Using a UI Kit: Benefits and Best Practices

Category: Design and UI UX

Date: 23 March 2019

A Solid Brand Building Process

User Interface (UI) Kits have taken the design world by storm, by simplifying the design process while helping websites to appeal more to visitors. These kits provide a standardized interface for designers to achieve the same look for all site elements, so that users browsing through the site feel a sense of familiarity and consistency.

In this post, we’ll provide a breakdown of what exactly a UI kit is, and best practices for using one in your next project.
Image: Google trends “ui kit” from 2010-2018

What are User Interface Kits?
UI kits are digital “kits” with a comprehensive and consistent assortment of graphic User Interface Elements . These elements can be anything from buttons and checkboxes to navigation menus and footers. Some kits even include Adobe Photoshop presets like brushes and patterns. These elements can then be used throughout a web design with a simple copy and paste throughout.

Image: example of graphical elements that can come with a user interface (UI) kit

What are UI Kits used for?
These kits make it easier for designers to do what they do best: design. The kit takes care of constructing a uniform look for all design elements, leaving ample time for designers to focus on everything else like font families, header images, site layout, and user experience.

Using a UI kit doesn’t mean you’ll end up with a cookie-cutter design, though. These kits often include a wide variety of palettes, shapes, and layouts that let you customize elements as you integrate them into your design.
Think about it like this: if you’re building a house, the UI kit would supply the bricks, wood, and paint.
It is still up to the architect to decide how to choose and compile those elements into a custom blueprint and create your full-fledged house.

However, it’s important to note that UI kits are not all created equally. Some come with page layout options, while others are simpler, focusing just on site basics: header, footer, forms and buttons. But gorgeous designs can come from either, depending on how you use them. The kits typically come as Adobe Photoshop or Sketch versions, depending on which design tool you use.

Where can I find and buy UI Kits?
UI8 is a great site to search for reasonably priced, fully stacked UI kits. You can search by themes such as e-commerce, apps, and more.Pinterest is also a useful place to start your UI kit search. It can often lead to websites or designers with a full set of UI kits to choose from.

Image: UI8 is a website that sells UI kits.

Using UI Kits Across All Digital Channels: Consistent User Experience
UI Kits are most helpful in creating a cohesive user experience and unifying website elements – but they also have uses beyond web design.

Their elements can be used in marketing materials to create a unified brand and consistent user experience throughout. For example, you can add the same button from your home page to your Google Display Ads, use the same color palette throughout your print materials, or design a mobile app to match your website…the possibilities are endless.

Overall, UI Kits promote website design consistency while enhancing the user experience. They can save time and money by keeping designers from wasting time redrawing common UI components. Lastly, they can provide a consistent visual identity for your brand throughout all of your marketing efforts.

If UI Kits are new to you, it’s about time you catch up to the latest design trend – a positive user experience may be at stake.

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