The importance of creating effective user interfaces grew with the increasing reliance of businesses on the web and mobile applications. Your end users' experience is impacted by the type of user interface you choose because it affects how users perceive your site and helps boost your search engine optimization.
The User Interface (UI) is the area where the interactions between humans and computers take place; it includes information from the output devices as well as many control elements that allow the user to carry out certain activities.
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at different types of user interfaces and how beneficial they can be to your product. By the time you’ve finished reading this 7-minute guide, you’ll figure out the best type of user interface to use for your project.
Let’s dive in.
Understanding The User Interface Design Process
There is two-way communication between your user and the device they use to access your products, and this is known as Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). The type of interface - like the command line, natural language, voice, or graphical user interface - implemented in your product determines how your users interact with it.
The process of creating user interfaces involves figuring out the visual representation of the components, state changes, and interactions that a user would go through when interacting with your on-screen designs.
This design process is categorized into 6 important stages:
- Designing components
- Creating user flows
- Creating high-fidelity designs
This is the first stage of the design process and it involves creating rough paper or digital sketches of what your product is supposed to look like. It takes less time to create and can be easily done on paper or digital software.
Before the application of visual design principles, wireframes are created to depict how the product might appear. Here, the layout and its components can be seen beginning to take shape. Wireframes can be drawn using wireframing applications like Figma or physically on paper.
C. Designing Components
An interactive interface is built using components. It is the process of building every component piece needed for your design project. The common graphic elements include icons, search fields, buttons, contact forms, progress bars, CTAs, navigation bars, and others.
D. Creating User Flows
This involves mapping out how users will interact with your product and move from one stage or page to the other. It lets you know what happens when certain actions are carried out within your site or app.
E. Creating High-Fidelity Designs
This stage involves creating high-fidelity designs for the final product. It will include high-quality graphic designs, text contents and copies, and graphical elements neatly arranged together.
Prototyping is the stage where all elements and pages are linked together, creating transitions or movement from one point to the other. All screens, links, icons, pages, buttons, navigation elements, and other components are linked to their appropriate landing pages in this stage, to create a visual depiction of how your finished product will function.
Now that we are familiar with the basics of the UI design process, let’s take a look at the 8 most prominent types of interface that you can use for your project.
8 Best Types Of User Interface To Boost Online Traffic
There are many different types of UI you can use. Some are better suited for certain types of sites than others. When hiring UI developers and designers, it is important to onboard the ones with a clear understanding of the various types of user interface and their applications.
At Aloa, we rigorously assess each developer to determine their UI design and development expertise and experience. It takes time to find a competent UI resource who can design and develop an interface that fits the requirements of your product. We also keep a pool of designers and developers who are available to work, which will make the hiring process easier for you.
Let’s explore eight of the best types of user interfaces to help you boost your online traffic.
1. Command Line Interface
The earliest type of user interface still in use is the command line interface (CLI). The user can activate the various commands or functions in command line interfaces by typing the corresponding command on the keyboard. Examples of command line interfaces include the Microsoft Disk Operating System and the Linux Bash.
These are not very user-friendly because to operate them well, a user should memorize numerous complex commands and possess coding skills. Despite being challenging to use, CLI is quite strong because, in contrast to Graphical User Interface (GUI), it can interact effectively with internal computer system components.
The command line user interface is mostly used in carrying out system administrator responsibilities, when working with cloud services like AWS, and also by companies like Cisco for configuring and monitoring their devices.
Pros Of Command Line Interface
- RAM use is decreased
- It requires lesser CPU processing time
- Compared to other user interfaces, CLI is faster
- It suffices to have a display with a lower resolution
- The operating system-based CLI is more compact
Cons of Command Line Interface
- Difficult for new users
- Minimal information in error messages
- Learning a command language is challenging
- Errors are caused by command syntax mistakes
- Typically accepts user input only through a keyboard
- Requires knowledge of or proficiency in programming
- Not user-friendly; you must read the handbook before using it
2. Natural Language Interface
Natural Language Interfaces (NLI) communicate with users by using human language. To prevent users from feeling like they are speaking to a robot, these kinds of user interfaces use languages like English, French, etc. in a very humanistic way. Written or spoken NLI is both possible.
These Natural Language Interfaces are currently becoming quite popular. Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, and Microsoft Cortana are a few examples of contemporary NLIs. It works by typing in the commands or speaking them physically.
Written NLI gives the impression that someone is conversing with you and assisting you in completing your task. Businesses that require the use of smart search, search autocorrect functions, search autocomplete, message bots, virtual assistants, and analytical tools, make use of NLI.
