In the field of UX and UI design, there are numerous methodological articles and case studies available. Still, we have encountered a few articles that approach the success of a software development project from the design perspective. Learn the 10+1 UX-UI features leading to efficient, high-quality, and successful products.
The goal of the user interface design material – also known as "UX-UI design" – is to support developers, analysts, testers, and business stakeholders in a given project. This document is created through teamwork, continuously evolving throughout the project, thus forming an essential part of the software development process.
Therefore, it is worth examining the aspects that, from a management perspective, address design creation in custom software development. In our approach, good design leads to a quickly and efficiently developed, high-quality, and successful software product.
We have collected 10+1 tips, a few practical pieces of advice, and rules of thumb that are worth considering during the process.

1. Familiar, easy-to-use, on mobile and desktop

Good design entails creating an interface that users are eager to use and feel familiar with, even upon their first interaction. The interface focuses on functionalities that users want to access easily and clearly.
For example, a birthdate selector on a registration form might seem simple, but it can become cumbersome if users cannot directly input their birthdate and must instead scroll back through a calendar year by year, then select the month, and finally the exact day.
Good design leverages collective experience available for commonly encountered tasks. For instance, the collection of UI-Patterns works well because most component frameworks like Bootstrap, Bulma, and Prime include factory solutions—tested and highly functional.
For web app development software, mobile usability has become a basic expectation. However, it's still rare for designers and developers to equally prioritize mobile and web views. It's even more problematic for medium screens—tablets, smaller monitors, and landscape mobile views—which often fall through the cracks, with neither design nor implementation catering to these sizes. From my experience over the past 1-2 years, even reputable design firms sometimes present only FullHD desktop designs to clients.
Key points for optimal UX/UI design
  • Streamline conversion: Make the desired user actions as comfortable as possible.
  • Familiarity: Ensure users feel at ease with the final design by leveraging common design patterns.
  • Comprehensive screen designs: Create screen designs for both desktop and mobile, preferably starting with mobile views.
  • Consider tablet views: Don't neglect tablet views; at the very least, establish them as a rule of thumb.

2. Minimize subjective elements with a methodical design

A good designer understands the primary business goal, knows who uses the software and how, comprehends the entire service, and is aware of the arising problems—thus designing accordingly. In contentious situations, decisions about good design are made based on arguments rather than ego.
One hallmark of good design is the prior definition of personas and user journeys, and the ability to specify how the features support these elements. Typically, prototypes are created from the plans and refined through several iterations based on feedback from actual users.
It is crucial to test feature concepts in the design phase, as it is cheaper than testing in the developed version! This is not about bugs, but features: during standard bug testing, a poorly conceived feature might not even appear as a bug according to the specification. It may be outright rejected as a change request since the development team is responsible for implementing it according to the specification. Consequently, either it remains as is or the client pays twice for implementing the feature.
Thanks to the intuition of an experienced, good designer, the initial version is often quite accurate, but they also understand that they are not infallible and therefore iterate.
A good designer also knows what qualitative information can be obtained through interviews, tests, or remote testing—such as on platforms like usertesting.com or usabilityhub.com—and what requires statistically significant, large-scale data. For the latter, they use A/B testing, analytical analysis, and UX tracking.
At LogiNet, we initially avoided design because we considered it subjective, leading to endless debates. However, when the first service design and UX-UI design methodologies emerged, we began building our team: we founded 22.design because we realized that the correct methodology minimizes subjective elements, making subjective aspects almost irrelevant.
Key points to create the correct methodology
  • There should be a design methodology presented at the project's beginning and adhered to later, incorporating the steps mentioned above in some form. If it seems logical, you're probably on the right track. If there's too much magic, if arguments hinge on someone's tenure in the industry and their inherent correctness, stay alert!
  • This is also true in the opposite direction: as clients, you have the right to insist on things, but don't let your trump card be that you're the client!
  • Systematically carry the project through, including qualitative and quantitative steps, as well as follow-up actions

