School of Information Systems

The Eight Golden Rules: Strive for Consistency

       In Interface design, all of the elements, themes, animations and actions should remain similar through the entire experience. For example, if an interface changes a button color and font during the experience, the user will most likely be confused. The aspect of consistency also translates outside of one application. For instance, websites tend to feature similar base aspects, company logo on the top left, main menu on the top of the page, and more. These consistencies have developed over time, outlined by usability experts, and adopted into mainstream practice by designers. Therefore, users inherently know how to navigate a website if it adheres to those simple principles.

      Consistent is needed between pages in one application or between applications that are still related. The point is that approved users, most of the novice users can still access pages that are seen still in conversation or still have a relationship with the application used. Thus it will make users comfortable in the application without fear of moving applications.

      Consistent sequences of actions should be required in similar situations; identical terminology should be used in prompts, menus, and help screens; and consistent color, layout, capitalization, fonts, and so on, should be employed throughout. Exceptions, such as required confirmation of the delete command or no echoing of passwords, should be comprehensible and limited in number

       By utilizing familiar icons, colors, menu hierarchy, call-to-actions, and user flows when designing similar situations and sequences of actions. Standardizing the way information is conveyed ensures users are able to apply knowledge from one click to another; without the need to learn new representations for the same actions. Consistency plays an important role in helping users become familiar with the digital landscape of your product so they can achieve their goals more easily.

     Designing “consistent interfaces” means using the same design patterns and the same sequences of actions for similar situations. This includes, but isn’t limited to, the right use of color, typography, and terminology in prompt screens, commands, and menus throughout your user journey. Remember, a consistent interface will allow your users to complete their tasks and goals much more easily.

      Users should not have to wonder whether different words, situations, or actions mean the same thing. Do not confuse your user — keep words and actions consistent. Use “The Principle of Least Surprise.”. In other words, use all elements across your application consistently. For example, a certain style of the button should always do the same thing, or navigation should function logically, going deeper in a hierarchy.

Consistency of:

  • · Workflow / Processes
  • · Functionality
  • · Appearance
  • · Terminology

      Strive for consistency using familiar icons, color menus, hierarchies, calls for interaction and user flow for conversations similar to consistency. The goal is to help users become successful by supporting your digital products so they can reach their goals more easily. For example Mac OS from time to time. The menus remain consistent. The interface must handle similar tasks in a similar manner.

Joni Suhartono