SaaS business

Product Owner vs Product Manager vs Project Manager: Who Do You Need to Build a SaaS Product?


mins to read

Whenever people start learning about different roles in the product team, a question comes inevitably:

Is product owner same as project manager?


Is product owner higher than project manager?

You wouldn’t ask whether product designers and sales managers are the same person, but with a product owner (PO) and project manager (PM), the situation is more confusing. So, why is there such a mess?

Product owners only exist in the Scrum framework. At the same time, companies working with Scrum also can have product managers and some of them may have project managers as well (though project managers are avoided in canonic Scrum teams). All of it creates the need for articles like this one.

When I started getting familiar with Agile and Scrum, I wondered why there was a need to invent a new job, product owner, when a product manager job already existed? I bet I was not the only one asking myself that.

Product Owner vs Product Manager vs Project Manager

Why do they invent a new role instead of using the existing one?

You may think that it was just a way of separating from previously existing management systems to mark the revolutionary framework. This explanation makes sense. What many people don’t know, however, is that when Scrum was invented, product owners didn’t exist. Product managers were supposed to change their work habits to adjust to the new system.

This role of product owner was introduced later, and one of the reasons for that was the need to differentiate their role in Scrum from other frameworks. Mind that product managers back then were different from what they are now. That is why it makes sense to talk about the differences between the two roles: it was intentional.

Key differences between product manager, product owner, and project manager

Product Owner vs Product Manager vs Project Manager

Product managers and project managers have different scopes. Project manager’s goal is to execute a project from A to Z. Project does not equal product. In software development, a project can be about localization, or adapting the product for a new client, as it happens in complex B2B products. It includes managing stakeholders, teams, budgeting, planning, and reporting.

Shortly, the role of project manager can be described as “getting things done”, or “organizing the team so that it gets things done, meets the deadline and KPIs”.

Product managers are responsible for the product as a whole, from the ideation to the launch and afterward. They have to go beyond the product team, talk to all the internal and external stakeholders, and know well the market and the customers. 

Product manager role is not to just organize the work of the product team to make it most efficient — they have to make sure that what they are creating is the right product.

Product owner's role can be quite different from one company to another. In some cases, product owner has more strategic tasks, and thus gets closer to the product manager. In other companies, they act only on a tactical level, setting tasks and controlling the development process.

Product owners often continue their career path as product managers, and project managers can switch to PO or PM at some point, too.

Does product manowner exist?

Product Owner vs Product Manager vs Project Manager

Product manowner is not an official job term (yet). This funny word was invented by Rebecca Calogeris, vice president of marketing at Pragmatic institute, when discussing product owners and product managers in the podcast.

It all comes to a question, can these two roles be combined into one? There are different opinions on that. Here is what her interlocutor, Kirsten Butzow, a Pragmatic Marketing instructor says:

If we have the product manager also acting as the product owner and they’re spending their time deep in the engineering organization, who is actually out there in the marketplace getting the fuel source to drive that Agile organization and create velocity and building the right product instead of just making the product fast?

Kirsten says that companies get to understand the importance of having both product manager and product owner more and more. Working together, they can get the best result.

On the other hand, Marty Cagan, the author of the book "Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love", says that in product companies, a product manager has to be the product owner, as PO responsibilities are a small sub-set of PM responsibilities.

Product Owner vs Product Manager responsibilities

According to Cagan, having both roles on the team would only lead to confusion. Roman Pichler, product management consultant, agrees with that and suggests having junior/senior positions instead. At the same time, other experts think that having senior and junior product owners violates the principles of Scrum… 

Well, this is just a sign that the roles are flexible, and there are many contrasting opinions. This article is just highlighting some of the key differences, but don’t be surprised if you see a contradicting opinion elsewhere (or even in this blog).

In the end, all we care about is that each one knows their job and manages to collaborate all together for the sake of the product. If you are struggling with defining the best work model, you may find our article "Product Management Organization Structure: Which One to Choose?" quite helpful.

