Here’s a question that I want you to consider: what makes a great user experience on websites and mobile apps? As you read this, you likely have all sorts of answers running through your mind.
Maybe, you think it’s easy navigation.
What about intriguing visuals?
Or could it be the right combination of branding and subtly? Well, the answer, of course, is all of the above.
Welcome to the world of UI/UX design.
UI/UX design is a developing practice that combines market research and artistic vision to serve users. Together UI and UX designers ensure the quickest route to a pleasant user experience. However, before we explore the world more and discuss specifics, let’s talk about the impact of UI/UX design.
In a world dominated by the more, more, more mentality, UI/UX design offers a breath of fresh air. For consumers, that’s everything, and there’s research backing that up. The Growth Hub found optimizing mobile UX design can boost sales by 30 and decrease bounce rate by 50 percent.
And that’s not all.
The UX Design Institute and Spiralytics revealed that UX design has an outstanding ROI. In fact, on average, for every dollar invested into UX, there’s a $100 return. Moreover, their research indicated that UI could increase a website’s conversion rate by up to 200 percent! With so much for a business to gain, there’s no reason not to invest in UI/UX design.
With that said, let’s answer the biggest question on your mind.
What is UI/UX Design
First off, we should make something clear. UI design and UX design are not the same things– More like two branches of the same tree. However, in some cases, they may be used as a single term, UI/UX design. That can make it all much more difficult to understand. But there’s no need to worry!
We will explain what UI design is, along with what UX design is. We’ll cover how they relate to each other and how they differ– Everything you need to call yourself informed.
“UX” simply means “User Experience,” which refers to a user’s overall experience on an app or a website.
The quality of the experience is determined by how well a user can interact with the app or website. A UX designer’s primary goal is to ensure that users have a smooth journey through the product, from start to finish. They help users find what they need to find and complete what they need to complete– Easily.
To accomplish that goal, UX designers are also involved with an application’s user interface. That is perhaps why many people confuse UX design with UI design.
The difference is that UI designers decide how the user interface will look. Meanwhile, UX designers choose how the user interface functions.
In the process of their work, UX designers also determine the interface’s functionality and structure. They determine its arrangement and how all the parts in the application relate to one another. In short, they design how the interface works for the user.
The user will have a great experience if they do their job correctly. However, if they do not, the user will have a poor experience, and the application will flop. That’s why research and testing are a must.
UX designers create several low-fidelity and high-fidelity prototypes of their designers to gather user feedback before launch. They’ll integrate the information into their designs to enhance the quality. And continue to do so before eventually getting the green light for launch.
“UI” means “User Interface,” which refers to the graphical layout of an application (app or website). It mainly consists of on-screen text, images, sliders, buttons and information fields. However, it’s also deeply involved with the screen layout, interface animations, transitions and every small interaction.
UI designers cover any visual element, interaction or animation. They decide everything you see, from color schemes and button shapes to line width and text size. Simply put, they determine what the application will look like.
You can think of them as graphic designers. Their job is to make everything visually stimulating and on brand.
At Business Marketing Engine, we have UI and UX designers who can work together to deliver an excellent user experience! They can be on your team soon. Just book your call with Business Marketing Engine to discuss your needs!
How do UI /UX Work Together?
At the basic level, UX designers determine how the user interface works, and the UI designer determines how it looks. Working side by side allows them to create a completely seamless application. As the UX design team works out the flow of the app, the UI team is working on how all the interface elements will appear on the screen.
That process requires constant communication from both teams, accompanied by intense user research.
UI/UX Design Best Practices
Let’s recap. You know what UI designers and UX designers do. You also understand how they work together to achieve a quality user experience. Now, as you consider the future of your UI/UX design efforts, you need to understand the best practices. That way, you can ensure you hit the high ROI we mentioned earlier.
Continue reading below for seven of the best UI/UX design practices.
Simplicity is the key
UI/UX design must be simple. If your designs are complicated and too complex for the average user to decipher, you could confuse them. Once that happens, the user will likely bounce off your application and go straight to a competitor.
We recommend testing your low-fidelity and high-fidelity prototypes with users unfamiliar with your business. Give them a task and let them use the application. If they can’t navigate the application, you need to take the application back to the drawing board. As for the specific task, you can choose something simple. For example, you can ask a new user to find the account screen or log out.
Use common UI elements
Users are familiar with a small set of UI elements in their applications. If you stray too far outside the typical UI element sandbox, you risk confusing your users and pushing them away. For examples of common UI elements, you can visit Usability.gov. On their website, they highlight specific features that you should match.
From input controls and navigational components, there’s a lot to consider.
Be deliberate in your page layout
As one lays their eyes on a page, they naturally look at things in a certain order. If you want to maximize the usability of your application, that’s something to consider. Also, the more deliberate your layout, the more likely you’ll capture your users’ interest and attention. Be sure to test several layouts to find the best option.
Color and texture should be used strategically
There’s a science to color and texture. And high-quality UI/UX design should be well aware of the relationship between the two. Simple things such as wrapping your phone number or check out button in a certain color can make a huge difference.
Make use of typography to establish hierarchy and clarity
Once again, people’s eyes naturally gravitate toward directions. However, there’s something that you can do to nudge someone’s eyes in the direction you want. Typography and hierarchy. By simply adjusting the text size and the characters’ arrangement, you can practically force someone to look where you want.
Ensure that the system communicates what is going on
People want to be in the loop, especially when the loop directly impacts their experience. So as you’re designing your application, ensure on-screen indicators are informing the user of what’s happening. For instance, place text indicating the checkout progress as a user fills out their information.
Always consider the defaults
Have you ever wondered why so many applications look similar? It’s because the default designs work. People enjoy scrolling through something familiar that feels new. So you may want to design your application with the same default approach. Just be sure to add something unique as well.
There you go! That’s all you should need to get started in the world of UI/UX design! We covered how the two design practices are different, how they are similar and how they work together. And most importantly, we covered the best practices you need to ensure your application is stellar.
But if you decide that this world is just a bit too intimidating for you right now, that’s okay. We can help you! At Business Marketing Engine, we have UI/UX design experts that can help you make something amazing!