UI in Web Design: Tools, Trends, & Best Practices

User Experience
UI in Web Design: Tools, Trends, & Best Practices
Article by Maria Martin
Last Updated: November 13, 2022

59% of shoppers go online to research products or services they want to purchase. Thus, having an informative, well-structured business website is imperative. Additionally, 75% of consumers tend to judge a brand’s credibility based on its website design.

User interface or UI in web design focuses on how website visitors navigate it. And web design UI tools provide design specialists with what they need to work accurately on your web pages—from rendering mockups and high fidelity wireframes to prototypes and a minimum-viable product (MVP).

The design web interface should effectively communicate the functionalities of the site and all its components.

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What is UI in Web Design?

UI in web design is a series of menus and commands that assist an online user in interacting with and navigating the platform.

The details of a user interface web design dictate how a person can communicate intuitively and easily with the site and page elements.

Web user interface designs include all access points between an individual and the website. These include the screens, lights, sounds, and keyboard actions, which are available in three formats:

  • Graphical user interfaces (GUIs): The user interacts with a site’s visuals via a digital control panel, like a desktop computer.
  • Voice-controlled interfaces (VUIs): Website visitors interact with this web design UI format via voice prompts using smart assistants, such as Alexa on Amazon devices, Cortana on Microsoft, Google Assistant, and Siri on iOS gadgets.
  • Gesture-based interfaces: These are 3D design spaces, such as virtual reality (VR) games and applications, with which users interact through physical gestures.

Elements of User Interface Web Design

The following are the main building blocks constituting UI in web design:

Layout and Positioning

On the one hand, layout shapes the structure of the visual components of your web design UI. It forms the hierarchy of menus. It also puts the rest of the visual elements together to indicate their relationship, like icons and their labels.

On the other hand, positioning helps enhance the design web interface flow. For instance, labels are placed over text fields instead of on the left. This lets the eyes move down more fluidly without the need to keep looking toward the left to read labels.

Shapes and Sizes

Shapes set user interface web design elements apart. They make icons with different silhouettes quicker and easier to recognize.

Sizes suggest an element’s degree of importance. The larger the elements are displayed, the more significant they are. Additionally, sizes enhance interface efficiency by making clickable buttons and controls more usable.

Color Palette and Contrast

Here are the uses of the right color coding and contrasting scheme:

  • Colors draw attention to UI/UX web design components you want to highlight.
  • They provide a contrasting effect between components. Higher contrast lets users spot and read black text on a white background more easily.
  • They convey meaning. In general, green indicates an action’s successful result or functions as a signal to proceed. And red is associated with an error message.
  • Colors underscore relationships between toolbars and buttons.

9 Common UI in Web Design Techniques

Here are the foremost practical techniques you can apply to your UI in web design:

1. Utilizing White Spaces for Relationship-Building

White spaces are empty spaces between content elements, such as text, headers, and buttons.

These tighten spaces that separate web design UI components. They accentuate the connections of group-related controls performing similar functions while making hierarchical items on a page more noticeable.

2. Defining Boundaries With Texture

Rounded corners of graphical elements exhibit texture. These polish the look and feel of visual components like buttons.

They also define boundaries and suggest the end of a container. When users see a rounded corner, they will know that it is the final action they need to take before task completion.

3. Emphasizing Through Shadows, Dark Backgrounds, & Transparent Layers

Focus the users’ attention on an area using shadows and darkened backgrounds.

Here is what shadows can contribute to your user interface web design:

  • Similar to rounded corners, shadows add extra texture to your graphics.
  • Use them around modal windows, popup menus, and action buttons to give an embossed appearance.
  • Shadows can also block out any surrounding visual noise.
  • You can increase the contrast of elements that use shadows while decreasing the contrast of items underneath the shadows.

4. Using Action Words as Labels

People execute multiple actions when using an application or website.

So, when creating dialog boxes and other prompts, using verbs (Agree / Cancel) instead of exclamations (Yes / No / Maybe) is more comprehensible and intuitive.

It is clear to users that they are being instructed to make an actionable selection.

5. Placing Labels Within Text Input Fields

Leave out the unnecessary and make better use of spaces. Write labels inside the text fields, especially on forms occupying a limited area.

Besides saving space, this clever system makes the labels’ corresponding fields more apparent.

6. Putting Loading Indicators

Add a loading indicator during the wait time. It can be a progress bar or a spinning animation with the percentage rate of successfully completed actions.

Display them when a user fetches search query results or exports a document. This helps make the loading time feel shorter. With loading indicators, users have an idea about the remaining wait time.

7. Promoting the Web Design UI Features

Even though you build a familiar and intuitive design web interface, users may still not know your application or website completely from the inside out. This is especially true for sites with updates and features introduced regularly.

Thus, it is recommended to advertise site or app features on the platform itself.

Put a note to users in a prominent area on the screen. Make it adequately catchy without causing distraction, hiding other screen elements, or preventing cursor responses.

8. Allowing Undo and Restore Actions

Undo and restore command shortcuts make an application or a website more forgiving and welcoming, and, therefore, reliable and accessible.

These are critical tools that let online visitors take a step back, rethink their actions, and undo or restore.

