What is UI and how is it different from UX?
These are two terms that are now used more than ever, and for good reason!
You can develop an idea for a digital product or website, but without an experience that directly relates to it’s intended users and blows their socks off, it’s useless.
Here, we’ll dive into what UI and UX mean and the huge benefits they have on businesses, digital products and websites.
To start with, it’s important to mention that UI and UX work together.
UX stands for User Experience
UX design can be applied to a service, product or website. It essentially can be anything that a user interacts with. However, It’s not about the visual look. UX involves everything from the emotions and attitudes of target users. Let’s dive into the role of a UX designer and what they do to give us more context.
A UX Designer
The purpose of a UX designer is to get to know the end-users of a service, product or website so well, that a digital experience can be designed around their exact requirements, hitting everything that they want and more. A UX designer will carry out lots of research using a range of techniques. Here at hiyield, on a high level, our UX designers carry out these techniques: empathy mapping, user journey mapping and validation.
Empathy mapping is where a UX designer holds a session with key stakeholders. Then together, identifies all of the intended end-users, mapping out what they Think, Feel, Say, See and Hear. This will produce a detailed profile of individual users so that future decisions can be directly related to them.
User mapping and wireframing are where a UX designer maps out the journey’s that the end-users would take throughout a service, product or website. For example, two user types might be a teacher or a student for a school website. Both would land on a home page but will be looking to take a different journey. A student would want to easily find the student portal let’s say, and a teacher would be looking for the teacher portal. A UX designer would take into account every end-user and map out the best possible way to navigate users to find what they want.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. All of these are drawn upon assumptions and could be inaccurate. This is where in UX, validation is vital.
Validation is where UX designers put all of their research and hypotheses into action and look to see if they are correct or not. Whether this is through carrying out interviews, focus groups or survey’s with the target end-users. This could simply involve quizzing them on the findings from empathy mapping and the user journey’s, or to taking one step further, giving the user a prototype to use. This will determine whether an experience is serving their exact needs, or if more work is required to address what they want.
Questions that UX designer would seek the answer:
- Who are the target users?
- What do the users want to gain from the experience?
- What is the user’s pain points?
- What is the easier way to guide the user?
- Is a digital experience enjoyable?
- Is a user getting the right information?
Key points about UX:
- Not about the visuals
- Lot’s of research and techniques
- Create an appropriate experience for the intended users
UI stands for User Interface
UI is the actual interface that a user interacts with. UI includes all aspects of design, such as colour pallets, typography, illustrations, animations, responsive design and spacing.
A UI Designer
A UI designer will create an interface design that works in harmony with research from a UX design, creating a bespoke look and feel for a user journey.