Technology is advancing faster than ever, and everyone is trying to keep up. People want to experience everything, instantly, and they can in almost every aspect of their life. But they want to do it without wasting their time or exhausting themselves doing it. The same rules apply to mobile apps and websites. The quicker and faster an app or site responds the more popular it is with consumers. Today is no different than 100 years ago in that the consumer is everything. Because of this, companies focus a lot of time and resources on the User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX). UX and UI are not mutually exclusive, one cannot exist without the other in a successful application, and engaging your audience depends on it.
What is UX Design?
User Experience Design is the term given to the process used to create products that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to users. Design teams take a wide view of the project and try to incorporate all aspects of the app or site to achieve the maximum customer satisfaction. If you were building a house, think of UX as the foundation and framework. The first requirement of a killer UX is to meet the needs of the customer without any complications. This goes beyond simply giving customers what they say they want or running down a checklist. To fully achieve best in class UX, there must be a merging of different disciplines; engineering, marketing, design and user interface design. Put simply UX is the steak, and User Interface (UI), is the sizzle.
What is UI Design?
User Interface Design is the shiny paint put on at the end. The goal of the UI team is to improve the visual appeal and design language of the site, so the user has a positive experience. Their focus is on the look and movement of the site and how it engages the user. Every page, button, screen and visual element of the app is considered. Designing UI is a craft that involves building out a crucial part of the UX. Users are fickle and quick to judge likability and visual appeal. Because of that, designers focus on creating interfaces that users will find beautiful and engaging. UI design teams need a full understanding of the context a user will be in when they make those judgements. The trick is to create the illusion that users are trying to achieve a goal, not interfacing with a machine. Continue the experience by letting the users intuitively find their way about the app.
When UX/UI come into perfect balance the result is one that the users enjoy and return to. One is no more important than the other, the play equal parts in the user experience. For example; think about a site that ranks the greatest race car drivers of all time. Even if the UI for finding the top ten winningest drivers is perfect, the UX would be failing if it only lists the American drivers instead of all the drivers in the world.