Consistency is the most fragile design principle that influences user trust and familiarity with your UI design or product.

Improving consistency polishes the look and feel of your design. Additionally, it purges imperfections, unwanted content, or navigation flows that mislead the user.

Design consistency drives coherence and creates a harmonious uniformity among discrete UI elements. Consistency is fundamental for a good UX because it creates an experience that users can rely upon every time they interact with your brand or product.

The look and feel of a design make up the first layer of this trust relationship. Design consistency goes even further into interaction and behavioral patterns that users encounter as they utilize your products and services.

Creating this comfortable and familiar environment promotes continuous usage of your products & services and customer retention for your business.

Projects, at some point or another, run into consistency problems for various reasons. In this blog, we discuss the benefits of design consistency and some of its guiding principles.

Before that, let us take a step back and understand exactly what consistency means.

Consistency is when all the design elements behave similarly or follow the universally set pattern (content, navigation, actions, responses, etc.).

Why is Consistency Important?

There is more to design consistency than meets the eye. Ensuring consistency means developing a detailed and well-thought-out approach during the design phase of your site: defining, planning, designing, and testing with consistency in mind can save many setbacks during various stages of the design process.

Design consistency improves usability and learnability, especially when similar elements look and function similarly. When consistency is an integral part of your design, people can grasp new contexts quickly without pain or confusion since they know what to expect next with your design.

Contextual consistency is key to ensuring that users can focus on executing the task instead of learning how the UI works whenever there is a context switch. Consistency creates a balanced sense of security and reliability, which fuels a better user experience.

Benefits of Consistency

Image Source: Laura’s Design Studio

More effective Memorization leads to faster usage

Consistent designs add clarity and render frictionless user experiences on your interface. A user will instantly identify the brand and what it represents. A consistent UI is like a universally understood language.

Users execute tasks faster once they get the hang of your design (due to its consistency).

Consistency is synonymous with instantaneous memorization, which is essential to appeal to users emotionally and gain their trust.

Consistent Designs Eliminate Confusion

Clear communication minimizes confusion in the users’ minds, improves their use of your UI, and leads to better achievement of their goals through streamlined actions.

Consistency Saves Time and Money

When consistent designs are built with predominantly predefined components, designers and stakeholders spend less time disagreeing over the UI design’s nitty-gritty.

Consistency adds standardization, reduces the number of design iterations, and keeps unwarranted expenses at bay.

Consistency Helps with Universal User Feedback

A branding message or UI design needs to reach out to diverse users with varying preferences and goals. However, with a consistent design, collecting user feedback and implementing changes is simplified since users’ experience is universal.

Consistency makes it Easier to Reach Specific People

By applying the same design rules and principles when creating new promotional materials for your brand, you can reach out to the previously determined target group.

You gain the confidence of your target group by pursuing coherence for your design’s visual identity.

Evokes a Strong Emotional Response

An impeccably designed UI evokes users’ right emotional response, which allows them to make a strong connection with your UI and stay on your site for longer. Emotions drive user decisions, which is why it is vital to design an impactful and relatable UI while maintaining visual consistency.

Types of Consistency

Designers often work on design projects that have a real-world (bricks-and-mortar) presence. The brand message, font, color scheme, content flow, etc., must be consistent on your website and in the bricks-and-mortar location.

Here are the different types of consistency that users look for in a design:

Visual consistency

5 benefits of consistency of the visual identity | Lukas Ociepka ...

Image Source: lukasociepka

Similar visual elements make up for visual consistency, which increases product learnability. Fonts, buttons, labeling, sizes, naming conventions, and the like must be consistent across the product mediums (business cards, collaterals, calendars, etc.). Some of the elements to be considered include:

  • Typefaces (colloquially “fonts”)
  • Colors
  • Whitespaces or negative spacing
  • Illustrations / photos
  • Shapes
  • The arrangement of individual elements
  • Proportions

Functional consistency

Controls that work similarly make up for functional consistency; they impact how the user predicts the control’s usage and its outcome. Predictability leads to users feeling satisfied and trusting the product design.

Image for post

Image Source: uxdesign

Internal consistency

Image Source: Newt Idea

Combining both visual and functional consistency in your product design improves your product usability and learnability.

