UI/UX Design explained

User interfaces has come a long way ever since the first hand-held devices. Today, with mobile phones gaining the status of everyone’s trusty gadget, interfaces have grown to evolve in what nature always intended for them – compact, cozy, informative.

User Interface Design explained

What is UI

The user interfaces of the past were limited to visuals, mostly text, and very little automation or assistance. We now have different branches of interfaces, including eye-movement navigation, auditory interaction, motion tracking, the list goes on.

Like the scientific approach embedded in UX design, User Interface also allows controlled experimentation. Innovative UI design with outstanding usability is usually a hybrid between a technological try-out and what’s proven to work in the business. Our designs are not only visually pleasing but also modeled to match the needs, motivations, and expectations of everyone who comes in touch with them.

User Interface Design explained - The process

What is UX

While before the digital revolution of today, UX was not a necessarily a digital tech. But today it mostly is, with new technologies changing the future of online business right in front of our eyes. VR for eCommerce, with product perception and presentation so enhanced that it rivals the feeling of physical touch. Who would have thought? Before all this, customers experiences were heavily dependent on the human factor.

While the power of AI solves problems that a person would struggle with, new technologies highlight the importance of things that matter. We shouldn’t take them for granted and aim to replace the human factor whenever possible. Consider questions like “What part of the traditional should be part of the present strategy?”, and “What plans deserve the dedication and investment planned for them?”

User Experience Design explained - Wireframes

What is the difference between UX and UI?

It seems counter intuitive to compare UX and UI, because the former contains the latter. UI relates to UX in a similar fashion wheel tire relates to a Jeep. The Jeep needs tires to run, but tires alone just won’t do. Likewise, Customer Experience (UX) can’t run on User Interface alone, but nonetheless, UI is a paramount component.

Every interface is part of someone’s experience. In fact, interfaces are the end point of all visual and audio experiences, part of digital solutions of all scope and purpose. This is how creative minds exchange and spread valuable information.

So why do we often see UI and UX comparison, considering the fact one is a component of the other? It’s because of the huge importance of the interface in delivering the much-needed user experience.

User Experience Design explained - The difference between UI and UX

The process of UX

The process of UX is not the same as the process for UI. While completion of certain interfaces and layout can be part of a linear process, design thinking can be the exact opposite of that. The development of user experience takes unexpected turns, it is much different than following blueprints to construct something known. For example, during the ideation phase, many ideas come into spotlight without being judged too hard. The initial filter should be as light as possible and let daring ideas challenge the possibilities with available technology.

User Experience Design explained - Ideation and Process

The initial idea can be improved.

Practice confirms that more you refine your initial project idea, the better the outcome, and the more interesting and potential options for improvements during testing and prototyping. The design process of user experience allows for unique possibilities for greatness, when refinement is done early. Positive changes during the initial stage of ideation can incrementally save work in later stages, like production and testing.

The art of selecting your target audience.

Creating a fictional customer helps improve the actual product. Intimate details about the profile of your future customer can shape up a clearer the outlines for your app appearance and its features. The combined effect of all traits that define your customer can make your app better customize fir present needs. What defines your future clients can be examined from both the perspectives of the app and the persona, that is, your ideal customer.

User Experience Design explained - The Process

Does your product solve an existing problem?

You can empathize with your customer base and use the data to create scenarios based on carefully defined circumstances, but there is one more important than the customer: can your app address an existing issue. If so, what is the response of the market?

Is your product solving a unique problem that hasn’t been tackled yet?

The UX deliverables best suited to support your product development also depend on how convinced the stakeholders are in product effectiveness. Sometimes, a competitive analysis report along with a pixel-perfect mockup are a must. Some customers may require interactive prototypes that closely resemble the end-product. Such complex prototypes come as an extra effort required by the designers, but they may benefit from themselves. A visually sound test product is great for satisfying every stakeholder, and justifies the resource invested by the entrepreneur. Interactive prototypes are becoming more popular and seem superior to even detail flow-charts or system maps. This may be because the feel of the finalized product version should clearly illustrate ideas embedded in the main concept, and possibly also closely resemble the working prototype.

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Author

Mariya Videva | UI/UX Designer

Mariya is an experienced User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) expert, with a strong tendency toward improving Customer Experience (CX). After a successful brainstorming session, she implements the user experiences used by millions of users thereafter.
There is no problem big enough for her not to tackle a solution to sometimes sophisticated user flows.