Understanding the fundamentals of design is key to making it work for the end-users.
The term ‘design’ on its own is as vague as it gets. It encompasses a variety of roles and elements with diverse processes and technicalities. Key among these is the UX (User Experience) and UI (User Interface).
While both of these different concepts have been continuously muddled and used interchangeably by certain designers, understanding the theoretical differences along with how these roles and disciplines overlap will go a long way towards creative and effective web design.
Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics.
Design is so simple; that’s why it’s so complicated.
– Paul Rand
Understanding the basics of UI and UX
UI refers to User Interface while UX refers to User Experience. Certainly, that will hardly produce the lightbulb moment you were expecting as far as understanding the basics and differences of these terms go. But both definitions could vary depending on the context as well as whom you ask.
Think of UI in a way similar to graphic design, in that it mostly has to do with visuals. The philosophy behind UX design, on the other hand, revolves around designing a user-centric for the best possible customer experience.
Let’s dig a little deeper;
UI in website design
User Interface, UI design in website design would refer to the processes involved in designing the elements that users have to interact with when using a website. This means that every single element that makes your website interactive, from text boxes to buttons, scroll bars, sliders, and animations, etc would fall under the scope of UX design.
UI design skills, in essence, will help website designers determine the look and feel of your website.
These will include choosing the right colour palette, the shape of buttons, themes, font styles, and line strokes, along with other functional and aesthetic elements needed to create a website that resonates with your brand.
UX in website design
UX, User Interface in website design is about making sure users experience the most possible comfort while they interact with your website. Furthermore, this has it do with making sure that the user interface is properly organized and that every element on the front-end of your website are in sync and fit seamlessly with one another.
The UX design process is iterative.
This process involves leveraging a variety of tools and resources to create wireframes and mockups, among other things, to get user feedback. This feedback is used to get a better view of user preferences and behaviour with the hope of improving or implementing new ways of interaction for optimum user experience.
UI vs UX: Correlation & Key Differences
Both UI and UX are undoubtedly related and can overlap in most cases.
But that does not make them the same as there are certain key differences between the two. A classroom setting, for example, is one of the simplest analogies that can paint a picture of the differences and correlation of both terms simplistically.
In a classroom, there will be desks, chairs, whiteboards, etc.
UI may be equated in this instance to the type of materials used in producing the desks, whiteboard, flooring, the colour of the walls, etc.
You can think of UX as other processes such as;
⦁ how the chairs and desks are arranged for comfortable sitting
⦁ how the chairs and desks are positioned in rows so students and teachers can easily move around
⦁ how the whole classroom setting would be done in a way that students seated at every point in the class can get a great view of the whiteboard or the teacher in front of the class, etc
Key differences between UI and UX
User Interface (UI)
- Involves how user interaction is enabled in your website’s front-end design
- Involves how website users can use and interact with front-end elements to accomplish a task in real-time
- Has more to do with the user journey that links users to their goals
- Has more to do with helping people interact with the visual aspects of your website
User Experience (UX)
- Involves how and what extent to which user demands are carried out
- Involves how to deliver consistent positive experience when users access front-end functionalities on your website
- Has more to do with setting goals and targets
- Has more to do with the usability of your website
UI and UX are complimentary
Regardless of the differences, both of these concepts are complementary.
However, a proper understanding of how they differ and how they correlate can help designers deliver the best possible website designs for the best possible user experience. More reason why the saying that ‘UI without UX is like beauty without brains’ is quite popular.
While UI helps set the standards for your website’s look and feel, UX has more to do with giving users a feeling of ease and comfort while using your website. Both processes are co-dependent and equally important. UX without UI can make your website design appear incomplete or less effective. UI, without an equally pleasant UX, as well can make websites appear less useful to users.
Leveraging UI and UX for effective website design
There has to be a balance between both UX and UI elements for winning and successful website designs.
UI design skills will help you get the best of branding and visual appeal while also ensuring that every detail from UX design is implemented perfectly. Proper UX design skills as well, will help designers ensure that user interactions and expectations are fulfilled with a great sense of ease, comfort, and familiarity.
Looking to build a website for your business in Squamish, Whistler, Vancouver, and beyond?
Our expert web developers at Black Tusk Web boast robust experience and expertise in both UI and UX design services. We’ll be more than happy to leverage our expertise to help you build websites that resonate with your brand, guarantees optimum functionality and consistent positive user experience.
Contact us today to get started!