When designing a website or mobile app, two things are key: user experience and user interface design. They can often make the difference for your application, drawing in or driving away potential customers. Nevertheless, people often confuse the two for the same thing.
Here we discuss what user experience and user interface designs are, and what the major differences are between them.
User Experience – How it works
What is UX?
User experience, also known as UX, refers to how customers interact with your software. Is it easy to use? Fast? Efficient? It focuses on the experience your customer has with your product and how your product functions. If it functions poorly, you have poor UX design. This can seriously hurt your bottom line as not only will it drive away customers, but it will also be expensive to fix. Finding UX issues early, before your software has been released to the public, will save you a lot of headaches in the future.
What does a UX designer do?
A UX designer obviously focuses on user experience. But what do their day-to-day tasks look like? Typically, a UX designer focuses on research, designing, and testing. Here’s what we mean:
- Research: A UX designer will research the product’s brand and their users to understand to context. This will involve surveys, interviews, focus groups, or A/B testing. By understanding the users better, a UX designer can create a product that best fits those very users.
- Design: Once a UX designer has completed their research, they’ll use the data they collected to alter the design of the product accordingly. This will involve site maps, wireframes, and prototypes.
- Testing: The final phase is user testing. A UX designer will get real users to try out their prototypes and see how it works for them.
User Interface – How it looks
What is UI?
User Interface, or UI, focuses on the visual elements of your application. If this is a website or app, then the UI design incorporates the text, images, buttons, sliders, animations, and all other visual elements on the screen. In other words, UI is the aesthetics of your software, while UX is the nuts and bolts of the operation. A UI designer is concerned with the attractiveness of your application, ensuring that it’s visually pleasing to your customer base. This matters more than you think, as appealing visual content can attract future customers.
What does a UI designer do?
While a UX designer is focused on how a product performs, a UI designer will focus on making it as visually appealing as possible. This will involve the following:
- Creating: The first step is to actually create the visual elements of your product. This includes creating and maintaining style guides that implement a company’s brand across their website or app.
- Designing: The design aspect of their job involves both visual and interactive design. Visual design includes typography, buttons, color palettes, etc. Interactive design includes animations, interactivity, and prototypes.
- Front-end development: An understanding of HTML, CSS, and Python is required for most UI designers so that they can implement their designs onto the website or app.
No matter what type of software you’re building, UX and UI design matter greatly. One way to ensure good UX and UI is to perform quality assurance tests early in the design stage. To learn more, contact Beta Breakers today.