Primary Rules for Designing Consistent User Interface

Saurabh Tiwary | 17th February 2017

Consistency is not only a visual element but also an artistic discipline when we talk about the website or mobile app user interface design. Moreover, achieving consistency is comparatively a bigger challenge than achieving lucrative visuals in your design.


I would like to share an experience of mine while I was working on a UI design of a business application. I reviewed an application design that needed several optimization. After brainstorming for several days, I came up with a number of improvements into the existing design which would definitely boost the UI.


However, it resulted in a number of inconsistencies that made the whole design look weird when visualized as a whole. While making efforts to reshape the design with best of the design resources, I did not take into the account the complete design and instead focussed on the individual components. So, the main takeaway is that consistency is the key to the UI design and you can’t ignore this any way.

Pattern Library and Style Guide- All you need to Know

Three rules for Consistent User Interface:

  1. Try to be consistent with the device UI guidelines and behaviors
  2. Maintain consistency with other similar sites or mobile applications
  3. Follow your own design rule that you have been working on.

No user would love going from your home-page to a different page and see different styling with different user interactions. Such minute things can surprise users or in some cases even annoy them. Consistency is not only restricted to the usability of the site, if worked smartly it can greatly enhance conversion as well.


Consistent Structure and User Interactions

More often, when we develop, we tend to forget that the structure and interaction that is likely to affect the overall user experience of your design. Just like a blueprint and creating plans is crucial when building a home or building, it is equally important to create a consistent and usable UI. There are several considerations to look for before you start to write code.

  1. Consider how you can place elements consistently throughout your site or application.
  2. Study about the UI patterns and follow one of them throughout
  3. Figure out the input elements that you might need
  4. Look for icons you need or design a good icon set that covers them all.

Element placement is a is an essential aspect while you create consistent and reliable expectations. Keep your navigations in the same place and if possible throughout as it annoys users to see disappearing navigational elements. Moreover, keep logos and branding items in the same locations throughout your website.

Consistent Style

Apart from the two most aspects discussed above, you need to make effective use of other components that you use on your design.

  1. Use consistent color scheme throughout
  2. Follow a specific style guide for entire design
  3. The borders and other layouts must be consistent i.e. it must posses similar design.
  4. Use similar Type Sets and fonts
  5. While using hero images, focus on isolation.

About Author


Saurabh Tiwary

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