Stop-start, clunky online solutions are a thing of the past. UX and UI designers are here to make solutions easy to use, companies successful and the world a better place.
Stop-start, clunky online solutions are a thing of the past. Why? Because as users we demand silky smooth processes that fit in with our busy lifestyles. If a solution is too hard or too complex to use, we will simply turn away and use one of many other alternatives offered by the marketplace.
So, for companies to succeed, they need to provide applications that users like to use and it is the job of the User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) designers to exceed user expectations through intuitive, seamless and easy to use digital solutions.
The terms UX and UI are, however, often thrown around in the world of technology. This trend of terminology misappropriation appears to be on the increase as we make rapid digital progress every day. As a UX/UI designer myself, I am often answering a myriad of questions from colleagues, friends and family about what I do and why is it so beneficial. My common response is that UX and UI designers make solutions easy to use, companies successful and the world a better place. Simple.
We all notice bad design in our lives, which can range from overbearing celebrity gossip magazines, to streets that flood from insignificant rainwater, and even websites that have no value or are just too complex to use. It inconveniences us and causes a stir of negative emotion. Good design, however, is often unnoticed, and when it is acknowledged there seems to be a misunderstanding of its true importance. So, for this very reason, I want to expose to us all, the value of great UX and UI design.
This begins with the question of what is the difference between UX and UI capabilities, and what do we actually do?
In short, as designers, we piece together the visual, interactive and technical elements for online solutions. This starts with user research (wants/needs) and ends with user testing (prototypes). We work closely with business analysts and project developers, to gather requirements and deliver valuable results. For us, the user is always at the forefront of our design, and we are constantly questioning why a user needs something, and how can we make it easier and more intuitive for them.
In more detail, a UX designer aims to reduce complexities and create seamless experiences that easily fit into the user’s lifestyle, just like major social media platforms, that streamline communication and keep us engaged. This is achieved by laying the solid foundations of the design, just like the floorplan of a house. The UX is the initial part of our online solution design, where we align business and customer requirements to create our ‘floorplan’. Generally, we create a sitemap of all the links and routes possible for a variety of users, then we begin to flesh out initial backbones of the design via wireframe creation – that is, the un-styled visual landscape, which focuses primarily on layout and content.
Once we have a solid grasp on the user wants and needs, we then begin to tailor a solution to the customer and business requirements using UI design. This is concerned with the visual and interactive elements of the design – often referred to as the ‘look and feel’. It is here where we deal with branding and graphic development, colour psychology, visual accessibility, legibility, interactivity and animation, as well as design responsiveness across an array of digital platforms. As UI designers, we build on the wireframes developed by the UX designer, and style and polish them, in order to provide a great customer experience.
While there are significant differences between the two, UX and UI design work hand in hand. UX influences the layouts UI designers build on, likewise UI will influence the foundations of UX. And a great intuitive product will not arise without the two.
UX/UI design highly influences requirements gathering and solutioning, and without careful consideration of all factors, a product will not live up to customer expectations. As we delve into the technological future it is useful for all digital enthusiasts to have a grasp of the elements of good design, which are influential ingredients in a product's success.
As stated above, UX and UI designers are here to make solutions easy to use, companies successful and the world a better place.