Product Owner Product Manager Project Manager collaboration structure

Project manager responsibilities

  • Planning (timeline, budget, KPIs, and so on). The key to successful and timely project completion is the right plan. The most hard-working team will fail if the plan is not viable.
  • Leading and team coordination. When the plan is ready, they have to make sure that team is following the schedule and the deadlines are met.
  • Handling documentation. Project manager has to deal with various documents, from budgets to reports.
  • Problem-solving. However vague it may sound, this is exactly what project managers dedicate most of their time to: solve problems, including the ones that other team members face.

Product manager responsibilities

  • Defining product roadmap and vision and coordinating the work of the team in accordance with it.
  • Analyzing market and business to align product strategy with the market needs
  • Conducting testing to monitor product performance and define changes that have to be made.
  • Communicating with customers and stakeholders and ensuring that their interests are reflected in the product.

Product owner responsibilities

As previously said, the level of responsibilities of the product owner is more tactical than strategical. Here are the main ones:

  • Managing the backlog: tracking tasks performance, helping the team to follow the rules of Scrum.
  • Defining user stories, based on product vision and overall strategy. User story is a product feature as seen by the user, and it is used to guide the development team.
  • Prioritizing tasks in the backlog in order to deliver the product fast and efficiently. 
  • Connecting the team and the stakeholders, syncing with marketing, sales, and other teams to help product team stay on track with the rest of the company.

This is a general overview of an imaginary product owner. In reality, they often have to take on tasks that go beyond a perfect Agile framework. To give a more tangible image of the role, we plan to publish an interview with a product owner and ask what their day looks like.


Now that we've had a closer look at the responsibilities of each, we can say that all these roles are essentially managerial. So, does it mean that the same candidate can fit in any role? 

Well, yes and no. A talented person can fit in any role. However, each needs a different skill set.

Product manager has the widest range of competencies. They have to speak the same language with sales, marketing, designers, and developers. Product manager skills include market and user research, data analysis, and strong communication and writing skills. To learn more about PM superpowers, read our article on what makes a good product manager.

There is a common misbelief that it is essential for a product manager to have tech background. However, real PMs prove it wrong. In the article how to become a product manager, we looked through some of the most common non-tech backgrounds: marketing, design, project management, journalism, and even teaching, to prove we're right.

Project manager needs advanced knowledge of management tools, budgeting, planning, and excellent time management. However, the most important things come with experience. Project Management Professional (PMP) certification requires about 35 hours of training and at least 36 months of leading projects in the field. There is no doubt that project manager skills will be of great help for product owners and product managers as well.

Product owner skills are similar to the previously mentioned. You don't need a Ph.D. in product ownership, but you do need a good knowledge of Scrum (at least 16 hours), Agile certification (about a week-long course) and project management training are also a plus.


According to Payscale, the average salaries of product owners and project managers in IT are very close: $89,966 and $88,899. Product managers have higher average salaries: $100,733.

Product Owner vs Product Manager vs Project Manager salary

IT project managers have the lowest entry-level salaries, $65,000, and reach the median after the 5th year of working experience.

project manager salary

Fun fact: according to Payscale, product owners have almost perfect gender balance, whilst both product managers and project managers have more men than women (both around 54% vs 45%).

Short Q&A

Can these three roles work together without having overlap in responsibilities?

Yes. When everybody understands their role clearly, their collaboration will benefit the product.

Can you have just one person instead of the three?

If you don’t see the need for hiring three persons, you don’t have to. Just define the list of tasks and responsibilities that are essential for the product and see if one person would be capable of doing all of that.

Which role is essential for an emerging SaaS team?

If you can’t afford to have extra people on the team, start with a product manager. PM is that universal soldier that is a team-forming role.

Can product manager cover design tasks, as well?

No. If you’re looking for a good product designer, text us.

Masha Panchenko


Table of contents

Top Stories

SaaS business
min read

Scaling Your Startup - How It Looks from the Product Design Perspective

At the time you notice that your startup has a steady flow of revenue, the existing processes in your company start feeling small, and you understand that your users expect more from you, probably it’s time to scale.

