What is the Difference Between UX and UI?
It doesn’t matter if you are an aspiring or current designer who wants to design a user interface to optimize your site design for the best user experience. First, understand the differences. As each term is constantly being redefined in design, I’d like to remind you to not get too focused on the terminology. UX (user interface) and UX (user experience) are not the same terms they used ten year ago. They will be different in ten years. This is because the industry is constantly evolving. A solid understanding of the difference between user interface and user experience will help current and future designers better understand how tasks are interconnected.
What is a User Interface?
Think of all elements that users interact with when you think about user interface design. When browsing websites or using products on computers, users will interact with screens, keyboards and audio as well as lights, touchscreens, and other elements. It’s simple enough.
It wasn’t that simple when computers were first made available to the public. To use a computer, you had to know how to code. This required knowledge of the coding language. The average person couldn’t access computers because of this. In the 1980s, innovation was made that allowed people without coding skills to access their computers using elements like menus and checkboxes.
Today, everyone has access to computers at home, school, work, or on their mobile devices. UI designers are now responsible for creating seamless user experiences. The user experience with a product or website is affected by the user interface design.
What is the User Experience?
Don Norman, a cognitive scientist who worked at Apple, coined the term “user experience” in the 1990s. Here is how Don Norman defined user experiences.
The “User Experience” refers to all aspects of an end-user’s interaction and interactions with the company, its products, and services.
One could argue that this definition is too broad. It covers all interactions a user could have with any product, service or website. No matter what the definition might be, Don Norman sums up what today’s web UX designers aim to do every day: Lay the foundation for a website’s visual and functional capabilities in order to provide a seamless experience for the user.
User Interface vs. User Experience: What is the Relationship?
While UX and UI design concepts may differ slightly, they are both closely related. Let’s say you are shopping online and stumble across a website that seems to adhere to all the eCommerce design principles it needs to convert customers into users. As you continue to browse the site, you realize that everything is not what it seems. You can’t use the CTA buttons to navigate to other pages. A few buttons in the navigation menu aren’t working and it takes a while for the site to load.
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These nuisances all contribute to a poor user experience that leaves people frustrated and dissatisfied when they leave the site. The user interface was beautiful, but the likelihood that you will return to the site again is very low. Without a positive user experience, the user interface cannot support the website and drive revenue.
In reverse, the same principle applies. Groove Commerce is an eCommerce design agency. We work with clients to analyze their goals, competition, buyer personas, and website history in order to create user journeys that guide them through the sales funnel. We then use the overall strategy of the client to design the wireframes and architecture for the website. This is the first step in designing the website’s front-end. Although we can do all the user research, testing, and user experience evaluations that we wish, if the client makes design mistakes and has a confusing user interface, users will be disappointed and likely leave the site.
Without designing for the user experience and creating a seamless user interface, eCommerce merchants will not be able to create a profitable website that generates revenue. These elements are combined to provide the best experience possible for visitors to a website.
Remember that user interface and user experience are a package deal. If you are looking to collaborate with an eCommerce design agency to launch your website , make sure you ask about their design team’s capabilities.
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