8 Golden Rules for User Interaction Design


According to Intechnic, the world leading User Experience and web design agency, 79% of users would instantly leave a website if they don’t like its UX and UI design. Hence, regardless of designing a website or an app’s user interaction, there are fixed golden rules by which your design approach would fundamentally be changed.

Here at Websima, we would like to make you familiar with 8 user interaction design golden rules which have been put together by Ben Shneiderman, Computer Science Professor at University of Maryland, who has been working on Human-Computer Interaction. These rules are highly correlated with any website UI/UX enhancement.

  • Be Consistent

You are allowed to use whatever layout, colour code, button and font size, capital or small letter, and call-to-action menu hierarchy all around the website you are designing. However, you must be consistent with all elements you are creating for the website. The design consistency would help users not to get lost while navigating through your website and have a better understanding of your product landscape. This would make users fulfil their needs more easily.


  •  Do not underestimate the power of Shortcuts

Can you just think about a world without Ctrl C, Ctrl V? That would be out of people’s tolerance these days. The shortcut keys play a crucial role to improve the user experience. Likewise, the more shortcut keys are created for a website for different actions, the more users will be interested to dig deeper into the website’s features and facilities.  


  • Offer Informative Feedbacks

Help users with informative and understandable comments in short sentences so that they know where they are and how they can proceed to achieve what they are after. As an example, creating a password is conditional across all websites for security purposes. Given the fact that every website may have its own regulations, providing informative short sentences for users to inform them about the password rules is crucial, so that they won’t get confused.


  • Design message boxes to yield closure

Never put your visitors in doubt! You must design the website in a way that once every task is completed by the users, they get informed. As an example, when the user registration process is completed successfully, this needs to be disclosed through a short but meaningful message. Otherwise, the visitors will be confused. 


  • Easy Error Handling

One of the most important rules for a professional web design is to avoid any error to be shown to the website users. However, despite all efforts, errors may happen anytime. In this case, a clear interactive message that is easily understandable should be shown to the user. In addition, a few recommendations should be made to the user in order to help him/her with handling or resolving the issue. The worst thing to do here is showing the codes and numbers which are absolutely meaningless to the majority of users.


  • Provide Easy Reversal Action

Making mistakes while working with a software or going through an online procedure is fairly common for all users. A professional design from UI/UX point of view, provides an easy cancellation or reversal process for users, so the users will rest assured that in case of making a mistake, they can resolve it easily. Hence, the users will be more eager to go through any action your website asks them to.


  • Keep users in control

Internet users usually tend to have the feeling that everything they are doing on a website is under their own control. The website interface should create such a feeling. Once the user enters the website, the website should be responding well to every action the user takes. Experienced internet users do not want lots of changes and surprises when doing familiar things. Users hate to feel difficulty to obtain necessary data, data entry sequences and inability to achieve the results they are looking for. One of the best examples here is the message users receive when exiting MS office tools. Once they click on the exit button, they receive a message saying “are you sure you want to exit without saving changes?”, so the user will rest assured that in case of closing the program by mistake, their work won’t be gone and missed!

  • Do not overload the short term memory

Regardless of the user’s IQ level, the capacity of people with normal or higher than normal IQ level is limited to three or four chunks of information. Therefore, UI designers should avoid the interfaces in which users need to remember information on one page to use them on another page. To give you an in-depth understanding on this subject, a few examples will be outlined below.

Have you ever faced a situation in which every time you enter your desired website, your information is required to be entered into the website? Asking for user information every time people enter into a website will prevent the users from continuing with that website. In this case, they close that website and never come back again! Therefore, UI/UX designers must avoid the tendency of forcing users to enter their personal information every time they visit the website. The short term memory rule is not limited to user accounts and can be generalised to the whole UI/UX design.

The most interesting benefit that was made out of this human mind deficit, is the location of most used icons on Apple iPhone. The arrangement of Call, Message, Gallery and Safari icons have been selected based on the fact that a human’s mind is able to memorise three or four chunks of information at the same time. This arrangement was initiated by Apple and is now applied by all IOS and Android phones by default.

By reading this article which was created by the Websima team, you are now familiar with 8 Ben Shneiderman golden rules. At the end of the day, UI/UX principles are about making things simple and easy in terms of users’ accessibility. Therefore, as a UI/UX designer, you should try your best to make accessibility as simple and straightforward as possible for internet users. However, bear in mind that making things simple is not an easy task when it comes to UI/UX design. It needs lots of skill and experience. We suggest you read the “Importance of UI/UX” article to find out more.

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