Interfaces are everywhere. They dominate our life. Through them, we interact with different technologies and equipment around us. Have you ever thought, for example, how many digital interfaces does your company have and the importance to improve them in order to achieve more productivity and financial results?
1st: What an interface is, exactly?
An "interface", either physical or digital, allows us to exchange information with a system. In the technological age, we increasingly need this middleman to interact with technologies around us. Just like most people don’t know code to communicate with a machine, machines also do not understand our language. So, the interface is the mediator between us and the system, to ensure that the communication is achieved with as few barriers as possible.
There are interfaces in almost everything around us, from the simplest appliance to more complex technologies. Many of the tasks we carry out every day require interaction with technology. This interaction is not only experienced with the most obvious devices (such as your smartphone or computer), but is also present in many other things: the on-board computer of a car, a smartwatch, a microwave, among many other devices which may go unnoticed.
All interfaces require a logical thinking in the background, which enables an easy and positive interaction with the user. That way, the error on this relationship is minimised. The interfaces allow one to “give orders” to machines in order to have them performing the tasks we want.
This is one of the main reasons User Experience (UX) has a huge impact in the relationship between users and machines and, consequently, between customers and products and brands.
2nd: Does UX really improve my interfaces?
From the moment we started to interact with machines, the concern in optimising this relationship arose immediately.
User Experience Design has surfaced as a result of several relationships that kept developing in this field. UX is a way of thinking and solving the issues behind a system, from the perspective of its user. In other words, it simplifies the information, optimises usability and enhances content, among others. Therefore, architecture, accessibility, usability and emotion are keywords in this field, given that UX aims to create memorable experiences.
For companies, UX is crucial if they want to create good strategy for their products’ or their brand. To design solutions to simplify the execution of tasks, to keep the user’s engagement during the interaction process.
This goal is reached when, for example, intuitively, a child touches a tablet, or when we use a new appliance without having to rely on a manual, because the buttons are placed where we expect them to be, the functions are perceptively symbolised, or in digital interfaces when we perceive how we can perform our tasks whithout a tutorial.
Finally: How can I know if my products have good interfaces?
Ok… you already know what an interface is exactly and why UX is so important to its development. But now you must be thinking: how can I know if my interfaces are designed and developed the best way?
In order to help you answer this question, we choose two important authors that developed, each one, a list of rules or design guidelines that you must follow if you want to achieve good and popular interfaces. They are Jakob Nielsen and Ben Shneiderman’s and companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft are just some of the successful companies that are already developing interfaces according to them. But, again, there's nothing like tests with real users to understand their mental models or what experience their desire.
Are you ready to start?
1. Download our free Improvement Interface Checklist
Our Interface Improvement Checklist is a summary of the 8 Golden Rules of Interface Design by Ben Shneiderman and 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design by Jakob Nielsen and you can download it here:
>>Download here the Interface Improvement Checklist
2. Start to analyse your interfaces
Now that you downloaded our Interface Improvement Checklist you can start to analyse your company interfaces in order to improve them. Just follow the checklist and observe if your interfaces are according the two authors guidelines.
Now that you have all the resources in hands, you may need some help in the process. If you have any questions or if would like to talk about this subject, contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org or just send us a message. We can support you in the improvement of your interfaces and User Experience.