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Steps in Developing a User Interface

written by: Marce•edited by: Robin L.•updated: 6/15/2009

A brief look at developing a user interface. Understanding the steps in developing a user interface will help you build a website that will attract traffic and get more business.

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    The steps in developing a user interface are quite simple if you know what makes a great user interface. The most important concept of the user interface is usability. As you will find out, you will need to test for usability throughout each step of developing a user interface.

    Step 1: Thinking about Your Website

    Web pages make up a web site. When you think about your web site as a whole, you need to think about how each web page will add to the overall theme of your web site. Your homepage is the first web page people will see when they land on your web site. You want to create an overview of everything your web site will have to offer through different web pages. Think about all of the things that you want to place on the homepage and then make web pages that give the user in depth information.

    *Usability Test

    After you have laid out your web pages, test usability by making sure that people can click on a link on the homepage to the web page and then have a clickable link from the web page back to the homepage.

    Step 2: Design of Your Website

    The design of your user interface has just as much emphasis on usability as the information you have on the web pages. Create a design that is attractive but not cluttered. You want to space different sections of your web page well and choose colors for backgrounds and fonts that will make it easy on the eyes of your users.

    *Usability Test

    As you design the layout and look of your web page, ask someone to look at it. You may think that the layout makes it easy to find information but someone else may think differently.

    Step 3: Make Your Website Consistent

    Don't provide users a website where they have to guess what to do to make something work on your site. This means that if you have chosen to have drop down menus to go to other web pages rather than hyperlinks, continue to use the drop down menu throughout your website.

    *Usability Test

    Go through your website and make sure you have consistent tools on it so once a user understands how to navigate your site he or she can maneuver through it easily.

    Step 4: Updating Your Website

    The last step in developing a user interface is making it easy on the web site owner to update the site. If you are not the owner, you want to make sure the webmaster can get into each web page easily and only change the things he or she wants to change without altering the whole web page or web site.

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    Remember the most important part of developing a user interface is the usability. You may find web sites to be easy to use but others who are novice to web surfing may not find it quite as simple. Following the above steps in developing user interface will help you make an easier to navigate site, which means more traffic and earnings. Find out more about the importance of user interface design when you read Tips for Quality Web Design.