UI/UX Design: Is it important? What is it?
Have you wondered what this new buzz term, UX design is? UX and UI design is everywhere you look. It is the latest fad in digital applications. Experts and forerunners of this new industry scream that it is absolutely vital. But what is it really? And is it vital?
UX is an acronym for User Experience. Still a bit confused as to what User Experience Design is? In short, UX design is design that is user centred. It takes ergonomics and human factors into account. Out are the days of designing something “pretty.” Out are the days of design for designs sake. And in are the days to design with intention for a specific user in mind. The point is to make the user’s life simpler, by designing something to be easily understandable, functional and enjoyable. The simpler and more user-friendly the task, the better. A UX Designer is essentially a type of scientists that researches and analyses the user’s interaction with the prototype design to ensure that the design interaction is effective. Some of the methods of research collection include user tests, user personas and usability testing. Once research is done, the UX Designer provides a wire-frame for the next specialist to incorporate in the project.
What are general examples of everyday designs that showcase good and bad UX?
Think of a pen. A child immediately understands subliminally what it is for. In the years of development, a child is likely to pick up a pen, remove the cap, and place to pointy end to some surface and press. As this is simply and instinctively done, it’s an example of an object that is designed well, with the user in mind. Thus, ergonomics…
Surely there aren’t any badly designed objects, if we use the existing objects every day. But a last, there are many objects, that we do use every day, but might not enjoy using. Or that aren’t too friendly in using. Or it took us a while to figure out how to use it.
How many people do you know, pushes doors that are meant to be pulled or vice versa? The door, the epitome of a building, allowing us to enter and exit, the object that safely opens and closes to the unsafe outside world and rough weather conditions, might be functional, BUT is poorly designed.
Now, some of you might say that good UX is not vital. Think of the many businesses with baaaaddddd websites out there. Do they stand a chance in gaining clients from a website that results in a poor user experience?
And the answer in short is, YES! How many times have I closed a website, because the navigation was a mess, and I couldn’t find my way back to a home page; and the amount is high as this happens on a daily basis. Why do we prefer certain websites like Facebook and YouTube? Yes, we are living in a socially digital world, but that’s not the only reason why. Facebook, Zuckerberg and co, have made the interface easy. That’s probably why my parents and my in-laws have picked up on social media quite easily, when they don’t even understand PowerPoint.
Offering a friendly and enjoyable user experience on your website or app is part of the customer service. UX is definitely important!
What happens in terms of designers, developers and web designer and information architects and and and? As digital is huge (the hugest thing in this technological age), these professions and fields are becoming more refined. Information Architects and developers focus on functionality on a building level. Graphic designers focus on the visual and graphical language and ensures that it is one that fits the brand and appears attractive to a certain market. UX designers will come in before the graphic designers and information architects, and use research based on real user studies to finetune the navigation and design experience. Basically, the UX designer provides a shell, and it’s up to the graphic designer and information architect to ensure visual appeal and functional building of the site.
What about UI? UI stands for User Interface. Where the UX designer produces a wire-frame design based on how users feel and interact with the digital platform, UI designers, look at what users do on an interface. UX and UI go hand in hand. The UI designer will lead the wire-frame with color, shape and texture. Specific buttons will stand out. Like a contact button. The UX and UI designer can be the same person as how users feel and interact will be influenced by how well the interface is designing visually.
I hope I have refined the differences and purposes quickly and easily. The point is that thinking about UX and UI design of your digital media, is vital to your business. It’s customer experience and service. It’s how we have adapted to the digital space. Are you part of #thinkingforthefuture.