Skip to main content

The importance of user experience can’t be overstated. This element profoundly affects user engagement, and 80% of customers are willing to pay more for a better user experience.

That’s why companies must invest in improving their sites, products, or app’s user experience.

To achieve this, a UX designer must follow the five simple UX principles. Here’s a detailed overview of the principles.


What is UX Design?

UX is the short form for user experience, which means the process a designer uses to create products that provide a positive user experience to the end user.

From the designer’s perspective, it involves combining elements such as design, accessibility, functionality, branding, and usability to create a memorable user experience.

From a customer’s point of view, UX describes how they feel when interacting with a website, software, mobile application, or other system.

Think about the websites you interact with and can’t stop scrolling and those you want to leave within a few seconds of interaction. The UX design determines how long you interact with the website.


Essential UX Principles Guiding Product Design

UX principles are the guidelines designers follow to make the end user’s interaction with a website, application, or other system user-friendly.

They also help designers work more effectively and streamline design practices because they don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time they design a website.

Instead, they can follow or fine-tune the set principles to create better end-user experiences. Here are five essential principles:


01. User-centricity

The end user’s needs should be the epitome of every decision made regarding user experience.

As such, the designer must study the user to understand their behaviour, expectations, preferences, and the problem they must solve.

Incorporating all such elements into the product’s design ensures the user has a positive user experience.

It’s easy to get overtaken by your preferences, but they’re secondary to user design. Here are questions to help you understand your users:

  • Who are your users?
  • Where are they located?
  • What are the users’ pain points?
  • What is their level of knowledge?
  • What are their preferences?


02. Consistency

Consistency breeds customer loyalty and trust, and a product’s UX design is pivotal in realizing these benefits.

You want customers to recognize your company or products regardless of the platform they interact with.

Consistency also helps customers process new information about your company efficiently. For example, say you added a new feature to your website.

The customer’s learning curve is lower if your UX has been consistent. Consistency in user experience addresses two aspects:

  • The product design: The design should have a consistent look across all platforms
  • Meeting the user’s expectations: You don’t have to reinvent the wheel when designing a product, service, or app. The product should be nearly similar to your competitors’ in function. Users don’t expect it to function differently based on their experience with similar products.


03. Design for Context

Context helps a designer understand the factors surrounding the user when interacting with your product or service.

Understanding the user’s intentions, behaviour, and motivation for using a product is helps gain insight into what users deem necessary.

Context also considers the circumstances in which a product will be used and how some factors could impact the user experience.

Some questions to help you understand a user’s context are:

  • What is the user’s emotional state when interacting with the product?
  • What environment will the user be in when using your product or service?
  • Which devices could the user use to interact with your product or service?
  • Are there factors that could disrupt their experience?

These questions help you understand the user’s context and factor in limitations that could inhibit their experience.

For example, a designer developing an app for seniors may need to pay special attention to factors such as:

  • Text options
  • Colour variations
  • Navigation
  • Clarity of icons
  • Text-to-speech options


04. Hierarchy

You want users to understand how information flows on the website to make navigation easy. Hierarchy is responsible for this aspect, and there are two types you must consider:

Informational hierarchy

The designer determines how the content is organized on different pages. For example, you could group high-level content and break the less important content into subtopics.

Visual hierarchy

This element addresses how different components are displayed on a page. A good rule of thumb is to place the essential elements at the top of the page using different colours or large fonts to help them stand out.

Both types help users easily navigate a website, app, or other platform. They first look at the most critical areas, pages, or elements before browsing the less important ones.


05. Usability

Think about how easy it is to use your product, service, website, or application and testing it is an excellent way to find this out. You could have users perform tasks using the app and point out any problems they experienced. Usability can be divided into five components:

  • Efficiency: Find out if the product or service enables the user to complete the tasks quickly and efficiently
  • Learnability: Determine how easy it is for users to use the product the first time. Elements like information architecture and consistency enhance a product’s learnability.
  • Errors: Determine if users make errors when interacting with your product and their severity. Is it easy to address them and continue using the product?
  • Satisfaction: Do users enjoy engaging with the product? Does it leave them feeling satisfied or frustrated?
  • Memorability: You also want to find out if it’s easy to remember how to use the product if they haven’t used it for a while



Addressing these five elements improves the end-users user experience. It shows that you’re not just concerned about making a sale or increasing conversions, but you care about their experience.

It’s easy to be caught up in the aesthetics of a product, app, service, or website, but there’s more that goes into enhancing a user’s interaction.

If you find it challenging to incorporate all these elements into your product’s UX design, contact us. We’ve helped many other clients improve their product’s user experience.

Paul Simiyu

Founder and Team Lead of Simpaul Design, a brand strategy and design agency in Nairobi, Kenya. Here at Simpaul Design, we work with brands across various categories with a focus on connecting with consumers and building brands that people want to be a part of. We specialize in brand identity and strategy, UX/UI, and brand transformation.

Leave a Reply