The acronyms UI and UX get thrown around a lot in website design. But what does it mean and how does it affect a site’s users?
What Is UI/UX?
The simplest explanation is that UI, which is short for User Interface, is what makes a website design look good, and UX, short for User Experience, is what makes it easy to use. The user interface is the software or hardware that an end user interacts with, like a mobile app, a website, or any other digital product. UI design incorporates elements such as graphic design, branding, and interactivity to create an attractive and functional final product.
The user experience is the sum of the user’s experiences with a company and its products and services. While it can apply to anything from a conversation with a customer service agent to social media, the term usually refers to the digital experience in today’s market. The most effective UX design is built on research, development, and testing, and should serve as the foundation for marketing tactics and UI design.
Why Does UI/UX Matter?
Good website design is crucial to attracting today’s tech-savvy consumers. Brands must have a strong online presence, including mobile accessibility. Customers are far less likely to purchase a product if the payment screen is slow to load or difficult to navigate (UX), and no one will use an app if it looks like it was built in 2001 (UI). A good UI designer will ensure that small details such as the font, wording, and graphics are all visually compelling, and create a cohesive interface that will attract users and increase traffic. UX designers act as the bridge between UI designers and target demographic, with the goal of persuading users to interact with the website in a certain way.
How Does Design Impact a User’s Actions?
The goal of UI/UX design strategies is to drive the user through a series of steps to perform an intended action, such as buying a product, signing up for email blasts, or creating a profile. Getting the user to this goal should be the foundation of the entire website design process. Market research such as surveys, online reviews, and user groups can help gather feedback from potential users. With this feedback in mind, the UX design should be based on how a non-technical person will use the website, and the UI design should be simple enough that a first-time user will feel comfortable and engaged—driving traffic deeper into the site naturally.
The best strategy to build cutting-edge website development is to start with the user experience as the bridge to a seamless user interface. A professional agency can integrate these two elements for a web design that is equal parts beautifully branded and user-friendly.