UI Design Patterns for Successful Software

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Beginner

How this course will help your career

What you will learn

  • How user interface (UI) design patterns can speed up your design processes
  • How to choose user interface design patterns and use them appropriately
  • How to organize content to achieve maximum usability
  • How to ensure minimal effort is required from the user when moving through the user interface
  • How to simplify data entry and reduce errors
  • How to use social aspects within your user interface designs
  • How to enhance the user experience of a user interface

Have you ever found yourself spotting shapes in the clouds? That is because people are hard-wired to recognize patterns, even when there are none. It’s the same reason that we often think we know where to click when first experiencing a website—and get frustrated if things aren’t where we think they should be. Choosing the right user interface design pattern is crucial to taking advantage of this natural pattern-spotting, and this course will teach you how to do just that.

User interface design patterns are the means by which structure and order can gel together to make powerful user experiences. Structure and order are also a user’s best friends, and along with the fact that old habits die hard (especially on the web), it is essential that designers consider user interfaces very carefully before they set the final design in stone. Products should consist of such good interactions that users don’t even notice how they got from point A to point B. Failing to do so can lead to user interfaces that are difficult or confusing to navigate, requiring the user to spend an unreasonable amount of time decoding the display—and just a few seconds too many can be “unreasonable”—rather than fulfilling their original aims and objectives.

While the focus is on the practical application of user interface design patterns, by the end of the course you will also be familiar with current terminology used in the design of user interfaces, and many of the key concepts under discussion. This should help put you ahead of the pack and furnish you with the knowledge necessary to advance beyond your competitors.

So, if you are struggling to decide which user interface design pattern is best, and how you can achieve maximum usability through implementing it, then step no further. This course will equip you with the knowledge necessary to select the most appropriate display methods and solve common design problems affecting existing user interfaces.

Gain an industry-trusted UX Course Certificate

You earn a verifiable and industry-trusted Course Certificate once you complete the course. You can highlight them on your resume, CV, LinkedIn profile or your website.

Course Certificate

Our courses and Course Certificates are trusted by these industry leaders, who have taken up company memberships with the IDF:

Centure, Adobe, GE, IBM, Philips and SAP

Who should take this course

This is a beginner-level course suitable for newcomers to user interface design and experienced practitioners alike:

  • UX and UI designers interested in using the right UI design patterns to create optimal product designs
  • Project managers keen on incorporating tried and tested UI design patterns to speed up and optimize the product development process
  • Software engineers looking to boost their skill sets and gain a foundational understanding of user interface design
  • Entrepreneurs who want to make sure their products have the appropriate user interface for maximum success
  • Newcomers to design who are considering making a switch to UX or UI design

Courses in the Interaction Design Foundation are designed to contain comprehensive, evidence-based content, while ensuring that the learning curve is never too steep. All participants will have the opportunity to share ideas, seek help with tests, and enjoy the social aspects afforded by our open and friendly forum.

Learn and work with a global team of designers

When you take part in this course, you will join a global multidisciplinary team working on the course and the exercises at the same time as you. You will work together to improve your skills and understanding. Your course group will be made up of an incredibly diverse group of professionals, all of whom have the same objective—to become successful designers. It’s your chance to learn, grow, and network with your peers across the planet.

Lessons in this course

  • Lessons become available at a schedule of one lesson per week.
  • Lessons remain open for you forever and have no deadlines.
  • There is no time limit to finish a course.
  • You have permanent access to your course material, answers, and classmates for the entire duration of your membership.
  • Estimated time to complete: 11 hours 42 mins spread over 8 weeks.

Lesson 0: Welcome and Introduction

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 57 mins.

  • 0.1: Welcome (5 mins)
  • 0.2: An introduction to IDF courses (14 mins)
  • 0.3: Let our community help you (1 min)
  • 0.4: How to earn your Course Certificate (4 mins)
  • 0.5: Meet your peers online in our discussion forums (6 mins)
  • 0.6: Meet and learn from design professionals in your area (1 min)
  • 0.7: Gain Timeless Knowledge Through IDF Courses (11 mins)
  • 0.8: Mandatory lessons vs. Optional lessons (2 mins)
  • 0.9: A mix between video-based and text-based lesson content (2 mins)
  • 0.10: Discussion (7 mins)
  • 0.11: Congratulations and Recap (6 mins)

Lesson 1: Implementing Page Structure

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 24 mins.

  • 1.1: Welcome and Introduction (2 mins)
  • 1.2: Add Structure to Your Designs with Visual Frameworks (19 mins)
  • 1.3: Exercise to Draw on the Knowledge You Already Have (6 mins)
  • 1.4: Center Stage – Help the User Focus on What’s Important (14 mins)
  • 1.5: How to Use Movable Pieces to Support Multitasking (9 mins)
  • 1.6: Help Users Skim Contents with Titled Sections (13 mins)
  • 1.7: How to Use Responsive Enabling to Simplify Tasks (9 mins)
  • 1.8: Discussion Forum (7 mins)
  • 1.9: Congratulations and Recap (6 mins)

Lesson 2: Organizing Content for the Best Results

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 51 mins.

