How many times have you come across a product or service that you didn’t quite know how to use? Remember that time you went to pay your parking and stood in front of the machine, scratching your head? Or that time you came across a new microwave and found yourself staring at it, not quite sure which button to press first? We’ve all come across a product that wasn’t well-thought-out, and it can be quite off-putting.

The ease of using a product or service comes down to how it was designed. If the end-user is kept in mind throughout the process, it's more likely the user will return, and also recommend your product or service to others. However, if the user has a bad experience, or finds the product difficult to use, it’s very likely the relationship will end there.

This is no different when building a website.

It comes down to User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) design. It’s the combination of functionality, aesthetics, and ease of use, that shapes a user’s experience. Perhaps more importantly, it needs to adequately represent your brand. In order to understand the importance of UX and UI, we need to first make the distinction between the two.

UI

Unlike UX design which isn’t only applicable to digital products, UI design stays true to its name (interface…duh) and only exists in the digital spectrum. The definition of UI, is the means by which the user and a computer system interact, in particular the use of input devices and software. Still not very clear, right? That’s because when the term was originally coined, around the arrival of the first interface by Xerox in 1981, functionality was very rudimentary. In other words, design was very much dependent on the capability of the machine.

Fast forward 36 years and here we are, using an interface in almost every aspect of our lives. If a user comes across an interface that is not intuitive or visually appealing, its very likely he or she are going to click that back button, and move on to the next option. This is why UI has become such an important aspect of web design. It’s also the reasons why a lot of businesses update the look of their website every few years to keep a fresh and engaging look.

UX

The term was originally coined by Don Norman in the early 1990’s and stated that "user experience encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.” When it comes to websites, UX design can be quite technical in nature. The end goal is to enhance customer satisfaction by optimising usability, and ultimately, generate positive feelings for the end user who’s interacting with your product and brand.

A good UX process will research the company and its competitors, incorporate the findings into the design, and perform ongoing testing and development until the final product takes form. UI is kept top-of-mind throughout this process as the two go hand in hand. Additionally, a great deal of project management needs to go into this relationship as development and design are ultimately intertwined with one another.

So why are UI and UX so important? In such a competitive environment, it's vital that businesses not only ensure they have a website that’s designed to stand out from the crowd, but also represents their brand and encourages the user to stick around.

If you’re looking for a website that encompasses excellent UX and UI, contact the team at Expert.

 

 

 

 

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