What is UX / UI Design ?
Before we go any further, let’s define these acronyms: UX (User Experience) and UI (User Interface)
Quite often these two practices are confused, misunderstood or misinterpreted. As a digital marketing agency, we want to try and help you understand the importance, difference and necessity of both, UX and UI. Understanding how and when to make use of these practices is vital to user interaction and creating lasting impressions of your brand.
What Came First – UX or UI ?
To help understand what should come first, let’s take a step back and think about what every good teacher always tell their students. Make a plan! Before you do anything, draw out an outline, write out what the outcome of your project should be, define the problems, come up with solutions to those problems, research the subject, start writing, test what you’ve written, edit, test again and repeat the last few steps till you’re happy with the result. Without even realizing it, you’ve been using the principles of UX design. What is UX Design you ask? In the digital marketing realm, UX Design is what you do with the design, elements, customer and competitor analysis results, and written content to perfect a user experience to keep customers engaged with your brand and products.
UX Design is that median between the design and the logic of the project. It is what makes the project make sense. Do the design elements make sense to be in a certain location on the screen? Is the code that drives the project functioning properly as it should to create the best user experience? Does the design and the functionality make sense in the way a user would want to use the platform? Is the platform being utilized to it’s maximum potential while maintaining optimum end-user experience? How is our product or platform performing in relation to the competition? At the end of the day, based on your UX Design, your goal should be to offer the best user experience on a platform so that customers keep coming back to your platform and using it or buying your products and services as a result of your UX Design.
Being a UX Designer, it is important to understand – at least in part – the mind of a user. Conducting research is something you will do quite frequently to see how groups of people reach to your design flow so you can make an educated decision on optimizing your design and platform. It also involves working with the design team team, development team, market research, analysts and content writers to further tweak the way your platform looks, feels and works in order to achieve maximum positive response from the end-user.
UI Design, unlike user experience design, is strictly digital in it’s core procedures. By its definition, user interface design (or UI Design) focuses on the visual aspects of a platform. You’re not necessarily creating a brand, but you are understanding what the brand’s guidelines are and what it’s identity is. Using some of that information along with the input and guidance of the UX Designer, a UI Designer works on a visual representation of the idea or strategy. This process is as important as the user experience of the platform because other than being impatient, humans eat with their eyes. If customers don’t like what they see, then they will not buy into your platform or services – no matter how good or competitive they might be. A great UI Design is one that grasps a user’s two-second-span attention and keeps it occupied for an exponentially longer time in hopes that the UX Designer’s strategy helps convert the user into a customer.
Being a UI Designer, understanding what a brand stands for and how to use it’s guidelines in any platform you are designing is vital to the effectiveness of your design – at least the visually captivating part of the platform. User interface designs are meant to guide people on a journey, like an author guiding a reader through a story in the pages of it’s book. UI Designers take the content, research and strategies from the other teams and put them together in a visually appealing way.
In recent times, having front-end coding skills (HTML and CSS) is a very common skill to have for a UI Designer. As platforms get more diverse and demanding, understanding and knowing different skills such as front-end web designer skills only help you on your way to becoming a great UI Designer.
After having read this article, is it easy to see the difference between UX and UI design? We hope that it helps answer the question: What is UX / UI Design? Both of these practices work hand in hand when it comes to not only promoting a product in the modern digital market but also keeping it relevant to an ever-changing user experience model.
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