The usability of your product, whether it is a website, phone app or desktop program is one of the key factors in determining its success. One of the main reasons why Apple products are so successful is because of how easy they are to use.
I have put together a list of best practices that should help you regardless of what form your interface should take.
Having consistency in your interface enables users to apply their existing knowledge of previous applications in understanding and building up an accurate mental model of your application. Accurate mental models lead to less support and training being required.
The system should keep users informed of actions or events, such as errors and state changes that are relevant to the user. This helps provide the user with a greater sense of engagement with the application.
Tasks that the user is likely to do often should be simple and straightforward to do. The interface should be clean and simple with only useful and relevant information and components displayed.
In Western societies, people read left to right and top to bottom. Therefore to complement the users existing knowledge and expectations, screens designs should also be organized from left to right and top to bottom.
Mistakes are easily made. The interface should be able to handle misuse and mistakes by allowing the user to undo and redo operations wherever possible. A level of verification of the user’s input prior to any action is also encouraged.
This wasn’t an exhaustive list of everything that you can do to make your interface easier to use, but more of a high level taster, and if you keep the points mentioned in mind then it will in no doubt lead you in the right direction.
What user interface tips do you use on a regular basis that I didn’t mention above?