In this tech-driven world, where your business’s online presence has become increasingly important, you will often hear talk of user experience quality or the user interface of a website. If you’re in the process of creating your first website, or working to redesign your website, you might not understand what these terms means, or what the difference is between them.
Is there a difference?
Yes! Read on to learn what these two terms mean, the difference between them, and why they are essential aspects in website design.
Often, these two aspects of website design can be confused, or one can be considered more important or relevant than the other. You, as the business owner, must learn to find the right balance of the two, and understand how one affects the other, in order to have a great, optimised website.
You might think that UX and UI are the same thing; however, you’ll see the clear distinction between the two by the time you hit the bottom of this article.
User Experience (UX)
Simply stated, user experience, or UX, is how things work on your website. User experience refers to a person’s feelings and attitudes about using a particular product, system or service. Your website should be focused on your visitors. Because visitors are potential customers, a business simply does not thrive without them.
There are several things to consider in website design that will impact user experience:
- Ease of navigation. You want your visitors to be able to find what they’re looking for, such as your products or services with little to no difficulty.
- Simplicity. While fancy designs and eye-popping graphics are cool, your visuals should not take away from the purpose of your business, nor distract the visitor entirely to decrease your conversion rate.
- Speed. Adding interactive features and special graphics certainly make for a great site, but can significantly slow down your site’s loading speed. A slow website will increase the likelihood that your visitor leaves before even looking at what you offer.
- Function. Does everything on your site work well? Make sure you have no dead links, no “404 Error” messages. Does every page, image and feature load correctly?
- Mobile user-friendly. There’s a high likelihood that people are entering your site via mobile device. Today, is more important than ever to create a website design that is optimised for mobile web browsing.
Overall, a website that has great user experience is functional, accessible, and easy to navigate.
User Interface (UI)
User interface is the process by which the user interacts with a computer system, focusing on usability. Taking user interface into considering when designing your website means anticipating what your users will do on the site, and making sure that any elements necessary to access or facilitate those actions are added.
User Interface mostly refers to the graphical elements, but can also include voice-controlled or even gesture-based interfaces.
Common UI elements include, but are not limited to:
- Inputs controls, such as buttons, list boxes, text fields, checkboxes
- Navigational components, such as menus, filers, links and breadcrumbs
- Informational components, such as icons, notifications, message boxes, and progress bars
Like user experience, there are several ways to achieve great user interface. You want to build an interface that is efficient and easy to use. Keeping your visitors in mind, create a simple interface that is purposeful and communicates with the visitor. Your layout should use colour strategically, to draw attention to certain items, as well as typography, to help organize text and increase readability.
The difference between UX and UI – and how they work together
UX and UI are often confused with one another. To put it simply, UX supports the functions and technicalities of the website (how it works), and UI is more closely related to the graphic design of the website (how it looks). UX helps accomplish the goals of the website, while UI gives the visitor guidance to accomplish those goals. Additionally, UX design usually comes first when designing a website, app, or product, followed by UI design.
In the UX stage, the designer will conduct research and focus on how the website will run and meet its users’ needs. He/she creates an easy navigation process and user-friendly structure that addresses all features the user will use. It is from there that the designer implements the tangible elements that give the website its look . This interface will be made of elements, page layouts, and more, in order to enhance the human-device interaction.
A simple example of this exchange is the user experience being a visitor performing an action to bring them to the next page in a process. The user interface would be the “Next Page” button on the screen.
If your head is still spinning at this point, have no fear. Solutionise Group has a team of website design experts who will work with you to build a great website that will accomplish your goals and have a great aesthetic. Schedule a complementary appointment with us today.