  • 2.1: Welcome and Introduction (2 mins)
  • 2.2: How to Implement Slideshows to Grab the User’s Attention (18 mins)
  • 2.3: Two-Panel Selectors for Easy Access of Content (14 mins)
  • 2.4: Search for Items with Scrolling Lists, Archive Lists or List Inlays (10 mins)
  • 2.5: Display Contents the Classic Way with Dropdown Menus (21 mins)
  • 2.6: Embrace the Mental Models of Users by Implementing Tabs (14 mins)
  • 2.7: Split the Contents of a Website with the Pagination Design Pattern (14 mins)
  • 2.8: Exercise to Use Your New Knowledge in a Case Study (6 mins)
  • 2.9: Discussion Forum (7 mins)
  • 2.10: Congratulations and Recap (6 mins)

Lesson 3: Affording Fluid Navigation

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 36 mins.

  • 3.1: Welcome and Introduction (2 mins)
  • 3.2: Implement Global Navigation to Improve Website Usability (16 mins)
  • 3.3: Help Users Retrace Their Steps with Breadcrumbs (9 mins)
  • 3.4: How to Apply Search Boxes to Increase Efficiency (15 mins)
  • 3.5: Take Advantage of Essential Keywords with Tag Clouds (15 mins)
  • 3.6: Design Patterns for Fluid Navigation – How to Use Inline Linking (8 mins)
  • 3.7: How to Implement Sitemap Footers to Keep Users Going (13 mins)
  • 3.8: Exercise to Practice Your Fluid Navigation Design Skills (5 mins)
  • 3.9: Discussion Forum (7 mins)
  • 3.10: Congratulations and Recap (6 mins)

Lesson 4: Simplifying Data Entry

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 35 mins.

  • 4.1: Welcome and Introduction (2 mins)
  • 4.2: Warm-up Exercise to Get Your Thoughts Flowing (5 mins)
  • 4.3: How to Simplify Data Entry for Users with Autocomplete (13 mins)
  • 4.4: Giving Your Users Freedom with Editable Input Fields (15 mins)
  • 4.5: Increase the User’s Sense of Control with the Refined Search Design Pattern (8 mins)
  • 4.6: How to Implement a Forgiving Format to Accommodate Users’ Mistakes (15 mins)
  • 4.7: Speed up the User’s Process by Adding an Event Calendar (10 mins)
  • 4.8: Support Users with Small Clues in the Input Hints Design Pattern (14 mins)
  • 4.9: Discussion Forum (7 mins)
  • 4.10: Congratulations and Recap (6 mins)

Lesson 5: Social Aspects of UI Design

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 40 mins.

  • 5.1: Welcome and Introduction (2 mins)
  • 5.2: Display Achievements to Encourage Website Usage (15 mins)
  • 5.3: Increase Competitiveness in Users with Leader Boards (8 mins)
  • 5.4: Improve the User Experience by Experimenting with Language (16 mins)
  • 5.5: Create a Quick Overview of Opinions by Implementing Starred Reviews (13 mins)
  • 5.6: Increase Efficiency with the Imported Connections Design Pattern (7 mins)
  • 5.7: Use Sign-in Reminders to Support Extended Functionalities (12 mins)
  • 5.8: Attract Users’ Attention with Update Alerts (8 mins)
  • 5.9: Cool Down with this Exercise on Social Aspects (5 mins)
  • 5.10: Discussion Forum (7 mins)
  • 5.11: Congratulations and Recap (6 mins)

Lesson 6: Dark Patterns

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 48 mins.

  • 6.1: Welcome and Introduction (2 mins)
  • 6.2: Coercing, Manipulating and Tricking Users with Dark Patterns (14 mins)
  • 6.3: Increase Revenues by Prioritizing Advertisements (12 mins)
  • 6.4: Harvest Users’ Information with Forced Registration (6 mins)
  • 6.5: Using Color to Confuse and to Prevent Unwanted Actions (12 mins)
  • 6.6: Exercise to Question Your Integrity as a Designer (5 mins)
  • 6.7: How to Get Users’ Agreement with the Opt-in/Opt-out Dance (8 mins)
  • 6.8: Getting Users’ Long-Term Commitment with a Monthly Charge (14 mins)
  • 6.9: Sneaking Products into Users’ Shopping Baskets (9 mins)
  • 6.10: Reduce the Likelihood of Rejection with Implied Consent (13 mins)
  • 6.11: Discussion Forum (7 mins)
  • 6.12: Congratulations and Recap (6 mins)

Lesson 7: The Complete User Interface

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 51 mins.

