UX and UI- are two of the most heard and often confused buzzwords in the design arena. These two terms are often used interchangeably by those who don’t really know the difference. Though this piece attempts to lay more emphasis on User Experience or UX, it is critical to understand the exact difference between UX and UI at the very outset. Both disciplines differ as well as relate to each other in various aspects.
“The Barclays Mobile App is a great example of good user experience design. The app itself has an excellent user interface. But that is not the extent of its user experience.”
From what he states, the bottom-line is pretty clear. While the Barclays app has a good UI that simplifies the usage process, the user experience is something that goes beyond it. Ideally, in this case, the user experience takes into account the entire gamut of experiences the customer undergoes while using the app and its UI.
User interface design is just one among a series of processes/tasks done to achieve a good user experience.
User Experience (UX) denotes a person’s feelings/ perceptions related to using a particular product, system or service. It takes into consideration all the insightful and valuable aspects of human–computer interaction and product ownership. In simple words, UX is finding joy in using something.
User Interface (UI) refers to a console of things designed to fit into an information device with which humans can interact. Examples include aesthetic appearance of a device, response time, help messages and so on.
Having said this, let us take a look at what an expert has to say about User Experience:
“Most [clients] expect experience design to be a discrete activity, solving all their problems with a single functional specification or a single research study. It must be an ongoing effort, a process of continually learning about users, responding to their behaviors, and evolving the product or service.”
Dan Brown, co-founder and principal at EightShapes, a user experience based company in Virginia
If UI constitutes the look and feel and ease of usage of a good service, UX comprises the entire experience or pleasure a user gains from using the same.
User Experience can be summarized as a combination of the following seven elements or qualities, which can be crafted into the UX honeycomb model as given below:
Useful: Your content must be original and tailored to fulfil customer needs
Usable: Site/application must be user-friendly
Desirable: Design elements like image, identity, and/or brand should generate appreciation and the desire to buy
Findable: Content needs to be navigable and easy to locate
Accessible: Content should be accessible to differently-abled people as well
Credible: Users must believe what you try to convey them
The UX honeycomb model serves a modular approach to web design. UX has now surpassed the conventional design norms, and this honeycomb model lays out the major pre-requisites for building better user experience.
A good UX is not just something limited to the color, shape or balance of the design. Design certainly impacts user experience. User Experience garners more significance with the current trends absorbed into the discipline of design interface. Few are listed below:
Facebook has recently made a few updates to the way the News Feed works for its users. The changes involve encouraging the brands to offer their followers with fewer promotional Page posts, and to deliver more valuable and targeted content.
Today, the online world is not just limited to desktops. “Mobile-first” being the design norm, designers are focusing on building more mobile responsive designs. Mobile web usage has increased significantly over the past few years, and in 2014, mobile finally surpassed desktop as the primary device used to access the internet. This underlines the fact that not only desktop, but mobile also needs to be a necessary part of the development plan. The term Responsive Web Design is gaining more attention today. Read more about RWD here.
Whether it is a landing page for an ad or a landing page for a white paper, you need to keep the user’s experience in mind. When you create a landing page for a Facebook ad, ensure that the user’s experience right from the point when they click on the ad syncs with their experience when they arrive at the landing page. Landing pages with forms should also consider the users in mind while designing.
Several technologies exist in market to collect data, and due to this, marketers have better options when it comes to personalizing their lead nurturing process. Making the process personal not only improves your users’ experience, but it improves your conversion rates. A simple nurture email that has a personalized greeting like, “Dear Jack,” as opposed to a generic greeting that just says, “Hello Jack,” will go a long way in building stronger relationships with existing as well as potential customers.
A good UI reflects the public face of your brand, and a good UX increases the user experience and invites more public attention to your brand. An ideal UX should be hassle-free for the users, offering them a gratifying product/service experience which they can share with other users as well.
Would you like to share any useful tips for leveraging UX? Share your thoughts with us.