September 11, 2012
Building a website or mobile app is partially about building a product that consumers need and partially about building an interface that appeals to them. No matter how useful an app is, or how convenient a website makes a service, if it isn't appealing visually, people simply won't use it. Investing in high-quality graphical user interface design is about more than creating something visually stimulating; it's investing in a method of driving sales.
According to The Next Web, businesses can learn from one another to get a better understanding of the many facets that go into creating stimulating and innovative GUI design. Sites like Creattica, Grid Assault and Awwwards showcase some of the most interesting web UI designs and innovative developers on the web. While a business may not want a clear-cut design created for someone else, these sites can inspire ideas for their own designs.
"There is no shortage of inspiring places to find amazing web designs on the internet," the new source noted.
The same goes with application design. While a business should always keep its mobile app offerings in line with design standards for the devices that they are supporting, there is a lot that can go into creating an app outside of the Android and iOS standards. Sites like Dribble and InspiredUI offer examples of high-quality apps that businesses can look at to get an idea of what is popular in mobile UI design and develop their own ideas for apps.
For any company, there are three important things to consider when looking for inspiration for an app or website.
Ultimately, the customer is the one who is going to use the app or website, so it should appeal to them first and foremost. Design that ignores the customer's main reason for being on the site, or that simply isn't intuitive, won't be popular. On the other hand, a design that uses ideas from the customer or takes primary usage into consideration will be successful. Developing a website or app with customer feedback in mind also allows the business to ensure success during the launch, rather than receiving large amounts of negative feedback after the site or app goes live and having to scramble to recover.
Design should be consistent throughout a site or app, but it should also be consistent with the business' message. A photography company shouldn't have a site that is mostly text or computer-generated graphics, but that is based around photography. Likewise, a car manufacturer should feature cars in its design. Creating a design that is consistent with the company's overall image is just as important as making one that meets customer needs.
A business may also want to look for inspiration for its app and website GUI design in an obvious source - an outside design company. By outsourcing app development or website creation, a business can ensure expertise and quality in its design, and be that much closer to a successful launch of the website or app. With outside experts developing the product, the business will still be able to provide input and the result will feature its ideas and inspiration, but will be done with quality and precision that the business may not be able to accomplish on its own.
Ultimately, the success of a website or app depends on the need for it, but a business can encourage that need to develop through high-quality design and usability that will make users want to purchase the app or visit the site, rather than making it simply a convenient tool.