In the digital world, there is a trend toward simplicity.
The need to simplify the "assembly" process is driven by the ever-increasing demand for multi-page commercial websites, landings, and products downloaded to modern gadgets. Tools for designing, visualizing websites and apps are becoming less complex every day. Even a novice businessman doesn't have to be an IT professional to create a landing page. But in order to get not just a virtual framework with arrays of text and buttons but a useful resource, you need a competent UI/UX design with a clear understanding of user psychology and reaction to a product.
What is the difference between UX and UI design?
Ideally, the design combines form, functions, properties, and aesthetic manifestations. UX (User Experience) design is responsible for functions and properties, it is a process of developing a product that is useful, easy to use, and pleasant to interact with. The goal of UX designer is to lead a user to the ultimate goal, to help him/her "solve the problem."
The UI design is a visual presentation of a "product": what colors to use, will it be convenient to click buttons, will a text be readable, etc.
The task of UX/UI design is to "sell" a product or service through an interface. It is on the basis of the work of UX/UI designer that a user decides: "To be or not to be?", to like or not to like.
Specialists of this direction in IT sphere create interfaces which significantly facilitate the interaction of people with any computer system. They keep the TA (Target Audience) in an app or on pages of a virtual portal, promote attachment to their product. For example, the interest of a user quickly disappears if:
The user gets nervous because of the inconvenient search for settings in a smartphone; Spends a lot of time on useless clicks in an online store to make a purchase; Tries out all the navigation functions in an app for a simple action.
Simplicity, succinctness, and instant solution of the target task - that's what the modern Internet audience and smart device owners need. The main objective of the complex design work for one or a team of specialists in the UX/UI design direction is to bring a guest of a web resource or an app user to a particular logical point using the shortest way. All operations should be performed in an easy-to-understand interface. The aesthetic design of the “shell” and the hidden functionality behind it should make it easier for users to achieve their goals, and at the same time, lead to purchasing or ordering of services.
UX design in interface development
The concept of User Experience involves the study of impressions from the use of a certain interface and the development of mechanisms of interaction between the user and the product. Therefore, before choosing the structure and appearance of the "shell", it is necessary to understand the target audience, to study human needs and habits of interaction with apps and pages.
The structure should simplify the implementation of target actions as much as possible. What the user does (uploads files, makes a purchase, responds to a quiz, goes to another page, opens a bookmark) should also be relevant to the business objectives of the product. On the basis of an analysis of real or supposed response actions of the TA, at the early stages of development, the concept of UX is created. It explores the entire path and sequence of the target client's actions:
- Product search;
- Click algorithms and transitions while using an interface;
- Feelings, thoughts, and opinions arising from clicks, transitions, submission of forms, scrolling, and other actions in the interface;
- Impressions of the interface's end-of-process experience.
In UX, the concept of "designer" should not be understood in its usual broad sense but rather as "architect", "engineer". The main components of UX design: the architecture of information content, designing of all stages of interaction, graphic reconstruction, and content filling. UX design and UX testing is the creation of models and the first beta versions (prototypes) of the future product. Projects are based on the analysis of the interaction of an audience with existing analogs. Feedback, suggestions, behavioral factors, peculiarities of products (services) that are not identical with competitors are also taken into account.
In fact, UI UX web design is the development of mechanics of interaction with a website (app, software shell, online profile) and the visualization of these mechanisms. Without a deep understanding of how to lead a client to the target action, there is no point in starting to graphically draw and arrange the elements of an interface.
UI design as the embodiment of the concept of user experience
User Interface is the external feed of a software product and its physical properties. The UI design is a graphic and functional implementation of the concept, all those ideas, and solutions that were approved at the stage of analysis of UX.
Answering a question about what is UX and UI, it is possible to consider them as 2 stages of one process. UI design stage can not be called only visualization and drawing. For successful implementation of a user interface, the rules must be followed:
- All elements of the system are structured and interconnected;
- The architecture is observed, logically connected elements are grouped (for example, the horizontal main menu of a website contains buttons for the transition to various sections which, in turn, offer their own menus with bookmarks);
- The same overall style is maintained;
- Emphasizing certain blocks or buttons (do not overload the appearance with content, distracting illustrations and buttons, free space should be retained);
- Alignment of interface components.
The task of a UI designer is not only to work creatively but also intelligently through each page or screen, choose checkboxes, buttons, fonts, and other visual elements. Provided that a button is convenient and attractive, a text is well readable, forms are concise, and error messages do not cause irritation and unwillingness for new actions. A skilled UI designer possesses confident experience in the design of systems, prototyping, and VD.
Many newbies in IT not only wonder about what is UI UX design but also have some misconceptions about the primary importance of UI, the external design of interfaces. As the experience of many well-known online platforms shows, a well-designed user interface does not guarantee positive user experience. There are reverse situations when a "flat", old-fashioned website with a complex architecture and poorly indexed elements perfectly cope with requests of a visitor in no time. Such a combination of bad UI and good UX is often met in web-interfaces of banks.
UX/UI design as a complete process
A beautiful and modern website can attract an audience, create a good first impression. But guests will leave fast if they do not understand the purpose of stay on the resource and its navigation. UI/UX design is a kind of symbiosis of visual design, engineering skills, and subtle understanding of psychology. Its essence can be briefly expressed in 3 theses:
- Simple navigation through content;
- Emphasized value of an offer;
- Clear conversion purpose.
Often UX and UI are handled by the same designer who considers both the steps in terms of successful user experience and the implementation in the interface. There is still no point in blurring the line between the two concepts. You can have a good understanding of iconography, typography, and visual design but at the same time have no experience in researching TA behavior and building the architecture of a resource based on that research. In this case, a beautiful and concise product will not be complete and guarantee positive user experience.
Similarly to the importance of UX knowledge, a universal designer should understand the mechanism of brand creation and emotional connection of the audience with a product. This is one of the tasks of UI. In small details, such as changing the look of a clicked button, the interaction of the shell with a person is manifested. Simply put, the user understands that the button is clicked, the interface response is confirmed visually.
Tips for usability: increasing the efficiency of UX and UI
To stand out in a huge mass of products and provide the most successful experience for your audience, the following tips for UX and UI designers can help:
- Always highlight the most key information in an interface (e.g. floating buttons that stay on the page while scrolling down, pop-ups, big registration buttons);
- Consider animated graphics (smooth transitions, shadows);
- Make the shortest possible chain of clicks that leads to the target action (purchase, download, subscription, registration, etc.);
- Shorten the information on the main pages, emphasizing benefits, advantages, not the full in-depth description of products and services;
- Optimize architecture - simple navigation will help a user read the needed information, filter and purchase a product he/she is looking for.
The task of UX/UI design is to "sell" a product or service through an interface. It is based on the work of the UX/UI designer that the user decides: "To be or not to be?" UX design is responsible for features and properties, it is a process of creating a product that is useful, easy to use, and pleasant to interact with.
The UI design is the visual design of a "product": what colors to use, whether it will be convenient for a person click buttons if a text will be readable.
To make design convenient, solve the problem, and "sell" a product, there are a number of rules that UX/UI designers follow to achieve their goals:
- Dialog design;
- Color as a functional element;
- Simplifying user interaction;
- Emotional interaction.
As a rule, marketers base their decisions on the created product and decide who should be the (business) clients. Designers do the opposite, first study the problem of a client and create a solution for it, a product. They are bound by the fact that design and marketing serve the purposes of a business (product).