Are you wondering what the difference between UX and UI is, and how they work together to improve your website? If you wish to launch your first website or improve an existing one, coming across the terminology of the web design world can feel like listening to someone speaking in a foreign language.
However, working with a professional web designer is something you should do if you want to ensure a successful website. As a business owner, you need to put a lot of time and effort into running your business. But, you need to remember that your business website also requires your undivided attention. Partnering with a professional web designer will save you valuable time, whilst also creating a website experience that your customers will love. But how will you know that your web designer has included all crucial aspects of web design?
You must learn about two primary web design specialties; UX and UI. These components contribute to your overall website design, and in this article, we will teach you everything you need to know about UX and UI.
What is UX?
UX stands for User Experience, and it is the process used by web designers to create products that provide a meaningful experience to users. This area involves critical analysis to understand and plan for users’ interaction with products, systems, and services. UX includes usability, design, navigation and impression, and acts as the blueprint of your website that determines how people get in and out and from one room to another. A web designer considers the ‘why’, ‘what’ and ‘how’ of product use.
The ‘why’ involves the users’ motivation for adopting a product, whether they relate to a task they wish to perform, and the views users associate with the use of the product. The ‘what’ addresses things that users do with the product, like its functionality. The ‘how’ relates to the design of functionality in an accessible way. Professional web designers start with the ‘why’ before moving to the ‘what’ and finally determine the ‘how’ to create products that users can form meaningful experiences with.
What is UI?
UI stands for User Interface, and it is the meeting place between a user and a computer program or a website. We can also define UI as the process web designers use to create interfaces in websites focusing on looks and style. Designers focus on building websites that users will find pleasurable and easy to use. UI involves graphical user interfaces and other forms, such as voice and gesture-controlled interfaces. User Interface is like the furnishings, paint, and little details that evoke the mood at home.
What Are the Differences Between These Two Components?
User Experience and User Interface are some of the most confused and misused terms in the web design industry. The primary difference between them is that UX design is all about the overall feel of the experience, while UI design is about how the product’s interface looks and functions.
A UX designer will look at the users’ entire journey to solve a problem. They focus on the kind of problems a user is against and how a particular product might solve these pain points. UX designers perform research to identify the target audience and their needs concerning a particular product. They then map out the user’s journey across the product, considering how the content is organised and the features that a user might need. The UX designer will eventually set out the blueprints for the product.
After mapping out the skeleton of the product, UI designers bring it to life. The UI designers consider the visual aspect of the user’s journey, including the touchpoints that the user might encounter. For instance, a user may scroll down a page, swipe through an image gallery, or tap a button. UI designers affect the accessibility and inclusivity of a product. Hopefully, you can now see the difference between UX and UI. UX design comes first, followed by UI.
How UX and UI Work Together in Web Design
Your website is a digital platform that portrays your company’s values, views and products. An excellent web design contributes to around 75% of your online credibility. As such, it is essential to have a basic understanding of UX and UI design. Both UX and UI are disciplines with a similar goal; to pave the way for a fantastic end-product. As such, each aspect is incomplete without the other.
UI is like the icing on the UX cake. Let’s say you have the idea of an app that can change your target audience for the better. Your UX designer helps you determine the features to include in the app and how to map out the entire user journey. The app is fantastic and offers what your audience wants. However, when they download it, they find that the text is barely legible and the buttons are too close together, that they keep hitting the wrong one. This can be an example of bad UI design destroying what could have been good UX.
However, you may have come across a visually pleasing website, but the colour scheme is all wrong. This is a case of bad UX and good UI. It is like finding a beautifully decorated cake that tastes awful. As you can see from these examples, UX and UI complement each other. You must get both aspects right in order to truly succeed in this competitive market. A professional web designer should understand both elements to create a functional website that meets users’ needs.
What is the Purpose of Research in the UX/UI Design Process?
Research is crucial in the UX and UI design process. If you want your product to be successful, your UX and UI designers must gather as much information as possible about users’ expectations. Research provides designers with insights into user desires, behaviour, design trends and competitor strategies. The results of this research give designers more context, allowing them to make informed decisions to determine whether they are on the right track. Some of the standard research methods include user personas, interviews, focus groups and surveys.
Reasons to Invest in Good UX/UI Design
A seamless website experience is a foundation of doing good business online. Your website should help users engage, make transactions smoothly, and get enjoyable products to use. Here are the top reasons you need to invest in good UX and UI design.
Make Users Happy
In a world where online reviews can promote or bring down your business, you must ensure that your customers are satisfied. When your products, online shopping experience, or any aspect of your UX and UI are misaligned with users’ expectations, you risk getting negative reviews. Providing your users with an excellent experience encourages them to talk positively about your business. In doing so, they become your best salespeople.
Lower Development Costs
Allocating the right and adequate resources during the UX research phase will help you save money further down your development roadmap. This means getting a prototype out in front of real users and studying how they react. You will either validate the design choices you made or discover flaws that you need to correct. Finding the flaws earlier on during the research stage is better than later because it will cost you more to fix the problem down the track.
Fewer Support Tickets
Having an excellent UI means that the product has good usability. Good UI also means that visitors can find helpful information easily because your website is intuitively designed. Imagine if the opposite were the case. If your visitors cannot find what they want, they will leave your website and seek help elsewhere or file a support ticket. This will put more burden on your support services, requiring more time, money and staff hours. You can avoid all of this by investing in a good UX and UI design.
Better Conversion Rates
A good User Interface increases opportunities for conversion, leads to deeper engagement and facilitates navigation towards the desired outcome. Goog UI means that your website alleviates problems by providing menus, buttons and other interactive elements. Currently, UI entails personalisation, meaning that you present users with more relevant products or services. Personalisation brings you closer to conversion.
UX involves making your website operate in a way users expect, allowing for a seamless experience. When you meet your users’ expectations, you make the path to conversions smoother.
Gain Customer Trust
When customers visit your website, you have a few seconds to make an initial impact. The first impression is crucial. If your UX is excellent, you earn their trust quickly, and you cannot underestimate the value of trust in customer experience. Trust begins when your customers first interact with your website. It is natural for people to want to work with brands they trust. Good UX and UI also increase brand recognition, which furthermore contributes to customer trust.
UX and UI are different specialised roles in web design. Although you cannot assume that every web designer is skilled in both areas, understanding them will allow you to check your web designers work and ask questions quickly and confidently. Despite the differences, you need both UX and UI to make the most out of your website.