9 important features of social network user interface (UI)

Source: Internet
Author: User
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Address: http://www.20ju.com/content/V119480.htm

The main function of a good user interface (UI) is for the user's intention and ApplicationProgramProvides an intuitive ing between functions to provide a solution for the completion of user-defined tasks. Basically, the user interface (UI) describes the interaction between users and websites and the way users access their functions. In fact, availability is a good dual product of the user interface, which determines whether users can easily execute all the functions provided by the website. Availability is an important part of every design, especially on websites with a large number of features and users.

This articleArticleLet's talk about some important features of social media and social network user interfaces. This article discusses the important features, technologies, and concepts behind the design, and uses some excellent websites as examples to explain why these features are important. These simple and general availability policies apply almost anywhere and on any type of user interface.

1. A concise interface is the key

Before going deep into the details of the user interface, we must point out that a concise user interface is a common feature of social media and social networks. The social media websiteColor ToneAndGraphicsMore concise. In terms of color tones, there are usually a few colors that change along with the monochrome color. The background is generally white, updates (such as status updates) are often light and (usually green or yellow) highlighted; the alarm is usually highlighted in red background)

In addition, you will find that graphics are often very simple and exercise caution. This is caused by multiple reasons. The most important reason is the simple fact that vivid design is not really useful for social networking websites. Social applications are considered to provide users with a shared environment where content can be easily created and sessions can easily be generated. A strong visual design will cause unnecessary interference, it is difficult for users to focus on their sessions.

For example, Twitter may be one of the simplest social user interfaces. Its UI is very concise, uses a very small color, and puts the main feature of its service-text input box-in front.

In other words, because a large part of the information flow is for most users, the simpler the interface design is, the better. If there are too many graphic elements on the interface, the user will feel uncomfortable and confused, because this makes it difficult for the user to focus on specific tasks or areas. Although a simple interface does not only mean a simple visual design. More importantly, this means that the design, arrangement, and presentation of useful interface options must be in an intuitive way.

The colors of social media and social network sites are often plain and pleasant, rather than bright and uncomfortable. Some features do not require attention; many of them are invisible for most of the time. In fact, most social media interfaces are context-related, and many functions are displayed only on demand. Websites with a large amount of data and functions, bright colors only make users feel confused and distract users.

2. Significant and practical search

Good search is undoubtedly the peak of availability and good user interfaces. The search function of social media is necessary because social media has a large amount of information. In addition to the content of multiple layers of traditional searches, social media provides an advanced search in social map connections-whether in a group,CommunityStill in interest. The top right corner of the website is the most suitable position in the search box. The user expects to see: Search input box and clear Search button.

A common feature of social applications is the use of instant search results and filtering. When you enter text in the input box, the search results are filtered as follows. This filter helps users quickly find the content they are looking for and remove irrelevant content.

The search result page is more important than a friendly search input box design. Digg recently updated their search engine, which is now a very useful and friendly search example. You can use some options to organize the search results, such as the best match, most Diggs, and the latest ones. On the left side, you will find the time range list, Digg range, hot topics, and hot categories. In addition, you can organize search results by content source. There is a huge search box at the top of the search result page to help you search for other keywords.

3. call-to-action buttons

Of course, social applications include a variety of functions that require some form of communication. Therefore, some buttons and links need to be placed on almost every page (except registration may be the only reasonable one ). Some involve navigation links, while others allow users to adjust specific application functions. Buttons are usually used to motivate users, and links are often passive and more subtle. Buttons are often larger, more vivid, and more memorable. The buttons that execute that function should be significant and traceable.

Generally, social media websites only have a few call buttons, which should encourage users to take actions (see web design trends: Call to Action buttons, buttons design showcase and good call-to-action buttons for good guidelines for the design of call-to-action-buttons ). These buttons are usually designed and placed in prominent positions, while other design elements are still very subtle and simple (see below ).

In general, the metaphor usage in real life is very desirable in user interface design. Therefore, a good idea not only makes a button more like a button (for example, using a drop-down shadow), but also ensures the -- active -- and highlighted design, in this case, it is best to add the embossed effect instead of simply changing the color of the button or its border.

The button should be large enough for users to easily notice and select. However, the shape size is not the only characteristic of a clickable button or link. Another important factor is the padding. If you have a tight link, you cannot click the one you actually want to click. You can consider providing some visual support for your links or buttons.