Deciding to scale a startup is an exciting, yet challenging process that can add a couple of gray hairs to your head because if you want to expand to new horizons, you have to take risks.

As a team of product designers, we believe that having a reliable product team, as well as a carefully thought out approach to the product design helps to eliminate the scaling risks and make your business a few steps closer to success.

And though there are a lot of articles on the internet that provide general tips about scaling your startup, here we want to focus on two challenges from the product design perspective:

  • Growing your team
  • Expanding your product

But first of all, let’s make sure that we mean the same thing when saying the word “scaling”.

The difference between growth and scaling

We know that growth is the second of four product life cycle stages, but very often we hear the word “scale” in the same context. Though these two terms are often used interchangeably, there is a slight difference between scaling and growing that is important to discuss in terms of our topic.

So, what does it mean to scale your business, and what does it mean to grow your business?

Let’s start with “growth”.

When growing a business we are generating more income. But in order to generate that additional growth, we have to add new resources (purchase additional materials, get a new office, hire more employees, serve more clients, and so forth). And all those things incur a bunch of other expenses. For example, you’ve generated an additional hundred thousand dollars in revenue, but it cost you eighty thousand dollars. It means you made twenty thousand dollars, which is still great.

Now let’s move to “scaling”.

When you scale a business, you generate additional revenue without entailing that same degree of expenses. Spendings rise incrementally or stay at the same level. For example, you managed to increase the amount of income by four times, without hiring a single employee. Instead, you automated some processes and spent little money on them. That is, scaling means growing exponentially.

Below is a graph that will help you better understand the difference between growing and scaling.

startup growth vs startup scaling

Now some important facts to mention about scaling:

  1. Scaling is not better than growing, and vice versa. The choice depends on the specific needs of your company, team, and customers.
  2. Scaling is not completely feasible for all businesses. It’s not something that all kinds of startups should opt for to become successful. However, it works well for the tech industry.

In this article, we focus on scaling as a faster and budget-friendlier way to develop your business. 

The last point we want to mention before moving further is that before scaling your business you as a tech startup owner should make sure that

  • You achieved your product-market fit, that is, your product has its audience who needs it.
  • You have a stable flow of revenue which proves you’ve found the product-market fit and helps attract investors to fund your growth.

In the next sections, we will discover what startup scaling challenges wait for business owners and learn how to cope with them.

What you can do to scale your business from the product design perspective

Unfortunately, among all the roles in SaaS companies people often underestimate the role of product design in their projects’ success. They would rather hire an additional engineer and then take care of finding a strong designer. Therefore, to begin with, let’s state why it is worth considering product design when scaling.

In 2018, McKinsey conducted research aimed to identify the value of design for businesses. Based on the research, they created the McKinsey Design Index (MDI) that orders the companies according to how strong they are at design and shows the correlation of this fact with companies’ financial state.

McKinsey found out that businesses with top-quartile MDI scores outperformed the percentage of annual growth rate by as much as two to one (see the graph below).

scaling startup annual growth rate
Image credit: mckinsey.com

To be more specific, here is one fact from Airbnb’s scaling story. Airbnb’s founders understood that they had the same target audience as Craigslist. That’s why each time people offered their house for bed and breakfast on Craigslist, Airbnb’s team would email them and ask if they wanted to make a post on their platform.

Airbnb scaling story
Image credit: hackernoon.com

That’s how they reached a new audience, but the next question is: How did they manage to retain them? Here comes the power of design. Once a visitor discovered Airbnb, they were impressed by visually appealing property images and the great user experience that the platform provided.

Therefore, sending emails to Craigslist’s users and showing them the real value of Airbnb with the help of great product design led to the rapid growth of this vacation rental platform loved by people all over the world. 

Good design is essential for product adoption and retention rates. It makes the product useful, understandable, aesthetically pleasing, and innovative. Therefore, when thinking out your business scaling strategy don’t forget to take care of expanding your product design team.

