One thing UI designers are tired of hearing (but never, ever forget) is this – a good UI (User Interface) doesn’t always mean a good UX (User Experience).
While people tell this to designers often they do not usually follow it up with an effective solution. At the most, what they share is more of a personal suggestion than a fool-proof solution. Worry not! There exists the best checklist that is guaranteed to help every UI UX designer to design simple & easy-to-use products. It’s the VIMM Model.
There are a number of UI design principles that help you to make not only a good but also an effective UI. But keeping all these principles in mind while creating a design as lengthy as UI can be difficult and result in disaster. If your UI design, no matter how good it looks, is making both your user and your machine think or work too much, you have failed at creating a good UX. The VIMM model is an easy and effective way of executing these principles. VIMM stands for Visual, Intellectual, Memory, and Motor. Let’s explore it further.
1. Visual Load
Visual load is usually caused by too much content on a page (copy or image), messy page layout, bad alignment, use of clashing colors, and too many unnecessary CTA (call to action) buttons. All of these make it hard for users to actually concentrate on one useful thing or find what they are looking for. How do you avoid it? By
- Creating a well designed grid for alignments & formats,
- Getting rid of all the unwanted elements,
- Consciously choosing colors.
2. Intellectual Load
As mentioned earlier, if your design makes the user think too much, it’s not a good design. Intellectual load can occur due to confusing navigation titles, overly complex processes, and unclear instruction due to poor copywriting. Your design should not leave the user to figure things out. To reduce your design Intellectual load, make sure you
- Give them previews,
- Avoid using jargons,
- Provide constant and clear navigational feedback.
3. Memory Load
Memory load can be created in your designs by usernames and passwords, keeping important functions hidden behind bars and buttons, among other things. This affects your design to load slowly and nobody likes that. As a designer you can design elements to avoid this. Just make sure to:
- Provide default save options,
- Keep your options visible.
4. Motor Load
Motor Load refers to asking your user to take too many physical efforts to accomplish something. It can be anything from excessive typing or clicking, hardware switches, excessive scrolling, displaying hard to hit target buttons, to unnecessarily large distance between two elements. You can avoid it by
- Simplifying your task flows as much as possible,
- Designing short distances and large targets,
- Allowing the common keyboard to function,
- Making the best of available input devices.
The VIMM model improves your design’s usability and makes way for a good-looking UI that not only looks better but also performs better. So when in doubt, try to go the VIMM route.