User interface (UI)

User interface (UI)

A user interface (UI) is any visual element humans interact with on a device, webpage, or application.

There are 3 types of user interfaces:

  • Graphical user interface (GUI) virtual environments and operating systems where users interact with various apps and tasks and perform actions through graphical elements such as windows, buttons, menus, and icons. Examples include Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Linux.
  • Voice-user interface (VUI) — software that allows users to use voice recognition and natural language processing technologies to execute specific actions. Examples include Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa.
  • Gesture-based user interface — platforms that allow users to interact with virtual platforms using gestures like tapping, scrolling, swiping, and other physical movements. Examples include Tap to Pay on iPhone, virtual reality (VR) headsets, and gesture recognition in cars and smart home devices.

Each UI type has 4 essential components:

  • Navigational components guide users through the UI, providing elements like back arrows, hamburger menus, and scrollbars for easy navigation.
  • Input controls — enable users to enter information or make selections using checkboxes, text fields, radio buttons, and other elements.
  • Informational elements display relevant information, such as volume control, screen brightness, or a video progress bar.
  • Containers — organize content into logical sections, using elements like subheadings, dividers, or cards to improve readability and page structure.

An effective UI design enhances a website's functionality and aligns it with user expectations by providing a visually appealing and intuitive user experience. 

Webflow’s extensive collection showcases the community’s best UI designs. Get inspired and start creating your own designs with customizable UI kits — find the best ones for your website or learn how to create your own for future sites.

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