Pros of Natural Language Interface
- Numerous potential applications
- Personalizes interactions with users
- A realistic sensation is provided via voice
- It can be added to already-existing applications
- There is no requirement to acquire new abilities
- Offers context-sensitive responses to foster conversations
- Alterations based on gender, accent, tone, and speed of speech
Cons of Natural Language Interface
- Difficult to program
- Unexpected outcomes could be produced
- To have effective interactions, the device has to be frequently online
- Natural language processing demands a lot of resources from natural language interfaces
- The system may not be able to answer all of the user's questions, reliability can thus be a problem for Natural Language Interfaces
3. Graphical User Interface
GUI is one of the most popular and simple interfaces. By pointing and clicking on images or icons with a mouse, touchpad, touchscreen device, or other devices, you can interact with these interfaces. Because they employ Windows, Icons, Menus, and Pointers, GUIs are also referred to as WIMP interfaces.
These interfaces are typically seen in multitasking situations (when more than one software is in use) or in programs with a high level of complexity. Many portable mobile devices, including MP3 players, media players, game consoles, cellphones, and small controls for the home, workplace, and industry, use GUIs. Websites like Netflix and Spotify make use of GUI.
GUI support is available on certain operating systems, including Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android. Additionally, commonly used graphical user interfaces may be found in applications like Word and Excel as well as web browsers like Chrome and Firefox.
Pros Of Graphical User Interface
- Usually highly attractive and colorful
- User-friendly and very simple to use
- In GUI, there are no challenging commands
- The GUI-based system is simple to navigate and explore
- The user does not need to be knowledgeable in programming languages
Cons Of Graphical User Interface
- Occasionally performs slowly
- Performs better with additional memory (RAM)
- A graphic user interface demands greater processing power and storage
- Sometimes additional hardware support is needed, and this can be very expensive as well
4. Menu-Driven User Interface
Menu-driven Interfaces are used for relatively specific tasks that only need a limited number of user options or menu items. Despite the limited options, users virtually always succeed in completing their jobs. The choices can take the shape of buttons, which can either be physical or touch-based.
ATMs are one example of a menu-driven user interface, therefore the interface is popularly used by financial institutions. Starting with language selection, it displays a variety of menu options and walks the user through their options until the desired action is taken.
Additionally, voice-based systems can be used to create menu interfaces as well. The majority of firms that use Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems do this.
Pros Of Menu-Driven User Interface
- The low mental workload for users
- Uniform user interface across platforms
- Additional command over user interactions
- Simple to integrate with a variety of devices
- Convenient for new and inexperienced users
- Users are in charge of establishing a hierarchy and order for user paths
Cons Of Menu-Driven User Interface
- Users cannot alter the UI
- There are no available evasions
- It may appear slow for experienced users
- The menu may occupy a sizable portion of the screen
- User-friendliness can be compromised by an excessive series of menus
5. Form-Based User Interface
In form-based interfaces, the user can type and enter the necessary data into a structure that resembles a form. These interfaces are employed in the data collection process. The system can proceed based on the information gathered.
Form-based interfaces make use of form components including checkboxes, radio buttons, drop-down menus, pull-down menus, and text boxes.
They are typically employed when a large volume of data needs to be gathered and processed for various purposes. Additionally, form-based interfaces support data consistency for simple processing. Examples include registration forms, applications for educational institutions, credit card applications, etc.
Pros Of Form-Based User Interface
- Simple to use
- There is no excessive training necessary
- It is not necessary to use more memory or computing power
- Methods for data validation can be applied in form-based interfaces
Cons Of Form-Based User Interface
- There aren't many options available
- Not appropriate for sophisticated applications
- The form will take up a sizable portion of the screen
6. Voice User Interface
Through voice or speech instructions, a user can communicate with a system using voice user interfaces (VUIs). VUIs include virtual assistants like Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa. The main benefit of a VUI is that it enables users to interact with a product without using their hands or eyes while diverting their attention to something else.
The development of this technology allowed users to converse with their devices like they do with humans rather than only utilizing terms associated with computers. This interface is equipped with learning and self-teaching capabilities that get better with use.
Using voice commands to communicate with your products, or using voice assistants like Siri and Alexa, will require the voice user interface for your business.
Pros Of Voice User Interface
- Does not require a special skill to use
- Can be integrated into multiple devices
- Can be translated into many languages for different users
- Allows users to have human-like interactions with their devices
Cons Of Voice User Interface
- A limited number of commands can be performed
- Requires training on types of voice commands and interactions applicable to the devices
- A limited number of language translations requires users to learn some existing ones before they can communicate
7. Touchscreen Graphical User Interface
Users must use their fingers to provide input by touch to the device when using the Touchscreen Graphical User Interface. As a result of the widespread use of portable devices, it has become a popular choice.
