UI design is not so much about how an interactive looks but rather focuses on implementing the correct tools in order for the user to successfully accomplish their goals. Because the fundamental principles are so simple, it is easy to forget the basics and stray away from UI design. A strong UI should reflect a balance of good aesthetics and an effortless interactivity which guides the user through their experience.
Taking the personas and scenarios developed, the designer is able to understand what UI patterns are appropriate and how to integrate them within the navigation flow to ensure a positive user experience.
Some common UI design patterns include:
TABS – content navigation which has 2-9 sections that require a flat format
DROPDOWN MENU –to navigate amongst sections of a hierarchal website
DRAWER MENU – saves space and quick access to key items
SEARCH BAR WITH DROPDOWN MENU – shortcut to access a frequent functionality or specific page
BIG FOOTER – quick access to specific sections to a site
HOME – ‘safe’ page for the user to start their navigation
BREADCRUMBS – to indicate the current place of the hierarchal website
CAROUSEL – condenses a large show of items so it does not detract from the user’s focus
For further information, Design Patterns is a website which has a great overview of UI patterns.