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14 Jul / 2014

An Overview of UI and UX Design

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UI and UX design is one of the hottest topics on the internet at present attracting views and opinions of people from all over the world. It is the common misconception of many people that UI and UX are basically the same terms which can be used interchangeably. However, this is not at all the case, as there are some significant differences that distinguish these two terms. User Interface or UI can be defined as the system in whole that a user interacts with in order to fulfill some task. While on the other hand, user experience can be defined as the emotions that are evoked in a user after connecting with a system which is not limited to the interface. User experience is the satisfaction level of a user after using an interface.

User Interface

UI is not about attracting the users with eye-catchy designs or displays. The primary aim of UI is to offer the users with a complete system that helps them with the accomplishment of tasks in the best possible manner. Although, attractive visuals are part of UX category but there would be no point in creating stunning UI designs that are unusable. Designers need to consider the fact that whether users look for simple to use systems that helps their tasks to get completed effortlessly or mishmash of fade effects, gradients or 3D elements. The answer would obviously be simple to use systems. Thus, the job of the designers is to offer users with systems they can interact with ease as seamless interaction remains the primary preference of users. Here are some of the crucial elements that make up an ideal user interface.

  • Intuitive Layout

    It is important to present the user with an intuitive, obvious and clear interface to work with to get the job done. Systems that are developed in a less intuitive way where the users have to figure out everything on their own tend to create a bad user experience. In case of complex systems, it is always a good idea to make use of an on-boarding process to familiarize the users.

  • Consistency is the Key

    When it comes to user retention, consistency of interface layout holds critical importance which can ultimately lead to satisfactory and enhanced user experience. Designers need to make use of consistent color schemes, fonts, effects and buttons within their designs. The main purpose is to allow users with quick and effective accomplishments of the tasks without the need to spend too much time. If the users feel satisfied using the system then, chances are high that they will come back when there is a requirement.

  • Content Clarity

    The connection between the interface and the user is largely dependent on the textual content clarity. Therefore, it is vital to publish contents that are well edited to bridge the gap between the user and the interface.

  • Flexible Interface

    Being humans, users can definitely make some mistakes while using the interface. This is one crucial thing which designers need to keep in mind while designing interfaces. The flexibility of the interface is another factor that can ultimately lead to a satisfactory experience for the users. If there is room available to recover from the mistakes committed then, users will certainly prefer using such a system.

  • Although, there are quite a few other factors that lead to the ideal user interface but these are the crucial ones.

Overview of UI and UX Design

User Experience

The level of satisfaction achieved after using an interface defines to some extent UX. A UX design takes into account the requirements of the user every step of the way during the product lifecycle. The experience can either be good or bad depending on the effort being put in to take care of the needs and concerns of the users. UX designers spend a lot of time evaluating how users may feel about an interface taking into consideration different factors like utility, ease of use, performance efficiency, etc. Before the inception of user-centric design, designers and developers concentrated mostly on 2 things – how to come up with a stunning website and what are the requirements of the client. The main priority was on the brand and aesthetics without thinking about how customers would feel using the interface.

However, things have changed a lot these days with a lot of focus on experience of the users. It is more about connecting with the psychology of the users and influencing their mind and heart more efficiently. The experience of the user is what can break or make a design.

Elements of Ideal UX

  • Understanding the behavior of the user
  • Identifying user behavior when it comes to engagement strategies like at workplace, texting, etc.
  • Identifying elements influencing end-user
  • Behavioral trend research

Conclusion

There is no doubt about the fact that user interface and user experience design are interrelated. Both are required to produce user centric products that promise enhanced experience for the users. However, at the same time their differences should also be kept in mind to create designs that best suits the needs and preferences of the users.

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