When using links, using some icons or small illustrations is sometimes useful, but this is not always feasible, especially when links are not very important to most users. If you need to emphasize some important links, you should consider adding some spacing to the link and use the highlighted background to make it a large click block or just replace a highlighted button. Use a highlighted background, but not too complex.

It is also important to mention the importance of the cursor effect. The cursor effect allows the user to know that the button is actually clickable and confirms that the user's behavior is understood by the system.


Meaningful organization and presentation of various information blocks may be one of the advanced design issues that social user interface designers need to face. To make the content readable, you can browse and be easily noticed. Content blocks must be visually separated. In other words, each element needs to be defined in some way and displayed as a separate element. In fact, the separation of elements in the layout is one of the simplest ways to make the user interface more concise, and users can easily interact with it.

However, if many elements are visually separated, more information blocks will be generated on the interface, and the layout will become more complex. Therefore, to ensure that the layout is still browsed, visual separation requires subtle processing. In most cases, horizontal and vertical lines use neutral, plain colors (such as gray ). A strong and bright color, which is often hard to ignore, will distract users. On the contrary, "calm" lines are more easily ignored to provide visual support.

What exactly does the separation of elements in a page layout mean? Twitter uses visual separation to construct the page layout. You can see a dotted line between every two tweets. Without this line, it is almost impossible to quickly scan multiple lines of text. Small details like this can significantly improve the user interface for ease of use.

Delicious uses small 1px gray lines to separate popular bookmarks of its users.

You can also see that the separation between elements is also used in mixx.com. Like twitter, a single gray pixel line separates a large amount of text, making the page easier to browse.

On the contrary, Reddit does not separate each text, making the interface more messy and difficult to scan. Sometimes, a large active white space may also help to separate elements in the layout, but the disadvantage of this method is that the web page may be pulled too long, so that the user needs to use a vertical scroll bar.

On Reddit, the method of highlighting titles is used to improve readability. The focus of attention is completely on titles, which is a good design method.

Another Separation element technique is to use an appropriate layout structure to visually separate content blocks/use spaces for the same purpose. For example, Slashdot places each content block in an easy-to-recognize box and uses a background image to highlight the title.

Stumbleupon adopts a grid-based structure. Each content item has the same height and width. This is another effective and gentle separation method.

5. Use text as the user interface

In the nine skills that separate good and great designers speech, Cameron Moll mentioned that Good Designers regard text as content, while great designers regard text as user interfaces. The content is basically a huge text block, and the user interface needs to use a slightly different text color, background, Font, size and link demonstration to make the content easier to browse.

In fact, a good user interface on a social media website uses elements of different sizes and colors to create a clear visual and structural hierarchy. This is similar to the previous technique, because it helps to provide separation and definition factors and simplify the interface. In addition to improving availability and processing the text on the user interface, it helps improve readability because it clearly lists the relationships between design elements, which also means they are important in layout. The result is that such a webpage is easier to browse.

For an example of this concept, see the Digg User Interface (SEE ). When you browse Digg, you will find that the text content in a very consistent way, there are various changes between the font size, font color and other elements. Pay attention to how this design can effectively provide users with a clear navigation path. The main link is highlighted in the following line and blue, and "more... "The link is gray, other links are not underlined, and some text content is red or gray.

Each content block has seven different design elements (title, source, description, more links, category, time, and other links described below). However, this design works effectively because the visual weight of each element is very unique and the communication is clear. This is a good design.

In addition, you can see a simpler example of Twitter. The first is to display the post. Below is a smaller, more subtle text display-which can be easily found when you need to search.

Another example is propeller. The background of the main content block is gray. Each element has a different color tone, and the main content has a clear and visible boundary. These color changes make the interface look more beautiful.

6. Simple and Available Forms

Web forms may be the most important design element for social media and social websites. From registration to searching for any content, login replies or adding some content will use forms and inputs. Because the form is very important, it must be used. Especially the registry list, because there is no "effective" registry list, it may be difficult to add a large number of important users to run social media websites.

There are some ways to maintain the availability of the form. The simplest way is to keep the form as short as possible. Many social media websites only need to fill in the most important content (only email and password), and leave some additional information to the user for editing after the account is created (such as personal introduction, location, and other related information ). If possible, no email or Password confirmation or verification code is required.