  • 7.1: Welcome and Introduction (2 mins)
  • 7.2: Analyzing the YouTube Website on Design Pattern Use (14 mins)
  • 7.3: Exercise to Understand the Design Patterns of Facebook (5 mins)
  • 7.4: Walkthrough of the Wikipedia Website to Uncover Its Design Patterns (5 mins)
  • 7.5: Analysis of Design Pattern Use in the EBay Website (5 mins)
  • 7.6: Learning from One of the Most Popular Websites in the World – Twitter (5 mins)
  • 7.7: Discussion Forum (7 mins)
  • 7.8: Congratulations and Recap (6 mins)

Lesson 8: Course Certificate, Final Networking, and Course Wrap-up

To be scheduled.

  • 8.1: Course Evaluation (1 min)

Learning paths

This course is part of 4 learning paths:

  • UX Designer
    UX Designer
  • Interaction Designer
    Interaction Designer
  • Visual Designer
    Visual Designer
  • UI Designer
    UI Designer
  • How others have benefited

    Nicolas Leclair

    Nicolas Leclair, Canada

    “It's nice to put words and explanation on pattern that we use daily, and that are habits. Using them and having to decide which one to offer to a user are two different things, like driving a car, and building a car. I feel that I am learning to build the car.”


    Fausto Albamonte

    Fausto Albamonte, United States

    “The knowledge acquired from the course is something that I'm currently implementing daily in my job, and is going to be the base to build on, as I'm preparing to take more courses with the Interaction Design Foundation. I'm happy to say that I truly enjoyed the course and learnt a lot from it. Interacting with other classmates, sharing ideas and receiving constructive feedback was another positive aspect of this course.”


    Gideon Cohen

    Gideon Cohen, Canada

    “I really liked the section on Perspective Writing. Overall, this is good material that helps orient the nascent interaction designer in the terminology and tools of the trade.”


    How to advance your career with IDF courses

    1. Attend lessons at your own pace

      Each week throughout the course, you get access to a new lesson, but you can move through the lessons at your own pace. This means you can learn before you leave for work, or in between breaks — in as little as 15 minutes per day.

    2. Network online and offline

      Network with your fellow course-takers online, through discussion forums inside lessons. You can also connect with your peers offline via IDF’s Local Groups. Local Groups connect you with other designers around your city who share the same passion in UX design as you.

    3. Advance your career

      Get a verifiable and industry-trusted Course Certificate once you’ve scored at least 70% on a course. Highlight your Course Certificates on your résumé, your LinkedIn profile, or your website to showcase your newly mastered skills.

    Start advancing your career now

    Become a member to take “UI Design Patterns for Successful Software”. Take any other IDF UX courses at no additional cost. Take a concrete step forward in your career path today.

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    Courses

    Can I take more than one course at a time?

    Yes, you can take all the courses you would like. For example, if there are 30 active courses, you can enroll in all 30 courses at the same time and move from one to the other as you please.

    There are no further charges once you’ve paid for your membership.

    Please note: If you have a student membership, you can take a maximum of three courses at the same time. As a student, you can thus still take all the courses you would like – free of extra charges – just as long as you finish them (or drop them) so that you don’t have more than three ongoing courses at the same time.

    Start Learning

    I missed the enrollment date and now the course is closed. Will I have any opportunity to take the course in the future?

    Don't worry if you missed the course. We will re-run it shortly. One of the reasons we continually open and close courses is to be able to control the classroom size.

    Networking is a large part of our value proposition, so we want just the right number of people inside the courses. That is also why we display the "XX % percent booked" on our course icons.

    We’ll re-schedule the course and make it available for sign-up on https://www.interaction-design.org/courses in only about a week (or perhaps a little bit longer). The actual start date of the course will be a few weeks after sign-ups begin too. We’ve found that this is the best way to maximize flexibility and convenience for everyone, especially you as you put your course program together.

    Do I have to be online at an exact time to study?

    No. You can set your own study schedule. There are no "live sessions" or "webinars" since our members are from all timezones around the world. We are a truly global community – with members in every single corner of the world.

    Thus, once you are enrolled, you can take all the time you want to complete a given course. Every "classroom" in each course will never close, so you’ll have permanent access to your classmates and your course material (as well as your own answers).

    Will I receive a Course Certificate?

    Yes. Every time you complete a course, you get an industry-recognized Course Certificate. There is no limit to how many Course Certificates you can earn during your membership. You will also receive a 3-step guide on how to include your Course Certificate on LinkedIn and in your résumé/CV.

    You can see an example of a Course Certificate at the bottom of the Course Catalogue.

    How can I drop a course?

