Business owners have much in common. They all invest large amounts of effort and time into their businesses. And that is for a good reason. Owners need to have multiple skills. And they need to employ them all.
Professional development is pretty much a constant for them. Add on top of that, accounting management, business strategy, marketing, sales, you name it. if it were easy, everyone would do it. understanding the design of your website is also one of those skills.
Everything is online nowadays. And for that reason, making the most out of your online presence is of utmost importance. Especially in the time of a pandemic where everyone is cooped up in their homes. Everyone is online and browsing for what they need. UX and UI are the two most important aspects of your website.
Before you enroll in a Figma masterclass online program or a course on Adobe XD, read through this article first as we cover the basics of UX and UI.
The difference between UI and UX design
UI and UX solve different tasks. UX is in charge of a variety of tasks. These tasks focus on the optimization of a website. This means it is the designer’s responsibility to make the experience effective and pleasurable to use. UX stands for User Experience. The designers need to tailor a seamless experience. They need to enable the user to make the least amount of effort when on the website. UI stands for User Interface. UI designers are responsible for the look and feel of a website. Also, any presentation and interactivity fall upon them to implement into the final product. Now, these two might seem very similar. And to most people they are. But there is a difference. None the less, these two need to work in close conjunction in order to provide a good product. One cannot do their job without the other.
The user experience
Users are interacting with your products systems and services. UX is the analysis, interpretation and implementation of gained knowledge into a website. It serves to constantly improve the experience a user has while on your webpages. UX designers are responsible for creating a design that has the user first in mind. Imagine that you are building a house. UX design is like the blueprint. It contains all the essentials. Entrances, exits and all in between. The more comfortable the home is, the better the experience within. The more satisfied the users are, the better the conversion process is. This analogy is pretty simple but effective. It is the motor behind the hood. You cannot really see UX design, but you can feel it. And you can definitely feel the lack of it.
The user interface
The user interface deals with optics. How does it look? What does the user interface design convey to the viewers? Is it conveying the right message? Is it in line with the brand goals? The user interface is the middle ground between a flesh and blood user and the machine. In our case, the website is the machine. The user interface consists of buttons, commands, menus, text and multimedia content. The options are endless. When put together, it has one purpose. It needs to help the user navigate through your website. It sounds similar to UX, but it is not. UI is what the user sees. UX is what the user feels and experiences. UI is in charge of furnishing our house, decorating it. it is in charge of the paint, the light fixtures and the appliances. The user needs to feel comfortable while being in it.
Do your research
The very first phases of building a website need to involve research. What is there to research you might ask? The UX and UI designers need to meet and get down to it together. They need to determine the scope of work. This depends on your needs and your budget. According to those variables, they need to formulate a plan. This plan will be carried out in the next few weeks. UI designers need to understand the problems users might face. Every industry and niche are different from the other. You might try and differentiate your site from the rest by implementing something unorthodox. It is the UI designer’s responsibility to incorporate your requests seamlessly. It is also their job to advise you where they feel that they need to. Data is gathered through surveys, focus groups, interviews, pools, etc. Only then, can the real work begin.
Once the research is done, it can be presented in front of everyone. This is where minds share and compare their ideas. As mentioned before, UI and UX designers need to seamlessly integrate their ideas. If done properly, the synergistic effect can be tremendous. Based on agreements, further topics can be brought to the table. What is the web hosting option that will be most suitable? Are there any alternative design options that need to be considered? How much time will it need to come out of development? What are the deadlines for the rollout? All of this and more needs to be determined along with the client’s input. It is the designer’s responsibility to present their findings to the best of their abilities. Also, it is your duty to make your requests as clearly as possible. Once everything is agreed upon, the work can continue.
UX and UI commonalities
We have covered the differences between UI and UX. But how do they work together? As mentioned before, one is not more important than the other. Both are crucial in their own respect. Good UI with bad UX is something that looks nice but is difficult to use. Bad UI with good UX is easy to use but hard on the visuals. There is no need to skimp on any of those. Sure, there are plenty of websites to prove us wrong. Many products lack in one or the other and are doing great. But, if you miss out on one of those, you are wasting potential. Web designers like Hopping Mad will integrate both into your product. UX and UI need to complement and complete each other. The online market is way too competitive for you to neglect one of those two aspects.
The testing phase
This is the most exciting part. After all the talking, negotiating, presenting and developing, we finally get to see it in action. More importantly, your users will see your product. The first rollouts are usually shared with a few users. This is for a purpose. This way it is easy to test and measure efficiency and convenience of use. Your UX designers will set up the proper tests and metrics to measure user experience. This is the step that will provide us with most of the feedback from the users. Users need to find your website easy to navigate through. Also, they need it to look appealing. One thing to note, the product will never be perfect. There is always something that can be improved. The online market is constantly shifting. And your content needs to follow market trends. That is why your website will constantly undergo changes.
The final steps
Eventually, you will be done with the testing and prototyping. This is where the final designs get finished. UI and UX designers hand over their final designs to the web development team. This is easier said than done. UI designers need to ensure a smooth handover. For instance, UI designers use certain pieces of software. This software needs to be accessible to the web development team. All the elements of the website need to be accessible to both the UX designers and the web development team. Tables, buttons, the multimedia content all need to be easy to access by everyone else. There are many collaborative tools online intended just for that. No doubt, these teams are well versed in these tools. They know how to share information and material with other members of the development process. Communication is a skill that will mean a lot during all of these processes.
UI and UX design are different. These are both highly specialized trades. Both are crucial in website design efforts. No designer is equally versed in both of these areas. That is why those teams are usually separate from one another. Both specialize in their fields and complement each other. They are integral to each other’s success. You can have a beautiful design that behaves and feels horribly. Also, an ugly design can ruin an otherwise well-behaving interface. The users would simply not bother to deal with it at all. It is up to you to determine how UI and UX designers have implemented their ideas into your project. And if you are satisfied, the work is actually not done. Even if the project was a success, start making future plans. Your website needs constant improvements and optimizations. These are derived from customer feedback. Let users enjoy your content.