So, you’ve sat down with your web designer to plan out your brand new website, and all they want to talk about is the importance of UI/UX design. What is this and why is it so important? In this post we break it down in simple terms and tell you why you too should care about UI/UX, and find developers and designers that use it in designing for the web.
But you may also have ended up here after overhearing somebody talking about how great the ‘UI’ of an app was, or what a bad ‘UX’ that newest smartphone has. While we’re focusing on the concept of UI/UX as it relates to web design, you should find useful explanations below, so keep reading.
What do UI and UX mean?
‘UI’ refers to user interface, while ‘UX’ refers to user experience. While you might think the two are fairly similar, the concepts are quite different. In most basic terms, UI can be thought of as graphic design, what we use to interact with our phones, devices, car infotainment systems, even electronic thermostats.
But UX is a bit more abstract, and more difficult to understand. Think of it as the overall concept of how things work. Apple’s long-time ad pitch “It Just Works” was a representation of the company’s emphasis on UX. Founder Steve Jobs was said to have personally tested every new feature to see how it “feels,” sending back for revisions anything he felt even in the slightest way didn’t work as he thought it should.
But even those that focus on UX can still fail at good UI. So let’s use a web design example. Say your web developer comes up with this brilliant navigation system that gives visitors easy access to your sprawling site in an intuitive way. But when it’s placed on your site, the UI designer fails to take into account other website features, and it looks awkward. That’s poor UI.
UI and UX need to be designed in concert, not separately, at all times. If your web development team isn’t all on the same page, your site’s usability and design suffers.
Why should I care about UI/UX for my website?
We’re trying to sell you on UI/UX here, but think of your own web travels. What sites do you remember? The ones that worked well, of course! Some website designers believe in a purely minimalist strategy, where information is presented in a no-frills straightforward manner. While yes, it does work well, it’s also boring.
Websites are a two-dimensional canvas, and a flat design exaggerates that. We’re not suggesting you demand all kinds of animations, fly-out menus, and lots and lots of color, but in moderation it works well. Your visitors will remember you. That’s what a successful web presence is all about.
Consider navigation buttons. It’s uninspiring to make it just a link. We’ve been conditioned from years and years of computer use to expect them to push in or give us some kind of feedback something’s happening there. There’s a bit of psychology at work here, and it can work wonders when you’re looking for conversions from your site versus a digital presence. You need to trigger emotion, and that’s key to UI/UX design.
ddZ and UI/UX
The designers at ddZ handle UI/UX in an intertwined manner. UI and UX is designed in tandem keeping the visitor in mind at all times. What does that visitor expect when he or she arrives on your website? While it might look good to you or us, the end user might have a different reaction. Sometimes this is hard to understand for all involved – it’s not about us, but the customer.
Once the customer’s needs and expectations are understood, developing good UI and UX around it is much easier. You (hopefully) didn’t start your business without understanding your potential customer first, so why would you do the same with your online presence? While this process takes a bit longer than the traditional web designer, the potential ROI makes it worth it.
If your website is suffering from an uninspiring design, or looks good but doesn’t do much else, contact ddZ today to find out how UI/UX could take your web presence to the next level.