Growing the design team

Product designers’ duties involve having a deep understanding of the users and the value your product provides to them. As well, product designers should be aware of the company’s business goals and make all the design decisions taking into account the product's business strategy. Thus, a scaling stage startup needs product designers not to make the product "beautiful", but to ensure that the new features/offering you plan to deliver evolve your business and bring value to the customers.

A bigger design team allows you to come up with ideas faster, and most importantly, validate them quicker and more effectively. In its turn, idea validation lets you assess users’ and market’s needs, ensure you don’t implement innovations based on unverified assumptions, and therefore, prevent your scaling startup from going onto the wrong path.

Though, understanding the need to grow the team doesn’t make this process easy. Below are three main challenges that you as a product owner may face when expanding the design team:

Organizing and optimizing work processes

A 50-person team won't survive the processes of a 5-person team. When you start with one designer who performs a vast variety of duties, there’s no need to build a clear structure around the design process. Once your team starts growing you’ll have to think out how the product design department should collaborate and function to keep consistency. 

That is, you have to come up with a set of standard algorithms for how your team conducts research, ideate, validate, test, communicate, exchange ideas, and so on. Such an algorithm includes defining the tools they should use, the documentation they have to fill in, the principles they have to follow, and more.

On the other hand, scaling is not only about getting more of everything: people, products, revenue, processes. It’s also important to find things that slow you down and optimize them.

Some processes that used to work well in the past can become redundant for your scaling business, like the process of getting approval, or communication overload. For example, the former CEO of General Motors, Ed Whitacre, decided to cut down the number of paperwork workers had to deal with. By eliminating the number of reports employees had to fill in, they got more time to think of innovations and come up with new ideas. This way, Ed Whitacre managed to help the company scale more effectively.

With the defined tools and processes in place, you can start growing the team and its structure.


When you enter the growth stage and your scope of work increases intensively, you may feel a great need to hire just any product designer you can find. However, hiring the wrong employees is one of the reasons why startups fail.

Here's what Diane Greene, the founder and the former CEO of VMware, says about hiring at scale: “It’s a good thing to remember that hiring will get easier as you scale — but you should also never drop your standards.” 

It’s always more important to take care of the quality of the employees than their quantity. Hire those UI/UX designers who understand your product vision and have some experience in the field you work in so that they can facilitate the company’s growth. Besides, choosing a product designer who understands your product’s mission will help you maintain the company culture at scale.

One more difficulty that you may face here is the fact that the average time to fill a position is 42 days and time is your most precious resource. The solution to the faster quality hiring process may be to outsource design work.

Hiring external professionals will help you quickly find additional pair of hands to help you cope with a greater workload, and take on several ongoing projects. Additionally, outsourcing can give you a fresh look at your business, reduce costs, and, of course, save time.

For example, you may expand your team with Eleken. All our designers are product designers with expertise in creating SaaS applications. We work as in-house employees, but remotely, focusing on one project at a time. Therefore, when we design new functionality, we dive deep into the essence of your existing product with its business logic, design systems, and UI patterns to make sure we help you grow your business effectively.

Structuring the team

As Larry Page, the co-founder of Google, recalls, at the time the company stepped into its hyper-growth stage at the beginning of the 2000s and reached about 400 employees, Mr. Page began to miss the good old days without the bureaucracy and all those managers running around. Therefore, he decided to get rid of all of them. The result was that about 100 developers now had to report to one executive. Of course, it wasn’t a change for good.

The moral of this story is that business at scale does need some hierarchy and new roles in the company. The thing is to structure the team correctly.


It is impossible to find a perfect candidate for each position, therefore our advice would be to look for designers that are experts in one area, but also have good general knowledge in other fields to take another role if needed. This is called a T-shaped designer.

t-shaped designer skills

This way, when your team scales, you won’t have a knowledge gap because of the overlap between your employees’ skills.

The number of designers

The situation differs from company to company, but here's what Jesse James Garrett, the UX designer and the co-founder of Adaptive Path strategy and design consulting firm suggests on his Twitter account:

the number of designers in a startup product team

Still, there's a myth going on that the number of designers usually affects the project’s length. The quality of the outcome depends on the designer’s skill set, not the quantity. So, if you have enough time, you may opt for hiring fewer design specialists for your project.


