There is an avalanche of words and concepts that put a wrench in communication between a client and a development company. UX (User Experience) design and UI (User Interface) design are some of them. Being long-established concepts, oftentimes these two terms are used as synonyms. This leads to unnecessary annoyance and misunderstanding. It shouldn’t be. If you want a fruitful collaboration with a software development company both parties should be on the same page. So, knowing the terminology and what it entails is very handy.
Haven’t Heard of UX Design? It’s Easy!
Over the years, UX design became overgrown with a plethora of terms. The origin of it traces back to Ancient Greece where people developed tools based on convenience and ergonomics. It was Donald Norman back in the 90s who put the UX label in his job title. So let’s get to the point: what is UX design?
In short, it’s an interactive process (and its optimization) between a user and product aimed to establish a balance between the user’s needs and a business’s needs.
What you should understand is that UX design is not just about a fancy look, it’s also about how people interact with the product, how they feel about it, and the overall experience the product can provide. A “product” can be anything: an app, a flashlight, or even a house.
For digital products like apps or websites, the UX design implies research and work on the product’s usability and functionality.
What Is UI Design?
Once you`ve come up with the backbone of your product, it’s time to jump into UI design. It has a lot to do with different graphical components: windows, menus, typography, animations, colors, etc. All of these elements should have a certain look, right? That’s exactly what UI designers do. Depending on the company and team responsibilities, they create the visual appearance of the product, test and adapt the design for different platforms, work in close cooperation with development staff, coordinate graphic elements with the corporate identity, etc. Basically, one can say that UI design is a significant and important part of the UX regarding the look and feel of the product.
UI/UX Design: Main Differences
Despite UX design and UI design being closely related terms and often even combined into UX/UI, different specialists may be responsible for each individual design. Similarly to any other field of activity the narrower your specialization is, the deeper you dive into it and the more qualitative results you can deliver. Lately, designers tend to focus only on one specific aspect of design – either UX or UI.
To give you a better understanding of how their responsibilities are being divided, here’s a real-life example that can be applied to UX design. When you enter a house, a living room is the first room you see, not a bathroom. Light switches are on the walls, not the ceiling. The UX designer specifies how a person will use different elements of the app/website and what actions are required to get to a certain point. While the UI specialist is in charge of how these elements will look, the UX designer sets the overall customer journey, architecture, and logic.
So, the expertise of a UX specialist spans conducting market research, implementing appropriate design, and managing the overall project. A UI specialist is an interactive designer, and sometimes a web developer as well. Should you take UI/UX design seriously and fork over a pretty penny for it? If you want to succeed and withstand competition you probably should, and here’s why.
Personalization for the Customer
Users like to feel that their communication with the brand is not impersonal, but personal. Personalization is the customization of the system by developers. Its purpose is to recognize the user, match them with pre-configured segments, and then only show them relevant content and useful tips. After the implementation of personalization, all the site’s content, its visual elements, and functionality are shown differently to different users, based on their needs.
The ability of the product to be clear and attractive to use is a central goal of any UI/UX design. For a company, it can increase ROI many times. of poor design. An interesting example is how an online store managed to increase purchases by 45% after removing mandatory registration, bringing in $15 million in profit in the first month and $300 million for the year. It’s a powerful reminder of how something like design can make the difference between $0 in sales and $3000 million.
Sense of Achievement
Custom software design offers intuitive and functional usability. One of the reasons people continue to use their favorite product over and over again is the sense of achievement. Good UI/UX design allows these users to get what they need easily. Providing a sense of achievement will keep users happy and using the product.
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This is especially applicable for online stores; intuitive design is a critical part of UI/UX design that can impact a site’s performance, and as a result, bring higher sales. An effective UI relies on elements that users are already familiar with. These include drop-down lists, search bar, notifications, pop-ups, etc. Proper implementation of these elements will make the shopping experience memorable, and help customers find what they need with ease. That, in its turn, will reduce the bounce rate of your site.
Simply put, this is a measure of how much time users spend on your site. They may watch content, click on links, repost on social networks, etc. Today, it’s hard to engage users and let them know your product exists at all. In addition, if people don’t like something on a page at first glance, they’ll leave your app/website in about 8-12 seconds. Engaged users are more loyal; so when they need products or services, they`ll turn to a company they trust.
Conclusion: Where Do UX and UI Meet?
Although UX and UI are very similar disciplines, they require slightly different skills. Sure UI/UX design could be used as a standalone concept, although in-house design teams try to distinguish these areas as it is much more profitable for business.
One specialist is less likely to handle both UX and UI design. It’s reasonable to split spheres of influence between these concepts and work on each aspect of the design independently.
Besides, you should not underestimate the importance of UX: it allows you to better learn the target audience and develop a relevant design based on their needs and interests. This, in turn, benefits both customers and businesses.
Are you looking for a UI/UX design that will benefit your business? Let’s talk! Feel free to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org and get a free consultation.