The support for swiping, hold click (typically comparable to the right mouse click), and a few other features like a two-finger tap gesture to zoom/rotate an object are key variations from a regular GUI.
Businesses that make use of self-checkout devices, medical input devices, and touchscreen-enabled POS devices make use of the touchscreen graphical user interface. This applies to many business sectors like medical institutions, retail stores, financial institutions, restaurants, hotels, and many others.
Pros Of Touch Screen Graphical User Interface
- Addition of a variety of motion actions
- Both children and the elderly can use it with ease
- Zoom-in motions help the blind with more accessibility
- It avoids using external devices such as a mouse or keyboard
Cons Of Touchscreen Graphical User Interface
- Stray touches can mistakenly activate them
- Size restrictions for control elements apply to mobile displays
8. Question-And-Answer User Interface
In a question-and-answer interface, the user is presented with a question on the display by the computer. The user interacts by entering an answer (either with a keyboard or a mouse click), and the computer responds to that information in a preprogrammed way, usually by going on to the next question.
Examples of its applications are in survey platforms like Survey Monkey, Google Forms, and customer support dialogues.
Pros Of Question-And-Answer User Interface
- It is easy to use and requires no training
- Its content or usage is not limited to questions and answers only
- It can be used to render technical support to users or answer their questions
Cons Of Question-And-Answer User Interface
- Sometimes there are limited answer options
5 Reasons Why Having A Good User Interface Is Important For Your Business
As a business owner, you want to ensure that your website is user-friendly. One of the best ways to do this is to invest in UI design. By working with a professional UI designer, you can create a website that is not only visually appealing but also easy to navigate.
It makes it easier for your clients to clearly understand your product because it maximizes a website's responsiveness, effectiveness, and accessibility in addition to its aesthetics. Below are five reasons why you will need an intelligent user interface for your business.
I. Attracting New Users/Customers
Positive user experience is largely influenced by good UI design. This can give you a significant competitive advantage and direct more people to your product or brand when combined with clever UX design strategies.
Your users will feel more at ease using your application if it has a good design. By doing so, you can draw in more clients and thus boost sales. A strong competitive advantage is having a well-designed user interface that maximizes income opportunities.
II. Increased Customer Engagements
In addition to drawing in new users, the creation of an interface that makes tasks easy to access also encourages people to continue using your digital products. Also, when you develop your products with a user interface that is easy to understand and navigate, it results in a higher conversion rate and a decreased bounce rate.
One of the best customer retention methods is to build a website that people like to increase their loyalty toward your business as well. The goal of a user interface design is to not only draw in new visitors but also keep existing ones coming back for more.
III. Decreased Customer Support Expenses
When a user encounters a problem with the website's functionality or is unable to locate something, they will either leave or seek help. You won't necessarily see a decrease in bounce rates if your user experience is intuitive. Additionally, you'll receive fewer complaints from customer service, which can considerably lower your costs.
A straightforward interface reduces the likelihood of mistakes, misunderstandings, and unintended actions during navigation, reducing the need for customer support.
IV. Decreased Cost of Development
Beginning with a user-friendly interface helps prevent future issues such as fixing navigational errors, improving the design's functionality, or removing pointless features and functions. A well-designed interface poses fewer issues for designers, preventing extra expenses and requiring less time and effort.
The strategic choices made at the beginning of your project impact the cost and performance in the future. Therefore, the production of the user interface design, when done well, cuts costs, time, and effort across the following stages of the development of your digital product.
V. Increased Customer Satisfaction
A great user interface will lead to a better user experience. Since they’ll be able to achieve their goals and spend less time looking for the desired products or services, the user will be more satisfied. Any designer you hire has the responsibility of making it simpler for the user to locate the goods or services, take some sort of action, or get the information they require.
When you attend to your customer’s requests or complaints fast, you boost your customer’s loyalty, and sales, and use up the least amount of resources and expenses possible.
An effective user interface should be simple to use, have clear user pathways, look attractive, and include helpful information. Think about what your users will need and what will continuously improve the procedures in your application to make the best decision.
Consider what will make your users the most comfortable. Some people may prefer using instructions with precise semantics or clicking on icons, but others may think that speaking to a computer is the most practical and flexible interaction method.
Ultimately, hiring a designer that understands these requirements is what’s most important. At Aloa, we can help you hire a team of efficient UI designers to facilitate the production of different types of user interfaces that are user-friendly and attractive. You can contact us by sending an email to [email protected] or by visiting our website.