According to Jason Culbertson's webinar Scaling UX in Organizations, the way businesses organize their design team depends greatly on the number of employees they have.

  • Up to 10 designers: roles often overlap between team members: one designer can be responsible for the user interface, user experience, and UX research. Team members may work on different product features/products all at the same time.
  • Up to 25 designers: designers are distributed into product teams, each team member has their specialization, and a couple of designers start working on the design system part-time.
  • Up to 50 designers: the team that builds and evolves the design system grows from 1-2 to 3-4 designers and starts working full-time.
  • Up to 100 designers: separate teams are responsible for everyday product design tasks, owning the design system, and so on. 

Expanding the product

When your startup scales, the team, the number of code lines, and features scale with it. As the result, it becomes difficult to control that every new employee adheres to the company’s design standards and principles to keep your product/s consistent and user-friendly. Additionally, if your designers work in distributed teams they may start performing repetitive tasks, like creating a new version of button design and the like, which is not only a waste of time and resources but also the worsening of user experience.

This mess in the design process negatively affects the product’s performance. Therefore, once your product team grows beyond 15 designers and the company has more than 500 workers, it’s definitely high time to build a UX design system.

UX design system is a collection of standards to manage scaling business design. It ties together all components of your product like colors, typefaces, and illustrations in a structured and unified way. It also helps to fix inconsistencies and build a unified visual language to help you create a scalable product.

For example, once the Eleken team had to work with TextMagic, a customer experience platform that evolved its product vision and decided to expand the number of products they had. Luckily, they already had a well-developed design system, and though we had a lot of work to do, putting Textmagic’s design system in practice allowed us to stay productive, quicker cope with the workload, and keep consistency across the whole product set.

Chat performance overview via Textmagic’s comprehensive dashboards
Chat performance overview via Textmagic’s comprehensive dashboards

To sum up

Investing in product design can help your company stand out in the market and favorably influence the overall business growth. To be able to cope with all the challenges that a scaling phase brings it’s important to have a reliable team with you. 

So, how about hiring a senior product designer at Eleken? Share the details of your project, and we will provide you with the best expert for the job.

Tell us about your app.

SaaS business
min read

9 UI/UX Design Principles to Make Customers Get Chills from Your Product

Imagine you are a host of a party meeting awaited guests. You want to make the best impression possible and get many useful connections, so you thought out all the details and did your best to ensure everybody enjoyed the party. Apply the same situation to your website. Is your “home” ready to provide people a smooth and delightful experience? Have you taken care of your visitors the way they want to keep on collaborating with your business? Are you sure you did everything possible to help users take an expected action? 

If you are wondering what is the relation between all said and the UX design, I would say  - direct. The same as you decorate your house and make necessary arrangements to host a party, prepare your website or app to meet the customers through a well-thought and friendly user interface. Our skilled designers would prove that, besides creativity, a user-centered design should adhere to the fundamental UI/UX design rules to help a company achieve business goals.

This article gathered nine user interface design principles that will nudge your website guests to leave you their visit (read - credit) card details and push “purchase”.

So, let’s figure out what makes UI design good.

Principle 1: Meet users needs 

In other words, the main principle you should build your design around sounds like “put the user first.” UI/UX design is customer-centered, meaning you need to consider whether your design satisfies customers’ needs and helps users achieve their goals. It’s crucial to walk in customers’ shoes and understand what they’re looking for when interacting with your website or app. 

A UX designer and a design director of Mailprotector Jeremy Nigh said that the “U” in UX doesn’t mean “You” but “User”. Whatever excellent you think your design is, the actual customers may feel the opposite. Try looking impartially and reveal through UX research and UX audit what your customers really need.

The image saying that to understand what users actually do on your website, you should conduct user testing

As UX design’s primary purpose is to help users solve their problems, usability is one of the paramount user experience principles.  Each design element, be it an icon, button, or image, should have a meaning and lead to a specific action you want users to take. Then it will be a good decision to run usability tests during the prototyping phase, long before your product goes live.

