UI design and UX have been amongst the buzzwords in digital marketing these last few years. We usually know what these two acronyms mean. UI stands for User Interface and UX means User Experience. But, are we able to explain properly what is UI design? Why UI became so important in web design? And what is the difference between UI and UX design? Let’s get through this.
If you are rather interested in UX design, take a look at this post:
What is UI design?
User Interface (UI) design is the process of designing software interfaces with a focus on maximising efficiency, responsiveness and aesthetics to foster a good user experience.
UI design operates when products or services require interaction with the user. Indeed by definition, an interface is a point of interaction between the user and a hardware or software. The interface should allow the user to perform any required tasks so as to complete the function of the product or service.
The UI designer creates the user interface based on the functional requirement and planned user experience using design standards and aesthetics to craft a certain experience. In other words, the main purpose of UI designers is to improve the look and feel of user interfaces, and make it as simple as possible and engaging. It allows users to navigate easily, focus on what they are supposed to look for and quickly meet their expectations.You surely understand now, that the UI designer has to optimize the user experience through the interface.
The end result is an interface that will be used to release a product or a service.
The difference between UX design & UI design: What is UI’s scope?
The UX design is still associated with UI a lot. But think about it… It would mean that the user experience only consists in navigating on a web interface to access the information.
No! UX is way more than that. The user experience is the result of a global overview that takes into account users’ needs. UX has a user centric approach, it is submitted to user sensitiveness. What really matters with UX is to provide an efficient solution to answer users’ expectations. It is a full process that gets through UI, and also the content, the website architecture and so on.
Eventually, UI is part of UX. The scope of UI design is the organization of elements (graphics and text) to offer an attractive website. So obviously, when willing to create a memorable user experience, UI is important but not sufficient.
UX is a mix of visible parts and invisible parts which when merged, contribute to the global user experience.
UI is the visible part of a product: It is what we can see as a user, what we can hear and touch while using it.
Why is UI design so important?
It is important for any web designer to design functional sites that can easily generate interest and online traffic among the internet users. The user interface design plays a vital role in bringing high volume web traffic.
A user friendly website is a must as it will provide enhanced user experience to the online visitors. UI participates in an online business’ success story. Any site that is too complex and difficult will definitely push away online traffic. The use of effective and simple user interface design will engage customers, retain them and will be of immense help in achieving the objectives of a website. A good user interface not only increases the site usability, but also leads to the smooth completion of any task at hand, thereby making everything enjoyable and flexible as per the requirements of users.
Last but not least, users get increasingly used to tactile and reduced size interface. That’s why we nowadays talk about mobile only. Mobile is so trendy because mobile interfaces get closer with a human. We hold the mobile in our hands, we put our fingers on it, we interact by touching the screen or talking to it. This device’s method of use fosters the cohesiveness between the human and the machine, making interfaces a playground for UI designers-one with great potential for online businesses.
To put UI in a nutshell, user interface is what, where and how elements work on the interface. The main purpose is to create attractive and easy to navigate interfaces to engage customers and increase online traffic by enhancing the user experience. Again, let’s not forget that UI is part of UX. Indeed, UI designers work with UX designers, but even if UI and UX designs are two different concepts that can’t be dissociated, it is essential when creating a website, an app or a software, that we do not to mix up UI with UX.
Creating well designed interfaces is becoming more and more complex. UI design makes user friendly interfaces but other concepts and trends are emerging, that tend to improve interfaces’ design. For example, we now have “Interaction Design” which focuses on how the user and app act and react to each other, and also “Material Design”, a unified system proposed by Google to make interface more intuitive, thanks to certain physics principles.
Coming soon « What is Interaction design ? »
« Material design : New guidelines for better interfaces »