There is no doubt that technology has changed our lives. It has driven us to heights we could not have imagined otherwise. Technology has also filled every corner of our daily lives, changing the way we behave and communicate.

So, as designers and developers, our mission is to ensure that the same technology is delivered to the user in the most humane manner, and that each interface/product/service is the most comfortable, friendly and wellness generating. Let’s look at some principles which can make this possible.

1. Give users the control they need

The principle of control specifies that our product offer the user the ability to perform the action he wants when he needs and requires it, without dictating his behavior, and should giving options to cancel the action without punishment. 

Imagine a social network with many users and all of them sharing the same environment and being able to reach all other users. It would be uncomfortable if the interface did not have the option to filter or moderate what type of user can contact you, or if the user has already done so, block it. It would really be a service that takes the user out of the center of attention and care.

The same could be said of an app that does not have the possibility of removing certain notifications, which we do not want to see or are simply not of our particular interest.

Give users the option to filter or moderate the type of data they share or receive

2. Treat user’s data as a treasure

It’s very simple: user data is precious. Each piece of information that he has to give you must be treated with all possible respect, clarity and transparency. Thus, putting this into practice, we must make our interface show in a detailed way what conditions the user faces when he agrees to register, what data is being collected and for what purpose.

In addition, our service/product interface should have the option to access this data whenever he wants, remove it from the platform completely and delete his account if he wishes.

User’s data needs to be treated as gold. Here, a pop-up shows what data the user’s is going to share with the app.

3. Make your product/service thoughtful 

An attentive service or product is one that anticipates what the user may do wrong in the use of it. It is useless for our interface to have the best usability practices if it does not provide the mechanisms to avoid the friction that a confusion in its navigation may cause.

It is therefore always recommended to make sure that the user is warned of the effects of any action he executes, such as, for example, confirmation that he is about to perform or accept something in particular. 

Always warn your user about the actions they are going to take.

4. Respect user’s time

In terms of time, not only is there a reference to your app behaving as quickly as possible and without any kind of lag – although, it has to be said, this is too important to leave out. It also concerns the fact that the user has the power to decide when he can stop and how much information he wants to bear.

How do we achieve this? Making our app finite. E.g.: in a feed of content, giving the possibility that it has a limit, and if the user wants to see more, indicate by means of a “See more” button.

Also, the user should know when a related content has reached its end, and this can be achieved by indicating such a situation in our interface.

A load more button on a cascade of content prevents the infinite scroll pattern.

5. Be inclusive

Last but not least, your product/service must be inclusive. In fact, inclusion could be the general terrain of these points. But, to be more precise, to be inclusive is to keep in mind the different people that make up your users and their different environments. An inclusive service/product reaches as many users as possible without removing vital features, offering the same content without problem. Not only do we put people’s needs first, but we also interact with a much richer and more diverse audience.

Conclusion

The above principles are not intended to be a definitive guide on the subject, but they do outline the correct elements to consider when designing/developing services/products with friendly, easy and, above all, human interfaces.

By doing so we put at the service of the end user all the elements necessary for him to feel comfortable, calm and confident in the service / product that we offer and integrating it effectively into it.


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