When designing, it’s also important to take into consideration the user’s context. It’s the location where a customer interacts with the design, the device, time, emotional state, and other people influencing the customer’s behavior.

Principle 2: Speak customers language

The statement above refers to both words and visuals we use in a product’s interface. Take for granted that nobody will spend extra time on guessing what an author (you) wanted to say with niche jargon or technical terms only your developers can get the point. 

The image displays two mobile screens with some app opened. On one of them, categories are named in a more understandable manner than on another one
Image credit: Springboard

You should avoid (or at least reduce) ambiguity in UX-copywriting and graphic elements. 

Here are some tips on how to make your design language readable and understandable:

  • Define who your audience is - what they need, what they’re searching for, and what goals they want to achieve by interacting with your product
  • Build your design template focusing on the typography, page layout, and infographics
  • Choose communication style and tone of voice your audience would better accept

The system should speak a real-life language. Just imagine how often you answer “OK” when somebody asks you “Are you sure?” Not often, right? The most common reply would be “Yes”. Then, use it in your system messages’ copy.

the image of system message "Are you sure?" and the options of answers "Ok" and "Cancel"

Visual metaphors should also correspond to real-world experience. The concept of a recycle bin icon on Mac, for example, would be easily caught even by those who had never seen any PC before. 

The image of two recycle bins

Principle 3: Organize content clearly

This principle is talking about information hierarchy that helps users easily navigate through the website or app design. When you come to a random website, more likely, you will see the navigation bar showing the main sections like About, Products, Prices, Contact Us, etc. These sections make up the primary hierarchy. If you hover over one of them, the sub-sections appear, announcing what you will find when diving deeper into the website.

The image showing website page hierarchy

The more logical you arrange your site map, the easier it will be for customers to navigate, and the smoother user experience they will eventually have. 

What is also worth mentioning is the size of target buttons and typography. The bigger-sized buttons ensure efficient interaction reducing the risk of performing the wrong action. And well-thought typographic choices can significantly improve a website’s accessibility facilitating perception of written information.

The image showing different size buttons and a finger trying to press smaller and bigger button
Image credit: XD Adobe

Principle 4: Don’t overwhelm, be simple

To put it another way, every design element that doesn’t assist in users’ goal achievement should be a subject to elimination. The unnecessary information distracts customers from their primary purpose wasting cognitive and operational resources. The pioneer who adopted a less-is-more design approach was Apple. From 2007 when the iPhone was introduced till nowadays, Apple follows the principle of simplicity in their products and website’s design. 

MacBook Air landing page on Apple website

Another example of less-is-more philosophy in design is iA Writer, an app looking like a plain sheet without any distractive content or information. The simple UI allows writers to concentrate on the creative process, making it easier to get into the flow yet providing users with helpful tools to improve their writing.

The screens from iA Writer explaining an app capabilities
the screen from iA Writer app explaining an app capabilities

Principle 5:  Keep design consistent

When people start using a new product, they expect it to be similar to what they have already experienced before. This way, users may reduce the cognitive load they encounter trying to learn something new. Design consistency follows the idea of so-called transferable knowledge. Microsoft adheres to this concept making design consistent throughout all products. For example, using Microsoft Word will help quickly adopt Excel or PowerPoint, which have similar UI concepts. 

The Microsoft Word  and Microsoft Excel navigation panels

Being comfortable for users, design consistency makes the design process easier for UX and UI designers as well. There is no need to continuously create new solutions when starting to work on a new product. 

Consistency in UI embraces:

  • Visual consistency - all elements should look the same within one product
  • Functional consistency - all objects should work in the same way, preventing users from becoming confused with unexpected changes in item functionality.
  • Expectations consistency - using hundreds of different websites, users form certain expectations as of how interface components should work or look. If you destroy their expectations with a super creative design solution, users will “thank” you with frustration and a high bounce rate.

Also, don’t try using new UI/UX terminology - stick to wordings most people are familiar with.

Principle 6: Give feedback to users’ actions

Is there anything on Earth more frustrating than pushing a button on a website and having no idea what is happening? The great UX design should always inform customers of their system status and action progress. 