Some services require email confirmation and email activation, which takes the user time and does not help the user to use the system immediately. The rule that is universally accepted is: the simpler your web form, the more useful it will be to your users. The more content you need to enter, the more registered users you will be. You can refer to this article about the registry form Form Design Patterns: Sign-up forms (see Part 2 as well ).

The registration form for Reddit is very short and can be completed in just a few seconds. No e-mail confirmation or email activation. The entire form is very clean and tidy.

The Twitter registration form is also clean and tidy, and Password confirmation is not required. Once the cursor is moved to the input box, a prompt is displayed on the right.

The simplest example of a registry ticket is Tumblr. You only need to enter email, password, and user name for registration.

7. Instant update

In the past few years, one of the reasons why micro-blog services can flourish is to bring new "real-time" elements to the social interface. Unlike instant messaging users who mostly focus on two-way conversations, Twitter provides a variety of Web chat methods.

The current user wants to see the incoming message in real time or publish the message as soon as possible, and observe what is happening in his social circle. This means that users should have a real-time update function to update content in an application. Automatic and compelling (but inconspicuous) updates help users stay in a "stream of information", for example, focusing on their key tasks and instant access to important information.

Twitter search uses the highlighted method to instantly display users' latest updates. This may be like searching and news streams in the future.

Facebook displays updates at the top of the page. These updates can be displayed by users on demand-Ajax is not required.

8. word-of-mouth ads and personalization

Perhaps, the best strategy for effective word-of-mouth advertising is to provide good services and user experience. The more comfortable a user is on a social network, the more likely he is to improve his social capital and expand his social circle on the website. To achieve this, a social network site needs to provide attractive functions, whether online or offline. Therefore, social networking websites often use personalization to provide more flexible and more suitable user interfaces.

In social applications, personalization is a very powerful technology used to distribute related content to users. Recommendation systems are often used to provide users with information they are interested in or expected. However, the establishment of such a recommendation system takes a long time, because at the beginning, the system had very little information about users and their preferences, so that the system could not effectively recommend useful information to users. Continuously grasp user information, based on user behaviors, interests, searches, and other user behaviors, so that the recommendation system can recommend personalized content to users.

In addition, didg uses the Digg recommendation engine to recommend personalized information to users. You can see other Digg information of people with the same Digg information as you do. This recommendation system will also recommend users with the same preferences as you.

It is important to understand that most users of social network applications do not just try to contact people they already know (although Joshua Porter mentioned in "designing for the social Web, the first thing users need to do is to contact people they know and discover new and like-minded friends. Personalized Recommendation systems are often very popular in social applications because they increase the social existence of users and help create new connections.

In addition, most social websites also enable users to easily invite their friends and disseminate information ("share this message", "share this link", etc ). Facebook's "contact more friends" function is a model of this strategy.

The reason behind this is the classic network effect-the more people use Facebook, the more value Facebook has for each user. This has played a positive role, because user login to Facebook does not intend to create value for other users, but it actually creates value for other users. The small "Network contribution accumulation" has led to a useful and popular application-undoubtedly making Facebook today.

Facebook further enables users to integrate contacts from other services (such as Gmail) and invite them to automatically use open APIs of other social service providers. No user is willing to take the time to manually invite his friends to go to an application-Facebook takes care of it automatically and without suffering.


9. user-centered user interface

Because social software is socialized, it provides users with a user interface with a strong interest in their personal interests, and because social media and social networking websites rely on users' actions, this makes it easy to understand that the social user interface is user-centered. Twitter, Facebook, and other social applications are user-centered, focusing on small details in users' personal data, prompting new friends, interests, activities, groups, and so on to expand their social circles, strengthen user participation.

The Facebook homepage is a user-centric user interface worthy of imitation. The above shows a user's update and notification details. The one-click interface allows the user to easily update the current status and hide information from friends, and update information about groups that you may be interested in. Therefore, Facebook emphasizes the personal value of applications and places users at the center of software. Twitter is another similar method: the home page is about a user, including his contacts and sessions from friends.

From the perspective of availability, this approach is almost obvious-because an application is created for users, it should focus on all user information. However, most social applications are not as specific as ordinary online banking software, but have more specific activities: it is about all participation and connection. Moreover, these services are not used to solve a single task, but to enable as many applications as possible. The more users participate, the more traffic will be generated for the application, and the more users will participate through word of mouth. This is the key to social applications-a self-centered user interface that uses this policy to effectively bind users to use these applications.

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