Screen Design

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Definition

Screen design refers to the graphic design and layout of user interfaces on displays. It is a sub-area of user interface design but is limited to monitors and displays.

In screen design, the focus is on maximizing usability and user experience by making user interaction as simple and efficient as possible. Technical background functions do not matter in screen design. Web design, on the other hand, is the process of creating websites that implement the functions not considered in screen design. You could say that screen design thus makes the functionality specified in the context of web design applicable to users.

A central approach in screen design is orientation to the target group’s needs and abilities. This means that designers must know and understand the skills and habits as well as the senses of users. Screen design will typically differ depending on whether it is designed for older people, children, or adults. Someone who deals with a particular device on a daily basis will have less difficulty using complicated screens than someone who is less familiar with them.

Screen design is about making interaction easier for users through a functional yet aesthetic arrangement of all screen elements, whether it is the display of a smartphone or the touch screen of a car navigation system.

Applications of screen design

Screen design is used in mobile and desktop versions of websites, apps, and any graphical user interface displayed on monitors or displays that enable users to interact with electronic devices. This includes computers, portable media players, gaming devices, smartphones, and household, office, or industrial controls.

What makes good screen design?

Focus on users

Good screen design always focuses on users and takes their needs and expectations into account when designing a user interface. ll elements (text, images, icons, and buttons) are arranged and designed in a way that enables consumers to easily understand and apply them.

User-oriented screen design is based on knowing users' preferences, skills, and goals and requires a designer who can empathize with their audience to create a simple and effective solution that is easy to execute. Thereby he must strike a careful balance between what is graphically appealing and what is practical for users.

Screen design doesn't reinvent the wheel

Good screen design takes into account that over the years users have become accustomed to certain elements and their function and appearance. People will accept and use new applications more quickly if their design is similar to applications they are already familiar with. Therefore, some companies are developing a library of standard screen templates that developers can use. This approach not only helps enforce design standards but also accelerates screen design development.

Less is more

Too many details can overload a screen and confuse viewers. Good screen design considers users’ eye movements and provides clarity with simple symmetries. An incoherent alignment of different sections, texts, and images can be overwhelming. There should be a comfortable distance both towards the screen edge and between different sections of the screen.

Dividing the screen into sections is useful when these sections clearly serve different purposes. Colors can be useful to highlight sections and required field entries or to improve overall appearance. Use common fonts that are familiar to users. Extraordinary and artistic fonts may look impressive but are not supported by all devices accessing the screen. Headings help structure and guide users through the content. They should be placed in standard positions to allow easy identification. Once the screen design is complete, the display should be "clean" and consistent.

Importance of screen design for usability

Screen and web design go hand in hand. Both are crucial for user guidance and experience and thus have a high value for usability and ultimately the economic success of a website.

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