Say, you started downloading a file and naturally expect the website to show you some sort of progress bar or a countdown to understand how much time is left. In its essence, the design feedback is a dialogue between humans and machines. The design may respond by altering the target button’s color, shape, or any other visible changes. Or, for example, you can show how many minutes are left to complete the task. To illustrate what I’m talking about, look at the GIF below. Do you see the button’s color is changing? That’s how the system is interacting with users. 

The GIF showing how a button color is changing in a reponse to users' action

Relevant error messages are as important as feedback. Users will have a better experience if, together with explicit communication of an error, you will give them hints on how the problem can be solved. Stay polite, helpful, and upbeat. 

Mailchimp error message

You can also create preventive messages warning users about possible issues. For instance, Gmail uses pop-ups to notify customers about missing attachments.

Gmail preventive message warning that a user seems to forgot to attach a file

A good design is sending comprehensive error messages, whereas a great design is trying to prevent errors.

Principle 7: Allow users to control the process

People like feeling confident that everything is under control. When we know that our mistakes can be easily fixed, this gives us more freedom to explore new options and inspire us to be courageous and creative. The top-of-mind option that gives control in our hands is Undo. This function is critically important for text and graphic editors, where the creative process implies multiple changes to achieve perfection. 

Also, Undo is helpful when users perform an action by mistake and want to backpedal it. For instance, Gmail sends a notification message offering to undo just deleted email.

Gmail "Undo" option

I’m sure the possibility to rewind the wrong action saved millions of lives (definitely, mine is on the list). Thanks to Apple’s notification asking if I was sure to permanently delete the items in the Trash, I rescued the files that cost me tons of time and nerves.

Apple's MacOS notification asking if you want to permanently erase the items in the Trashs

Principle 8: Make interaction a no-brainer

Whether your user is an advanced expert or a no-clue newbie, the interactions with your website or app should be comfortable for both. For those who start using your product, tutorials and explanations would be helpful. For customers who are already familiar with the functionality, you should offer shortcuts to shorten the path to the mostly-used actions.

MacOS shortcuts for the mostly-used actions
MacOS shortcuts for the mostly-used actions

Principle 9: Mind accessibility

In the modern world, where we celebrate our differences, accessibility has become a must for digital products. It’s a designer’s responsibility to ensure that people with various impairments, temporary or permanent, will have a hassle-free experience interacting with a website or application. 

When designing a product, it’s crucial to build it for users with poor vision (who are blind or can’t distinguish the colors), who have motor, hearing, and cognitive impairments (like, for example, dyslexia). 

We have a separate article on our blog dedicated to inclusive design examples, so if you find this topic interesting, take a look.

To complete the above principles list, I’m adding here some more UX design rules and UI principles our experienced designers follow in their projects.

Top UI/UX principles from Eleken designers

  1. It’s critical to build the right navigation in the interface and outline the navigation hierarchy
  2. If you can leverage visual objects like style and patterns - do it. It will keep the consistency and will relieve a headache of your developers
  3. Don’t put a dozen buttons on one screen. Limit yourself to one primary button, a couple of secondary ones, and hide the others
  4. UI design is all about managing customers’ attention. The good design doesn’t need onboarding - it will lead customers to an action we want them to take
  5. Be simple and follow the less-is-more approach. At the same time, don’t oversimplify and remember that there are things that should be complicated
  6. Mind accessibility (especially colors and fonts). We make design for everyone, not only for youngsters with the perfect sight.

By the way, you can learn more about accessibility in UX in our next article.

We hope the information in this article will help you create a great UI design for your digital products. And if you ever need a helping hand - let us know; we are here for you.

Don't want to miss anything?

Get weekly updates on the newest design stories, case studies and tips right in your mailbox.


Your email has been submitted successfully. Check your email for first article we’ve sent you.

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Don't want to miss anything?

Get weekly updates on the newest design stories, case studies and tips right in your mailbox.


Your email has been submitted successfully. Check your email for first article we’ve sent you.

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.