When computers were first introduced, there was no way to tell them what to do unless you could write code. Since then, developers created the idea of a user interface; they brought life to windows, drop-down menus, and navigation icons. Now anyone can use a computer. Today, most people carry computers with them at all times, and the way we interact with websites, apps, and interactive devices has evolved.
By now, people have the internet memorized. When we see a blue underlining we know it’s a hyperlink. We know that pinching a smartphone screen will zoom out a picture. Many of our daily tasks take us online, and we have trained our minds to see patterns and cues that help us navigate the online world.
We expect our online interactions to be effortless, and we recognize instantly when a site or app is difficult to use and navigate. By investing in both the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) of your website, your conversion rates will no doubt increase, time spent on your site will grow, and leads will have clearer pathways to the sale.
What Is UI?
If you’ve ever been on a site with links that don’t lead anywhere or forms with unclickable submit buttons, you have found a site with poor UI.
Think of user interface (UI) as the foundation and structure that helps you interact with a device. A user interface consists of the pages, icons, and buttons that help users engage with a site. Any fixed visual element on a website would be considered UI.
A UI designer will focus on creating sites and software that are easy to navigate and usable across all platforms. They are concerned with how the product is laid out, how each screen and page will interact with the user, and whether the visuals are cohesive. They aim to maintain consistency in all visual elements of the site and work closely with UX designers to make sure their vision comes to life.
What Is UX?
User Experience (UX) designers focus on how to make products that the public will love using. They’re always concerned with how the end result feels. UX includes the elements of design that make a site or app effortless to use.
Great UX ensures your site or app meets the needs of consumers and allows them to interact with it without friction.
While UI is busy holding everything together, UX works to influence how people view your brand, website, and corporate culture.
A website’s style, content, and tone would all fall under UX. It’s all about getting users from one place to another, leading them throughout your site effortlessly. This can include the process users go through to find your site, actions they take on the site, and impressions you want them to take away from their experience.
Awkward photos, poor colour choices, and confusing information are all factors that will take eyes away from your website. Great UX design creates products that are easy to navigate, have consistent branding and messaging, and have clear and attractive CTAs. If your site is creating barriers to finding helpful information, the frustration will quickly lead to closed tabs.
Both Are Critical to Online Success
Think about UI and UX like a restaurant. UI consists of the table, chairs, plates, knives, and forks. UX consists of the food, service, lighting, and music. Both are critical to your enjoyment of any great meal.
To have excellent online success you must have the best of both worlds—great UI and great UX.
Think about when you’re searching for a new app. Complaints about poor responsiveness, buttons leading to nowhere, or flashy design with a lack of substance will no doubt stop you from downloading.
Although UX and UI differ, excellent web design comes to life when both are used together correctly. They need to be working hand in hand and share the same vision to increase user satisfaction. Understanding how users think and will interact with your site is how you will draw in visitors and lead them throughout your site. It’s up to you to invest in UI and UX so customers who already want to discover your business can navigate through your site in the most efficient way possible.