External consistency

External consistency pertains to design consistency across multiple systems/products/branding platforms. The user’s knowledge for one product can be reused in the same context for another. Ultimately, this type of consistency eliminates a lot of friction and enhances the user experience.

Image Source: Newt Idea

For example, the user interface of Adobe products is externally consistent. This makes it easier for users to apply the same knowledge and start using Illustrator or other applications.

Where should you be consistent?

Many elements of a website’s design are shaped by their overall interaction goals and differ in various circumstances.

While there are no hardcoded rules, design and branding consistency can be applied for the following:


These include the location, orientation, placement order, and sequence of the footer, sidebar, search bar, or navigation buttons. Users get familiarized with these elements’ location, so they should be kept in the same place on different pages.

Image Source: UXpassion 

Highly successful websites have elements placed logically for the users to predict, identify, use, and rely on.


While a website’s design can be rehashed, UX designers must be sure to use the same templates, logic flow, and branding theme everywhere.

For example, users will associate a particular color on your website with a link or action.

Mixing up color themes on different pages is a bad design strategy that confuses. Maintaining consistency in these areas will contribute to an attractive design and even standardize how users will get familiar with your design.

Design Example

Image Source: uxbooth 

Using three distinct typefaces in one part of your site confuses the user and is an incorrect design practice in the above image.



Designers must define the typography, space, logo, colors, grid, size, and positions in one central place and then use them across the system/branding portfolio.

A strong visual hierarchy that distinguishes between the most and least important elements is paramount.

Using the same color palette across the product is a part of this endeavor. Ordering everything in a grid of your choice allows for all components’ arrangement in a uniformly aesthetic way.


Interactive elements should be consistent too. Although each user will choose to interact with your website differently, how your website responds must be consistent.

Things like external links opening in a new window, displaying images, displaying a status message, etc., are examples of user and page elements interaction.

Here are some of the design principles we at Radiant Digital swear by for perfecting UX design consistency.

  • Visual consistency & simplification – Make the design more fundamental at the planning stage, using more uniform fonts, colors, shapes, etc.
  • Behavioral consistency – Reuse design patterns that have been proven to work positively with your users. This can help retain customers or have them coming back.
  • Behavioral optimization – Design to make users perform tasks with either less or more effective work by eliminating redundancy or unnecessary work overload.
  • Unified experience strategy – Reconsider the ideal workflow for individuals working on the design project.
  • UX Culture – Understand and make other designers familiar with the core UX culture of your organization. This may include maintaining a handbook or a key process with priority levels for each design step.
  • Use Familiar Patterns – If people need to stick with your UI, design familiarity plays a pivotal role. This means they have experienced and learned your design and know how to use the patterns to their advantage.
  • Preserve Consistency yet Drive Change – Finding the right balance between keeping the design consistent and innovation-based change is key to hitting the right UX experience notes. The “secret” lies in understanding your users’ needs and reflecting them in your design decisions only when necessary. Small changes will help with the product evolution while keeping design consistency intact.

Ways to Build Design Consistency

Style Guides

A style guide documents the specifications of various design elements. Style guides go deeper and relate the essential styles and elements of the intended UI design. The detailed schemes relate to the sizes, typefaces, colors, proportions, and rules influencing coherence, which should be used when creating new material.

Pattern Libraries

A pattern library is a voluminous version of the style guide with more details on every possible design element. Pattern libraries usually come in three flavors:

  • Design Patterns
  • Markup Patterns
  • Content Patterns

These detail the design elements with guidance on their usage, including styles for headings, icons, texts, etc.

It is difficult to predict all the types of content you might use in the future. However, delivering content patterns to customers ensures that your designs are in line with their standards.

CSS Frameworks

You can use a CSS framework to help deliver consistency in a design using one-dimensional and two-dimensional structures. Some of the best CSS Frameworks we recommend are useful for maintaining consistency effortlessly.

Final Thoughts

Consistency can be bent but not broken for your UX designs. Having visually and functionally consistent UI elements is always a win-win for designers and users.

Some flexibility and creativity merged with responsiveness and consistency go a long way in making user experiences top-notch.

Want your users to feel comfortable, satisfied, and confident with your designs? 

Capture these emotions on-point and make user interactions with your brand exceptional. Rely on Radiant Digital for iconic designs. Call us today to learn more.