Understand the user's needs, motivations and their jobs to be done. Map out the journey from point A to point B, why they are doing it and how we will get them there. Remember that the user is the hero of the story.
Our app is complex and data heavy. Try and strip the complexity back and show only what’s necessary, when necessary. Hide infrequently used actions or more advanced options. Use progressive disclosure.
Everything in the interface needs to be processed by the user’s brain. Present one decision at a time. Be ruthless with the prioritisation and make the choices simple and limit distraction. The less there is to process, the lower the cognitive load.
Not every page has to feel text heavy. Just like a working space in the physical world, having an open, airy space helps our minds work with less distraction. Employ generous space if appropriate around heavy content areas. Use images to break up text and lighten strong areas of detail.
Users can get stuck on seemingly simple actions for reasons outside of their control. Guide users though the system. Provide help, and give plenty of hints and signposts if needed. Get them on the right track, so they can use the tool as efficiently as possible so they shine.
Don’t leave users hanging. The user must understand the results of the decisions they make and feel that they have made the correct decision. Tell them what they have done, be transparent, give immediate feedback.
Show users the hard work they have put in. Make their progress visible and easy to access. Give them charts, visual reporting and the ability to export this data.