Friday | November 12, 2021
Top 5 UX Design Patterns That Increase Usability and Accessibility in Your Designs
Design is an integral part of user experience. We all know that users interact with various websites and apps every day. Those user experiences can be great or terrible. Design patterns are one of the most essential tools to achieve a positive outcome. The primary goal of UX design patterns is to answer a simple question. “How am I supposed to use this?”
In this article, I’m going to talk about design patterns and mention a few of the most useful design patterns you can use to design accessible and intuitive user interfaces.
What are UX design patterns?
UX design patterns are standard solutions to common problems in design that have proven to be effective. For example (wizards, sliding drawers, accordions, etc.). Using these patterns can help guide users through a task or explain how an interface works.
Design patterns provide visual clues on what to do next and make using your website or app a breeze. Knowing when and how to apply them is critical for designers.
They streamline the design process and give a consistent look and feel to a website or app. The goal of design patterns is to provide your users with a familiar interface that allows them to achieve their goals with minimal friction.
You can find design patterns in basically all user interfaces. When users are familiar with them, they feel right at home, making your product easy to use and navigate and eliminating the friction of learning how your design works.
However, if there’s no pattern in place, users might get confused and frustrated because everything works differently than they’re used to. The lack of design patterns becomes even worst for users that have some sort of cognitive disability. Therefore, the more complex your product is, the more critical it is to use design patterns.
Patterns aren’t only visual; they can also be functional (such as an undo button). The primary purpose of implementing design patterns in your UX design is to make tasks easier for users without telling them how to do something step by step in every corner. In many cases, using a pattern instead of providing users with a manual saves them time and effort.
Why are UX Design Patterns essential to the Human Brain?
Since we’re all used to specific patterns and interfaces, sticking to what’s familiar when designing a new product is vital to keep users from getting confused and frustrated. This is why we heavily rely on standard solutions in our designs – they help us create simple and intuitive experiences.
Design patterns are important because they help the human brain make sense of things and find its way around a website or an app. If we didn’t rely on them, we’d be lost all the time and wouldn’t know where to look for content or how to interact with it.
Suppose you look at familiar objects such as doors, telephones, and other appliances as an example. In that case, you will notice the designs have standards to allow everyone to quickly understand how to use them. In the same way, UX design patterns offer everyday visual styles and consistent functions that help users feel comfortable with a specific product and accomplish tasks faster.
When and How to Apply UX Design Patterns?
Design patterns are a great way to guide users and help them learn how to use a product intuitively. For example, you can place a Sign In button at the top-right corner of a website above the menu, leading to a login page.
When designing for mobile devices, it’s essential to ensure that users can access all elements on the screen with just one hand. This is particularly important on mobile devices with smaller screens and requires us to make as much room as possible for content.
For example, a hamburger menu on a mobile app is a typical pattern that shows navigation options and doesn’t take up space within the interface. However, you can also include landscape or larger screens in your sketches as it’s crucial to design for different viewports.
You should never forget that each design pattern has its own set of rules that need to be followed. Otherwise, using them will only confuse users instead of helping them accomplish their goals faster and easier.
What are the most common UX Design Patterns?
There are a bunch of UX design patterns that we see and use daily. Below is a list of some of the most popular ones:
1. Navigation Patterns – this pattern includes elements such as hamburger menus, sidebars, and pagination. They’re usually in one place and remain static throughout the app or website.
2. Progressive Disclosure – this pattern is used when users need to see more detailed information. It initially shows a minimalistic UI with just the essential elements and the rest of them hidden. Then, it shows other parts from the screen as needed when you are progressing with the steps in the app or website.
3. Information Hierarchy – this pattern is very important because it shows the user where to find content and guides them logically. You can place it above or below a specific element. Still, you need to make sure that users will access it easily.
4. Data input – this pattern displays how to complete a task such as creating an account, making a purchase, or executing some action.
5. Persuasive or incentivized content – this pattern uses positive reinforcement for users to get them to buy into an idea, complete a task, or use a product.
Here are five different design patterns you can explore to deepen your knowledge about the subject:
- Designing for Long Waits and Interruptions
- Designing Empty States in Complex Applications
- Design Patterns For Complex Apps and Workflows
- Footers 101: Design Patterns and When to Use Each
- Needy Design Patterns: Please-Don’t-Go Popups & Get-Back-to-Me Tabs
As you can see, UX design patterns are a great way to keep users familiar with a product and help them navigate it quickly and easily.
The most important thing is to ensure that they’re consistent throughout the entire UI and match each other, so don’t break the overall style.
Thinking in sketches is also essential when designing new interfaces. It allows you to focus on the user experience first. Also, it helps you understand what works and what doesn’t before you even begin to work on a particular product or service.
Did you find this information helpful? What pattern would you like to implement on your website soon? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Also, please give this article a thumbs up to support more content like this.
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