UI and UX DESIGN
Like two peas in a pod, UX and UI are inseparable. As they are often written together as UI/UX design, they tend to create some confusion among users not familiar with the web, applications and design. Although they seem to be identical, their functions are completely different – but they need to come together to create a great end product.
Difference between UX design and UI design
Have you ever heard how good “UX” a particular product has? Or what poor “UI” a website has? This is not some secret language of a handful of individuals, nor does anyone want to sound cool using terms that “ordinary mortals” are unfamiliar with. UX design means “user experience design”, while UI design means user interface design. This refers to the interactive aspect of the website – the application. Both UX and UI design are critical to the product and function closely together. Their roles, however, are quite different, as they relate to different aspects of the product development process. Let us take a closer look.
What is user experience design (UX design)?
UX refers to everything that can be experienced – everything from a website and using a TV to visiting a random store. User experience (UX) refers to the interaction between a user and a product or service. The design of user experience (UX) must therefore consider all elements that make up the experience as a whole. The UX designer must place themself in the user’s position during their work, and make the user’s tasks as easy as possible. For example, they must constantly ask themselves the following questions: How simple is the online shopping process? Can we make the process even simpler? Where can a user get stuck in the process of shopping? Which button can confuse the user? The aim of UX design is therefore to create an efficient, simple, relevant and generally pleasant user experience.
User experience design (UX design) is the process of developing and improving the interaction between the user and all aspects of the business (website, application, the experience in the branch, etc.).
User experience design does not refer to visual design, but focuses on planning the entire experience with the business, provides the user with a better experience when visiting the website, using the application or the product.
By designing a good user experience, we ensure that, amongst other things, unnecessary information is eliminated and all elements are located in their right spot, thus ensuring a better overview, so that the user can get to their desired information faster and without complications.
“With the help of a good UX designer, we improve the user experience for the product, and a good user experience means that the product is well accepted by the user. And if the user accepts the product, we can say that we have a satisfied customer. And we all know satisfied customers equal increased sales.”
What does a UX designer actually do?
The UX designer spends much of their time thinking about how to align the user’s goal with the company’s goal.
For example: The user’s goal is to purchase a new product. Therefore, the company’s goal must be to make the purchase beneficial, useful and, above all, enjoyable. If the user finds what they are looking for quickly and easily, their goal is met and they have a good experience with the process itself. When the user has a good experience with a service or product, they are more likely to return or recommend the product to friends.
On a daily basis, the UX designer takes care of the strategy and content, deals with the implementation of wireframes and prototypes, coordinates with UI designers and developers, performs market and customer analysis, and tests and develops the product.
What is user interface design (UI design)?
Whereas user experience (UX) design involves a set of tasks aimed at optimising the product for a pleasant and efficient user experience, user interface design acts a complement to user experience design, ensuring good product appearance, feel, presentation and interactivity.
First, let’s clarify the term user interface. It is the point of interaction between the user and the digital device or product – for example, the touch screen on your smartphone or tablet, the arrow that you use to click on a web page… User interface includes texts, icons, buttons, sliders, message boxes… When developing websites and applications, UI design must consider the appearance, feel and interactivity of the product. The interface must be as intuitive as possible so that its use is as self-explanatory as possible. To achieve intuitive use, the UI designer must consider icons, buttons, typography, colour schemes, spacing, photos and videos, responsive design… UI design makes sure that the development, content and layout of the final product are reflected in a leading, attractive and responsive experience for users.
UI design is solely digital. It covers visual and interactive interface elements, including buttons, icons, spacing, typography, colour schemes and responsive design.
The aim of UI design is to visually guide the user through the interface of the product, website, application… In other words, to design an intuitive experience that does not require much thought.
With UI design, we transfer product features and benefits to the product interface, ensuring that the interface design is consistent, aligned and aesthetic.
“The UI designer will provide a great visual experience for your website, application or video game, so that its use will be logical and, above all, completely simple for every user.”
What does a UI designer actually do?
The UI designer must place themself in the user’s position during their work, and stay one step ahead of the user at all times. With the user’s every step in mind, the UI designer then creates visual and interactive elements that the user will respond to intuitively.
For example: You open a real estate website. A specific house draws your attention and you click on it. Below, you notice some pictures and intuitively click on them. This enlarges the pictures, and you can browse the picture gallery by clicking left or right. Even though there were no instructions, you intuitively knew where to click.
How do UI and UX design complement each other?
We have explained the difference between UI and UX, but a great end product requires that they work together, because a positive user experience with the product can be only be created when they work together.
Imagine that you have an idea for a great application, there is nothing similar on the market, and the idea could make a particular service much easier for people. Most likely, you will first contact a UX designer, who will perform a user analysis to determine what features your application will need and how to chart the user’s entire path. Although users happily started using the application, they quickly found it incomprehensible, the buttons were placed too close, making it difficult to click the right one, the font was too big, the colours were too garish… In this case, the UI design was poor, as was consequently the UX design.
Without a good UI and UX design, there is no excellent website
If you need a website for your business, whether it is a simple site or an online store with hundreds of products, it is important to provide the user with a good user experience. A takes a lot of effort to convince the target customer to choose you among the multitudes providers, to make them visit your website. And if you managed to convince them to visit your website, it would be a shame if the website failed to convince them to choose your services or products. Every potential customer has their own expectations, requirements and wishes, which guide them in their purchasing decisions, so it is extremely important to provide an excellent user experience. The success of the website itself thus depends on the individual’s experience before and after visiting the site. If they had no problems on the site and quickly found all desired information, they will remember the site. Instead of being just a stopover, your website will become a repeat shopping destination.
With the information obtained during individuals’ visits to the site (what individuals do on the website, what they click on, where the buying process stops, what confuses them, etc.), a UX designer can further enhance the user experience on the website.
Even if you believe that your service or product is too simple for an interesting web presentation, the UI designer can use visuals to transform the interface from boring to exciting, which the users will remember.