3. Considers what the software does

A good designer in a serious project knows almost as much about the software’s functions as a business analyst, and this knowledge is evident in the design. The interface includes all essential elements, ensuring no crucial details or processes are left out. As emphasized previously, thorough knowledge of the product's functions is crucial for creating a good design, as these functions must be translated into screen designs.
This is extremely important for greenfield, entirely new developments, but it becomes a matter of life and death when further developing, redesigning, or completely re-implementing an existing complex software. These types of projects are the most challenging and fraught with pitfalls. By the time software is ripe for redevelopment or redesign, it has accumulated a great deal of knowledge and functionality. Understanding what the software does and why it does it requires extensive research. If a designer does not strive to deeply understand the current functions in such a project, failure is almost guaranteed.
Key points to ensure success in design
  • Give designers adequate time: Allow designers enough time to understand how the software works thoroughly. Think of it as the designer needing to use the final product proficiently.
  • Mastery before redesign: For redesign projects, ensure the designer learns to use the current software proficiently in its existing form. Until they can use it well, they should not begin redesigning.
In summary, comprehensive understanding and adequate time for familiarization with the software’s functionality are crucial for successful design and redesign projects.

4. Good design complements the specification

"A picture is worth a thousand words" — this seemingly clichéd saying holds particularly true for IT specifications. It is essential to understand that good design complements the specification, illustrates processes, and forms an integral part of the specification.
Many business and IT stakeholders find design to be the most comprehensible form of specification. Fully understanding a text-based specification filled with data models and flowcharts requires nearly as much expertise as writing it. Processing these specifications is time-consuming, whereas reviewing a design takes significantly less time. Thus, many stakeholders only see the design or parts of it. If the design is good and expertly presented, it helps them make informed decisions.
Since it is in everyone's best interest for stakeholders to make responsible decisions, it is advantageous to treat design as an abstract of the specification. While design cannot replace the specification — for instance, a webshop design won't show that "prices synchronize at 2:00 AM every night" — it can still convey a wealth of important information to stakeholders. The design must be accurate and fully aligned with the specification, avoiding any contradictions between the two.
Designers and specification creators — business analysts, and consultants — should work together, regularly reviewing each other's materials and referencing each other's documents. Both roles should recognize where the other's toolkit fits best: what cannot be defined in writing and what doesn't fit on a screen design.
Key points for effective design-specification integration
  • Visual representation: Good design provides visual representations that complement written specifications, making it easier to understand processes and functionalities.
  • Stakeholder comprehension: Recognize that many stakeholders find design easier to comprehend than textual specifications. A well-presented design helps in making informed decisions.
  • Integration and collaboration: Designers and business analysts should collaborate closely, ensuring designs and specifications are aligned and referencing each other’s work.
  • Accuracy and consistency: Ensure the design is accurate and consistent with the specification to avoid contradictions and misunderstandings.
  • Balanced approach: Understand the strengths and limitations of both visual and textual specifications, using each where they are most effective.
By acknowledging the complementary roles of design and specification, teams can create more effective and understandable documentation that facilitates better decision-making and project outcomes.

5. Good design covers all critical cases without defining every state

A good design, similar to a specification, includes positive scenarios where everything goes as expected: all data is perfect, the customer makes no mistakes, and all backend systems are available.
However, it often happens that the design does not address problematic or tricky cases. It’s common for a design to look good as long as it contains a defined amount of data, but it falls apart with long names or texts, losing its cohesiveness. Good design accounts for these cases as well.
Yet, it's impossible for a design to illustrate every possible variation of every screen. For instance, imagine a registration form with five mandatory fields. This seemingly simple task can fail in many ways: if the first field is not filled out, it's a different case (and screen state) than if the second and fourth fields are left blank. If we’re good at combinatorics, we can calculate this to be 32 screen variations. If we add validations for each field, the number of possible screens suddenly exceeds 200. From this, it’s clear that the design doesn't need to depict two hundred cases, but it is expected to handle typical error cases and be structured in a way that the software development can generate all states.
Key points for effective design
  • Focus on the 80% rule: Concentrate on the 80% of cases that can be drawn with 20% effort—this is the happy path.
  • Iterate for error cases: After covering the main path, iterate to identify and include screens for the most common error cases.
  • Support development: Allocate time for developer support to handle unforeseen cases or those deemed unimportant initially but turned out to be significant.
By following this approach, the design will not only address the primary use cases effectively but also be flexible enough to accommodate unexpected situations during development.

