What is UI & UX Design?

By Rachel Won / 5 Aug 2019 / Tags: Design Insights

UI design and UX design are two of the most often confused and conflated terms in web and app design. And understandably so. They’re usually placed together in a single term, UI/UX design, and viewed from the surface they seem to be describing the same thing. It’s often hard to find solid descriptions of the two that don’t descend too far into jargon. But fear not!

What is UI Design?
The “UI” in UI design stands for “user interface.” The user interface is the graphical layout of an application. It consists of the buttons users click on, the text they read, the images, sliders, text entry fields, and all the rest of the items the user interacts with. This includes screen layout, transitions, interface animations and every single micro-interaction. Any sort of visual element, interaction, or animation must all be designed.

UI designers are graphic designers. They’re concerned with aesthetics. It’s up to them to make sure the application’s interface is attractive, visually-stimulating and themed appropriately to match the purpose and/or personality of the app. And they need to make sure every single visual element feels united, both aesthetically, and in purpose.

So, what is UX Design?

User experience (UX) design is the process to create products that are meaningful and relevant experiences to users. It is an integration of branding, design, function and usability of the product.
UX design is NOT about visuals; it focuses on the overall feel of the experience, the interaction between real human users (like you & me) and products / services in everyday life, such as websites, apps, and even systems. The experience is already there, we need to make the experience better.

Why UX Design Matters?
Think about something in our life that is so easy to use, we don’t have to think about it.
What about something we use once and we stop using it because of its poor experience?

UX Designers use design thinking 5 steps process to solve problems through research and empathise the users, define the problem, ideate new ideas, prototype with initial mock-ups and testing with the users. Design team builds mock-ups and share with users and stakeholders to get their input and evaluate. The team iterates after the evaluation. This process is non-linear. Hence, it can be iterating at different stages of the project. Throughout the process, it is important to keep the objectives in mind — make a usable design to achieve end user satisfaction, while making business sense.

5 Useful tips that it could help us to make better UX Design
1. Do Your Research
UX designers must equip with research skills. Make ourselves up to date to latest trends. Spend time explore upcoming designs, techniques and tools in our field. Always assess the knowledge that we are attaining and see which skills and techniques are relevant and useful.

2. Think ourselves as a User, Not Designer
Work with our users, relate the problem to the daily life situations of our users and observe how they respond. Find out the users’ pain points, to discover their actual needs and the way they want to use them. Collect our findings and think of the possible design solutions we want to build for them. After all, they are the ones who will be using our product. Never try to impose our likes and dislikes on our design. We are not designing for ourselves!

3. Keep Users and Business Objective in Mind
We need to make a balance between user’s wish list and business objectives. See how the work is putting value to our business? Whether the effort we put to build our design is worth the time and its costs. Always answer these questions using proposition matrix and prioritize them before moving forward. Analyse the requirements keeping in view our business needs.

4. Don’t be Afraid to Iterate
Each time we iterate our design, we will learn a few new things. No work is ever wasted. Keep our bad experiences in front of us and see what can we do to convert them into good ones. A wrong try in the beginning, can move us to a brilliant idea at a later stage. Talk to the person who might have an idea about the solution, a failed experiment or maybe some work in progress. We should examine those pre-existing solutions; it may yield a few surprising insights.

5. Test Your Design with Real Users
We cannot become a good UX designer while working alone. We need to continuous involve people around us. We ask our colleagues/friends to do this favour. However, user experience can only be achieved by testing our design with real users. Refining our design after testing, is the actual thing that makes our design user-oriented.

UI is the process of making the visuals beautiful and easy to understand the function of the product. Whereas UX design is the process of designing (digital or physical) products that are useful, easy to use, and delightful to interact with. It has to relate to people lives. It’s about encompassed all of the different elements, enhancing the experience that people have while interacting with our product/services, and making sure the users find value in what we are providing for.

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#DesignThinking #UIUXDifference #UIUXDesign

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