    You can simply go to the course page and click on the “Drop Course” button — please bear in mind that this will also erase all your course progress and answers.

    I have answered questions in a lesson; when will they be marked/graded?

    We do the marking/grading in so-called "sprints," where we sit down and do all the marking/grading in one go. Your answers will be graded approximately one week after you submit your work.

    We do this because it is much more efficient than doing one little step every day. It's part of our lean/agile work philosophy, and that approach to efficiency is one of the factors that keeps our membership prices so incredibly low.

    We are doing it to save you money and as part of our mission to lower the cost of high-quality design education.

    I have updated my name, but my course certificate is not updated — how can I change it?

    Please contact us at hello@interaction-design.org and our member support will regenerate your certificate with the correct name.

    I have started the course/lesson later than the specified date, are my answers still going to be marked?

    We will be marking answers for as long as there are active members. Therefore, even if you are the only person taking a lesson at that particular time, your answers will still be marked.

    How are courses graded?

    Multiple-choice questions are automatically graded by our system, whilst open-ended questions are marked by the course instructors.

    I started a course after the official start date; for how long will I have access to the course materials?

    Regardless of when you have enrolled on a course, you will have access to the course materials for the entire duration of your membership. So, if you pay for a one-year membership, you will have access for one year, renewing your membership for a second year means you will have access for two years, and so on.

    English is not my first language so it takes me longer to learn through the course content, will I still be able to answer questions after the course completion date?

    Yes, you will be able to submit answers for the whole duration of your membership.

    New lessons are starting before I have had the chance to complete all aspects of the previous lesson(s); am I going to be locked out of these unfinished lessons?

    No, you will not be locked out of any lesson or course. You will have access to all course materials throughout your membership, so there is no pressure to keep at the same pace as the specified lesson release dates.

    All we recommend is that you try to stick to the same schedule as other participants. The reason is they may have moved on to other lessons, thereby meaning you could miss out on the social aspects of the course(s). However, we anticipate that there will be a constant flow of participants working through different lessons and courses, so overall you are unlikely to miss out. We will also be running all courses again — so there really is no rush.

    Are course certificates awarded on a specific date?

    No; you can generate your certificate as soon as you attain at least 70% of the total course points.

    When will I receive my Course Certificate?

    Course certificates will be given to participants when they have scored more than 70% or more of the total course points. For example, if a course contains ten lessons each with ten questions, you will receive a course certificate when the instructor has awarded you at least 70 points (70% of the total course points).

    There is no specified time that certificates will be awarded — instead, they are given to participants as and when they have answered all questions, even if this is long after the official end date.

    How do I add my Course Certificate to my LinkedIn profile?

    Below is a step-by-step guide on how to add your IDF course(s) to your LinkedIn profile:

    1. Go to your LinkedIn profile page and scroll to your "Accomplishments” section.

    2. Click on the plus button and choose “Certification”.

    untitled 8

    3. In the following fields add:

    • Certification name – Course name
    • Certification authority – The Interaction Design Foundation
    • License number – Your membership ID number (it's written on your certificate)
    • Time period – Input the date written on your certificate (e.g., May 2017)
    • Check the button “This certification does not expire”
    • Certification URL: Input the certificate URL provided on your course page

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    4. Click on the save button.

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    Congratulate yourself!
    You’ve made a great accomplishment by earning your course certificate, and now the world knows about it!

    How do I add the IDF Membership Certificate to my LinkedIn Profile?

    Below is a step-by-step guide on how to add your certificate to your LinkedIn profile:

    1. Go to your LinkedIn profile page and scroll to your "Accomplishments” section.

    2. Click on the plus button and choose “Certification”.
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    3. In the following fields add:
    • Certification name – Membership Certificate
    • Certification authority – The Interaction Design Foundation
    • License number – Your membership ID number (it's written on your membership certificate)
    • Time period – Input the date when you joined our community (e.g., May 2017)
    • Check the button “This certification does not expire”
    • Certification URL: Input the certificate URL provided on your profile page

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    4. Click on the save button.
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    It is as simple as that. Now, anyone who visits your profile can see your certificates!

    How much will I have to pay for the courses?

    As a member, you can take as many courses as you want with no additional costs. This means you only have to pay our membership fee to take an unlimited number of courses. There will be no further charges on top of the membership fee, no matter how many courses you decide to take.

    Do you provide mostly beginners' or more advanced courses?

    We provide courses for all levels of mastery and accross the full spectrum. If you’re new to design, you can start from our beginner courses and progress all the way up to our advanced ones. If you’re an established designer, on the other hand, you will find some of our lower-level courses provide a good refresher—and the advanced ones, a bit of a challenge.

    How much time is needed to complete a course?

    Once enrolled in a course, you will gain access to a new lesson each week, which you are free to complete without any deadlines and no end date, either.