6. Good design includes a style guide

A good design includes a style guide that collects the atomic elements used in the user interface, such as form fields, buttons, text styles, error messages, colours, etc. This is extremely useful in the long run:
  • Clear guidance for developers: It provides precise information on how each element should look.
  • Common ground for designers: It creates a shared standard for designers.
  • Consistent appearance: Ensures a consistent appearance over long-term development.
  • Coordination among multiple designers: Synchronizes the work of multiple designers on the project.
  • Guidance for minor developments: Allows developers to organically integrate minor developments based on wireframes using the style guide.
Benefits of a style guide
  • Unified development: Helps in creating a cohesive look and feel for the application, even with multiple developers or designers involved.
  • Centralized changes: Modern design tools support building designs directly from the style guide. For instance, changing the colour in a central variable will update all related designs instantly.
  • Enhanced design process: Elevates the design process by structuring it around a comprehensive style guide.
Key points for creating and maintaining a style guide
  • Comprehensive documentation: Ensure the style guide includes detailed documentation of all essential elements on the page.
  • Ongoing maintenance: Designers should continuously update the style guide as more elements are added to the project.
  • Use appropriate tools: Choose design tools that support the structured use of the style guide.
By incorporating a style guide, you ensure that the design remains consistent, scalable, and manageable across the entire project lifecycle. It streamlines collaboration, provides clear guidelines, and supports the development of a cohesive and professional user interface.

7. Good design considers technological constraints

Design can be created without consideration of the technology that will implement it, but this is a surefire way to unnecessarily increase costs. If our design is done this way, we can be certain that our front-end developers will waste time creating slightly different but unique solutions instead of using existing, well-functioning ones. The issue here is that after development, minor bugs need to be fixed instead of using ready-made, perfectly functioning elements.
A truly good designer takes into account the technology that developers use and designs solutions that fit within those technological constraints. The technology could be a frontend/component framework like Bootstrap, Vuetify, Prime, Quasar, Flutter, or native mobile, or it could be a product like Drupal, Magento, or LogiShop. If we are talking about a component framework, the design should be planned using the UI elements available in that framework. If we are talking about a product, we can assume that the design is built from best practices worth following. Design changes that entail logical changes should only be applied to functions where there is a clear purpose. For example, only redesign the checkout process in an e-commerce product if there is a justified reason; otherwise, use the existing built-in flow, which is likely well-tested, functional, and high-quality.
Throughout the process, designers often need to coordinate with developers and learn what is easy and what is difficult to implement in the given technology—decisions on solutions should be made accordingly. Following these guidelines saves a lot on development costs because the interface will be easier to implement, and using the factory elements of the framework—thoroughly tested and used by hundreds of thousands or millions of users—will result in far fewer UI errors.
Key points for effective design considering technological constraints
  • Regular coordination with developers: Designers should regularly consult with interface developers. This also helps with later technical team buy-in.
  • Training and workshops: Educate designers, hold joint workshops with developers, and utilize the wealth of written and video training materials available.
  • Use tested components: Apply the framework's built-in elements, which are thoroughly tested and widely used, to minimize UI errors.
  • Focus on feasible solutions: Make decisions based on what is feasible within the given technology, avoiding unnecessary complexities.
By adhering to these practices, you can ensure that the design process is aligned with the technological framework, resulting in a more efficient software development process and a higher-quality final product.

8. Good design focuses on backoffice interfaces too

A good design doesn't only concentrate on the client side but also covers back office areas. Frequently, these parts are simply left out of the design. Often, the client-side finds this area less exciting, so it receives less attention, and it's assumed that the back office will just learn to manage. This attitude overlooks the fact that administrators are key users of the system. If our product makes the work of expensive human resources more convenient, it can save a lot of costs.
  • Efficiency: If the software is easier and faster to use, fewer employees are needed.
  • Employee retention: A good product helps retain employees who are motivated by performing efficient and useful work.
  • Training costs: A system that is easy to learn requires less training, making the organization less sensitive to turnover.
It's evident that a well-designed back office is highly beneficial within a system, yet it is often overlooked. This is not necessarily the designers' fault: if it isn't a priority or doesn't have a budget, it ends up in the "it's fine as it is" category, leading to frustrated employees and potentially huge and costly future redesign projects.
Key recommendations for backoffice design
  • Allocate time and budget: Dedicate time and budget to designing back office interfaces.
  • Use the same methodology: Plan the system using the same methodology as the end-user interfaces, involving end-users in the process.
By treating the back office design with the same importance as the client side, you ensure that all users of the system have a seamless and efficient experience, leading to overall better performance and satisfaction within the organization.

