Ergonomics in user interface design is based on the optimal and harmonious arrangement of its elements, which ultimately provides excellent usability and user engagement. But to more accurately define this concept, we have compiled a list of eleven principles that should be followed to recreate it.
#1 – Human-Centered Design
The interface should be designed taking into account the individual characteristics of the user, starting from their physical and cognitive abilities, and ending with their needs and goals. In general, this design is based on solving particular problems associated with their interaction with program interfaces and achieving goals that are inherent to specific user groups.
This approach ensures minimal onboarding and reduces the time needed to adapt to working with the product. Thanks to this, your target audience gets an intuitive solution that is pleasant and really useful to use.
#2 – Affordances
Affordances are natural visual cues, such as buttons, icons, and labels, designed to show end users exactly how to use the functionality of your web solution.
In the context of the UI, these elements quickly and simply convey to the user the idea of what they must do to complete the target action without additional pop-up tips and pictures. Thus, users do not have to perform unnecessary actions to achieve the desired result within your product, which has a positive effect on conversion.
#3 – Feedback
The interface should provide users with clear and immediate feedback on their actions, such as errors or confirmation of certain operations. Thanks to this, users will understand whether they move in the right direction to complete the target action.
This, in turn, reduces misunderstanding on the part of your target audience about how to deal with your product and improves the quality of the user experience in general.
#4 – Consistency and Predictability
The interface should be consistent across operating systems and devices, have a similar layout, and behave in the same way.
This means that when changing a device or OS, users will not have to learn how to work with your product from the very beginning and will be able to behave with it the same way as before.
The same goes for predictability: typical interface elements should perform the functions that users are used to: if it is a button, it should confirm some action, if it is a pop-up window, it should notify users about some event and further actions after it, etc.
#5 – Flexibility and Customization
Flexibility is not just following a linear path, but following a path familiar and intuitive to the user. In particular, you must be able to recognize the intentions of your target audience and help them move through your web project with these intentions in mind.
As for customization, the interface should allow users to adjust it according to their preferences. Usually, this adaptation means "sharpening" individual interface features for each specific user, according to their instructions. In fact, this allows web solution owners to give their target audience a sense of individuality and thus improve their personal experience.
#6 – Minimalism
The interface should be simple and concise so that users do not get confused by a large amount of information brought down on them at one moment. That is why you will have to carefully review all the functional elements placed on one screen and move, hide, or completely remove those that do not critically affect the implementation of priority target actions by users.
#7 – Accessibility
Ideally, the interface of your web solution should be accessible to users with disabilities. To check compliance, you can refer to the WCAG 2 standards (if required by the specifics of your application) or create your own unique set of requirements that will make the interface accessible to a specific narrow target audience.
#8 – Usability
Your UI should be easy to navigate and understand and provide your users with a one-to-one correspondence between instructions/feedback and their actions. Thus, your task is to create a design where new users can navigate without additional prompts or with minimal ones on how to perform the main target actions.
#9 – Learnability
Learnability in the interface means its low entry threshold, which allows beginners not to spend a lot of time onboarding and reduce the time to perform repeated actions to finally understand how this or that function works.
#10 – Aesthetics
Another principle that every designer should keep in mind when building an ergonomic design is to create an attractive visual. Indeed, no convenience can attract and retain the target audience without proper design. This means that you will have to think carefully about the choice of color palette, the arrangement of elements and whitespace, dynamic details, etc.
#11 – Efficiency
The interface should allow users to complete their tasks with minimal resource costs, both in terms of time and convenience. Note that efficiency cannot be defined as binary (this interface is efficient and the other is not), rather it is better defined as "enough" and "not enough".
We hope that we have helped you understand how to create an ergonomic design and now you can easily put all of the above eleven principles into practice in your work. Therefore, as always, we wish you good luck in this.