You cannot build a website or an app without user interface components. They take your design from flat to engaging by incorporating an interactive aspect to the interface. Without them, your users would have no way to navigate around, and visually, there wouldn’t be much going on. UI components provide a range of touch points to guide your user around your site or app. They make it user-friendly, seamless, and visually engaging.
Knowing the most common UI components will allow you, as a designer, to integrate them effectively into your interface design. Here are ten of the components you are most likely to encounter.
Buttons are arguably the most common and most essential UI component to have in your toolkit. While UI frameworks are different for programs, you’ll always find buttons on their component list. Buttons are essentially a shape, with a label. They encourage a user to perform a particular action by clicking on it. They can be any shape or size, and contain any label that you want. The most common buttons include submit, apply, book now, subscribe, etc.
An accordion will allow the user to both expand content and collapse it. It’s an especially useful component when you need to include large quantities of content within a small space. By expanding the accordion, users can access a list of topics or more information.
A toggle is a type of switch which allows the user to turn things on and off. You can include them in forms, where a user needs to decide between two options. Users can also use a toggle to enable or disable a feature of the app or website, such as location tracking.
Notifications will let the user know when there is something new, such as if there’s a new post, or they’ve received a message. They can also indicate an error or that something is complete. You can use them to notify your users of just about anything, and they can take whatever form you wish. Typically, they are represented as a small red dot, as it is the universally recognized sign of a notification.
Forms are one of the most useful UI components in the library, and one that every designer will use. A form allows users to submit personal information as required by your interface. They can sign up for subscription lists, put in their shipping details, or send a query to be answered by the website/app host.
There are comments sections on a variety of different types of media. Comments allow users to engage with the host, other users and provide feedback. You’ll often see comments sections on social media, blogs, and video or music sharing sites. As a designer, adding comments sections will encourage user engagement.
A feed is an unavoidable component when you’re designing an app or website. It displays all user activity in the order of which it took place. Users can also filter feeds to re-order in the specific way they want to. On a blog, the feed will auto-display with the most recent post, but it can be filtered to display based on the topic or category. Social media revolves around feeds, all presented chronologically, such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
The search field is an essential component that allows the user to locate information. It includes a little bar with a magnifying glass beside it and an input field. Users can type in what type of content they are looking for precisely, and it will automatically direct them to the relevant information. As an example, if the website or app is selling clothing, users can type in a “black knit sweater” and find a related item without scrolling through pages of products.
Tags will allow users to label their content to make it easier to find. You can tag a blog, picture, or video with relevant keywords. When users browse that keyword, they will see the content and other pieces of content with the same tag.
A modal is a window that pops up on the interface containing a short message. The user is required to interact with this window before they can continue to browse on the website or app. An example of this is if you are editing content and attempt to navigate away from the page, a pop-up will say, “if you exit now, your content may not be saved.” Use this component to relay a message that you need the user to see.