PLACEMENT AND PROXIMITY_____
This fourth session is about layout design, discussing how to determine the placement and proximity of the elements within the UI. We will review the arrangement, grouping, and spacing of the elements of design that eventually form the final picture. The layout design is where the users’ mental model meets the designer’s intention, making it one of the most important aspects of interface design. Due to the known biases of human perceptions, the UI elements will be grouped, and interpreted accordingly, by the users based on the Gestalt laws. If the designer cannot form the perceived picture as per intention, it will be then formed by the users accidentally. This accidentally formed picture is where most of the usability issues come from; the users interpret the functions differently. If the elements are laid out with consideration for the perceptional biases and the heuristics of the target audience, the designer most likely will succeeded in creating an interface that meets the users mental model and as such, will ensure strong engagement. That's why I always say, if the layout design is done right, half of the job is done right.
Please check some of the most common issues and their explanation below. Click on the numbers to load the related image.
Here are some of the core aspect of layout design:
Design Tip: Displaying the same functionality in several places (often for the reason of ‘quick access’) is usually add more confusion than help. It's because this kind of layout design actually expects the users to remember two or more places to search for the same functionality, which means longer learning curves and more erroneous task flows. Instead, try to offer one steady anchor point for every functionality which can be learnt easily and memorize-able for the long term.