UI animation supports intuitive navigation, users can easily choose items and add them immediately to the cart. By creating animation, users are more engaged with the content and likely to swipe through. 

6. Integrate AR 

An augmented reality-based website is one of the latest UI trends that allows customers to get a close-to-real view on the product they are purchasing. AR has been found as essential in many platforms for e-commerce businesses. AR technology is an innovative way to better explain a product, encourage people to try it out, and increase purchase confidence. 

CNBC found that 40% of products purchased online are returned as the items often don`t meet customers` expectations. 

The example of an online store below allows users to see how the watch would look on their wrist. Users can rotate the watch to see different angles and try on various colors and styles.  

|AR Concept App

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AR is a great solution to innovate interface design and help your customers enjoy shopping.

7. Think About Buttonless Mobile Design

Mobile design can now function without pressing a button. Users can rotate a device to change the image view. Shake to undo this image switch. Pinch to zoom in or zoom out. Double-tap to center the content and flick to scroll.

Buttons are no longer essential to the functionality of a mobile app. 

Buttonless UI can be an effective solution to save screen space for more vital information about your services. 

Below, you see what happens when the “Home” button of an app is removed. The mobile app architecture changes and becomes dependent on gesture-like user behavior. 

Sub Level Slider  

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If you are considering this type of “intuitive” design, you should also analyze what gestures make the most sense for your audience and if they are naturally inclined to make these motions while using your app.  

8. Buttons Are Still Valuable 

Buttons, of course, still largely remain a middle man between the user and the product to carry out an action. They heavily impact conversions and create a dialogue between users and the digital brand. 

Relying on our experience in UI testing, we share some key points on efficient button design. 

1. Make it familiar.

Familiarity might not sound right for designers who are striving to bring new ideas to UI. However, uncommon shapes and styles, tricky button forms can fail to generate interaction as users don’t realize this shape is designed to be interactive. 

The button should also be visible. Make a clickable square or rounded square call-to-action button so that people can easily find it. 

We value extraordinary solutions, but we are also sure there is no point in making something unique if nobody uses it.

2. Keep Size in Mind

Think about how large your button is going to be. The size of a button can create a more convenient solution, especially when it comes to mobile design. 

If your buttons are too big, it can make the screen crash. If your buttons are too small, then they are hard to click and find. In 2003, MIT`s Touch Lab found that fingerprints are between 8 and 10mm wide. It`s far less risky for UI if the size of a button isn`t any smaller than 10mm. 

3. Ensure Your Text is Clear 

It`s not a good idea to overwhelm your users with too many buttons. 

They can get confused if there are too many options available. Create a chain of actions that lead to the desired result with buttons serving as a tool. A no-rush clear path to the crucial points of your product is more likely to be achieved by people surfing your website. 

During GUI testing, the button text is сhecked for proper alignment and readability. Apart from these points, each button has to focus on a particular action.

Call to Action App Options
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Try to avoid general “Cancel” or “Agree.”

Instead, have these boxes explain the action they take. You may add some extra line for an extended explanation and leave the button that sounds “Cancel my subscription,” “Continue shopping,” and “Continue payment.” 

A/B test the different button text and see if users interact with these call-to-actions differently. 

Create a Great Website for Your Users

Ensure that users want to return to your site with great web design. Interactive features and optimized buttons help users to easily adapt to the interface. 

Use the above examples as great starting points for your own site and consider implementing these design elements for your own business.

Consult with a software testing company to ensure that your web design works efficiently for your customers.