9. Providing a Confirmation Dialog

A confirmation dialog is a smart functionality to integrate into your UI in web design.

It is especially useful if there are any destructive actions allowed on your web pages, such as item deletion. This double-checks with users if they want to proceed with the action and gives them the option to cancel.

6 Web Design UI Best Practices

Follow these practices for a good design web interface:

  1. Map out the hierarchy of menus, steps, and actions. This will provide you with a vivid sketch of what you intend for your design web interface to become. It will also be easier to plan for a future redesign.
  2. Prepare a definitive brand strategy comprising complete brand identity guidelines. This will help you build consistent web user interface designs.
  3. Plan a user interface web design for the average attention span of eight seconds. In turn, this approach will require the inclusion of minimalist web design UI elements to guide people with scanning, scrolling, and clicking on well-defined CTAs.
  4. Refrain from using flashy visuals that may affect page loading speeds.
  5. While experimental strategies might bring unique additions to your UI in web design, choose to stick with familiar patterns of design web interface. Using common elements that get the job done helps maintain consistency, and adjusting what people are familiar with can create disruption and end up backfiring.
  6. Use clear language and veer from the inessential.

User Interface Web Design Trends in 2022 and 2023

These are widely used fun, optimistic, and minimalist web design UI trends you can incorporate into your site or application:

Black and White Tones

Black and white color scheming is a beautiful, stark design web interface trend. When the right techniques and effects are applied, the black-and-white combination works perfectly to demonstrate fresh and modern simplicity.

Bold Typography

Big and bold typefaces register and respond superbly even on mobile screens, helping maximize the user interface web design’s impact on visitors.

Bold and experimental typefaces are not only designed for fleeting style and flair. They are popular because of their flexibility. You can adjust their outlines, fill them with colors, or animate them. Any of these will still work for large fonts.

Oversized Pointers

Oversized mouse hovers are examples of UI in web design that exemplifies valuable usability. They are visible, thus helping people engage more comfortably with your design web interface.


Avoid flat web user interface designs by using gradients. This user interface web design trend takes two forms:

  • As a text color fill for emphasis and optimal impact
  • As an illustration or icon fill for a textured depth appearance

Layered Effects

Layering refers to the stacking, merging, and overlapping of visual elements to establish connections between them and to achieve a depth effect.

You can make your web design UI’s layered style more overt or a bit more understated. Either can improve the design’s overall impact.

The multiple layers comprise the background, midground, and foreground. Together, these create a visually meaningful and engaging UI in web design.

Split-Screen Aesthetics

The split-screen aesthetic trend involves two screens divided vertically or horizontally. It works well for numerous web user interface designs because of its responsiveness and usability.

Split-screen design can do the following:

  • It can give off an appealing screen presence.
  • It can deliver an exceptional visual experience.
  • It has various entry points redirecting to more web page content.

Mega Footers

Mega footers are must-haves particularly for a large number of web pages containing loads of information and several points of engagement.

You can use a mega footer into different menu options for better visibility and navigation. They can be some of the following:

  • Organizational information
  • Social media links
  • Disclaimers, disclosures, and terms
  • Copyright notice
  • Housekeeping links

Importance of a Good User Interface Web Design

These are the benefits of investing in UI in web design:

Greater Overall Client Experience

A properly working web design UI anticipates user demands and helps them conveniently move around your site to perform specific actions. It encourages productive interaction with your brand by suggesting a site visitor’s succeeding steps. These are clearly stated calls-to-action (CTAs), surveys, and email signup prompts.

Lower Bounce Rate

When you have a strong design web interface with vivid paths toward relevant information users look for, they will most likely stay on your site and complete their intended actions.

More eCommerce Sales

Convert more online users into purchasing customers. Stimulating and welcoming web user interface designs can set the tone for people to make contact, place an order, or download content.

Your user interface web design should have the following characteristics:

These attributes can help result in lesser occurrences of cart abandonment. They push up conversions and profits.

Higher Customer Retention Rate

Attract and retain more clients with a proactive UI in web design.

An effective web design UI combines page elements that evoke an optimistic emotional reaction from the audience. Expectantly, this can encourage repeat visits.

Decreased Customer Service Costs

An efficient design web interface can save you unnecessary client service costs.

It enables prospective buyers to find all the information they need on your business pages because the navigation hierarchy and system are self-explanatory.

Better Search Engine Ranking

Web user interface designs send vital ranking signals to search engines.

Search tools detect and favor updated web pages with a user-friendly design, good loading speed, and high traffic. They will rank your site higher on search results pages when you have an optimized user interface web design that follows proper growth strategies.

Solid Brand Identity

UI in web design involves color choices, typography, and button style, which showcase your tone of voice. And they reflect your brand, its values, goals, and culture. Hence, they should align with your brand identity.

Summing It Up: The Importance of UI in Web Design

You should continue improving your UI in web design through gradual steps.

Observing how online users interact with the app or web interface lets you know how well your design web interface works. It also gives you insights into where they may be friction slowing them down.

Your web design UI may not be perfect initially. But updating any areas that need improvement will make a great interface that serves consumers better through constant evolution from usage.

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