Visual Design of UIs Worldwide: Favorite Readings

Visual design of the user interface (UI) is an integral part of delivering a great user experience, be it for consumers, enterprise workers, or other roles . We can think of visual style as how the application looks to a user, the app or site interaction with the user is how it feels, and your content strategy is how it sounds (or speaks) to the user.

Rakuten Japanese E-Commerce logo referenced from

Rakuten, Inc. (楽天株式会社 Rakuten Kabushiki-kaisha) Japanese E-Commerce Website Logo

Choice of logo, colors, contrast, layout, spacing, font, icons, and so on, are vital things to decide on when designing a great user interface. The visual design “hooks” users with your brand and messaging, and enables them to bond emotionally with your site or app.

Users can make judgments about your work in double-quick time, so you need to get it right, and test it in advance too. For example, Gitte Lindgaard* and her team at the well-named HOT (Human Oriented Technology) Laboratory found that users could form reliable impressions of a website’s visual appeal in 50 milliseconds.

Naturally, there are global considerations to take into account for the visual design of UIs for sites and apps too. I’ve been doing a lot of  outreach to developers of UIs lately, and here are some of my favorite references that you, too, might find useful when building great UIs of all sorts for your customers or users:

There are others. And, you may have resources that you like and found useful too for designing global solutions. Feel free to share them using the comments box.

* Source: Lindgaard G., Fernandes G. J., Dudek C., & Brown, J. (2006). Attention web designers: You have 50 milliseconds to make a good first impression! Behaviour and Information Technology, 25 (2), 115 – 126.


Ultan Ó Broin
Ultan Ó Broin (@localization), is an independent UX consultant. With three decades of UX and L10n experience and outreach, he specializes in helping people ensure their global digital transformation makes sense culturally and also reflects how users behave locally. Any views expressed are his own. Especially the ones you agree with.


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