9. Structured design

A good design is logically structured, clearly annotated, and makes it easy to find functions and processes. Important elements for coding, such as dimensions, colours, and breakpoints, are well-documented, meaning developers don’t need to constantly ask the designer where everything is. A good designer anticipates common developer questions and builds the design to provide immediate answers.
Key recommendations for structured design
  • Self-documenting structure: Ensure that the design is self-explanatory. If it looks good and it's clear where everything is, you've done a good job.
  • Dedicated documentation section: Include a dedicated section in the style guide for documentation, where dimensions, colors, numbers, fonts, etc., are listed.
  • Minimize questions and misunderstandings: If there are too many questions and misunderstandings, something is wrong.
Benefits of a structured design
  • Efficiency: A well-structured design saves time for developers by providing clear information without needing constant clarification from the designer.
  • Consistency: It ensures that the final product is consistent with the design vision and specifications.
  • Ease of use: Makes it easier for new team members to get up to speed with the project.
By following these guidelines, you ensure that your design process is efficient, and effective, and leads to high-quality final products that meet both design and software development needs.

10. Beautiful and modern

A good design is visually appealing, pleasant to look at, and aligns with current design trends. This isn’t about slavishly following trends but understanding that each era has its characteristic visual language that defines modernity—what was considered modern in 2008, 2015, and 2022 differs. If the software development we launch significantly deviates from these trends, users may feel something is off.
For instance, take the SourceGuardian website, which offers a source code encryption solution for PHP developers. In 2023, the design might not feel up-to-date, prompting users to question whether the product is compatible with current versions or if the company is still active.

Conversely, when looking at the Blackfire or ConfigCat websites, which also provide developer tools, such doubts do not arise. Their designs make us feel confident that they are actively maintaining their sites and products, allowing us to purchase from them with trust.
Key points for beautiful and modern design
  • Aesthetically pleasing: The design should be visually appealing and pleasant to look at.
  • Current trends: Align with the visual language of the current period to ensure users perceive it as modern.
  • User perception: If the design feels outdated, users may associate it with a lack of quality or relevance.
Recommendations for achieving beautiful and modern design
  • Stay updated on trends: Regularly update your knowledge of design trends to ensure your work aligns with contemporary standards.
  • Blend uniqueness with modernity: Aim to provide a unique design that still fits within current trends. This balance can be challenging but is crucial for success.
  • Choose experienced designers: Select a design team with strong references and a proven track record of delivering modern and visually appealing designs.
  • Visual consistency: If the design looks like it belongs in the visual landscape we experience on the web and mobile today, it’s a good sign. If it also appears beautiful and distinctive, then it’s excellent.
A beautiful and modern design ensures that users feel comfortable and confident with your product. It reflects current trends while maintaining a unique edge, thus building trust and a positive perception among users. By following these guidelines and working with skilled designers, you can achieve a design that meets these criteria.

10+1 Expert presentation

The above points demonstrate that design creation involves numerous aspects that are not immediately obvious or easily understandable to external observers and stakeholders. As a result, some elements of the delivered design may not be fully appreciated by decision-makers. Therefore, it is essential for stakeholders to initially encounter the design with expert guidance.
Simply sending the design and asking for feedback is not effective. A short demo, along with a verbal explanation of key elements, helps key stakeholders understand the reasoning behind the design. This also provides an opportunity to present the design in a way that allows users to perceive the true size and relationships of elements.
You might have experienced situations where, after the software development was completed, decision-makers realized that some elements were too wide or tall, or that scrolling was required to access important information. As designers and clients, it is in your interest to ensure that the design is communicated and understood. Effective interaction with the business side is crucial not only during the presentation but also during requirements gathering. The design places functions on different screens, and brainstorming these functions requires a collaborative environment where the design team works together with others.
Key recommendations for expert presentation
  • Involve designers in requirements gathering: Designers should be present during requirements gathering or even facilitate it as part of service design if the environment allows.
  • Present major design milestones with stakeholders: Use presentations (e.g., Prezi) to review key design milestones with stakeholders, allowing for Q&A sessions.
  • Conduct short demos: Provide short demos and verbal explanations of key elements to help stakeholders understand the design's rationale.
  • Clarify element sizes and relationships: Ensure that stakeholders perceive the true size and relationships of elements within the design to avoid misunderstandings later.
By involving designers in the initial stages and presenting designs with expert support, you ensure that stakeholders understand the design's rationale and can make informed decisions. This collaborative approach leads to a more effective and appreciated final product.
If you want to enter the market with an outstanding digital solution or get more out of your web or mobile application, our UX designer experts and consultants are here to help. As a software development company, we provide comprehensive IT services from planning and implementation to operation and support.

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