User Experience or User Interface?
The acronym UX stands for user experience. In simple words, this is how the user interacts with the interface and how the site or application is understandable and convenient for him. As SECLGroup.com specialists say, UX includes site navigation, menu functionality, and the result of interacting with pages. This is not only the “backbone” of the site – its structure – but also communication: dialog boxes, button functionality, search and form settings. It is the quality of UX that determines how quickly the user can get what he came to the site for.
UI is the user interface, user interface, in other words, the design of the site: color combinations, fonts, icons, and buttons.
UX is the functionality of the interface, and UI is its appearance.
In modern design, UX and UI almost always go hand in hand because they are so closely related. Yes, indeed, in some large agencies, user scenarios and visual interfaces are thought out by different specialists. But still, the result will be much better if the whole project is carried out by one designer because in this way he will build the work in a complex way.
However, at the same time, there are some types of projects in which UX is more important, and in some – UI:
- UX comes out on top when designing CRM systems, dashboards, and internal working interfaces. The visual part is in the background here – the main thing is how conveniently the data will be placed.
- More attention is paid to UI when creating online image resources, and sites for promoting premium goods and services. Here, the main task is not to quickly lead the user to the target action but to let him examine the interface, and immerse himself in the atmosphere.
If you look globally, then the concept of UX / UI applies not only to design. From the point of view of convenience and aesthetics, one can evaluate any object with which we interact – elevator buttons, restaurant interiors, household appliances.
An example from the past is the lathes of the Middle Ages. A man had a need for the same type of wooden parts, and he invented a tool. Further, this tool was improved – a foot drive appeared, which freed the hands, and the dimensions of the structure took into account the growth of the one who worked at the machine. When the craftsmen assembled the machines, they used the achievements of previous generations and at the same time tried to improve the mechanism so that the machine would last longer and the work would go faster.
The very concept of UX was first formulated only in the early nineties. It was invented by psychologist and designer Donald Norman, who at that time joined the Apple team. He described the term in his book The Design of Everyday Things. Apple has paid great attention to usability from the very beginning, and its interfaces are still considered among the best.
The UX/UI craze has spawned several trends that affect both design and designers:
- Simplification of the visual part of the interfaces. The designer no longer needs to spend time drawing a relief button and looking for well-read images. The modern user easily understands the conventions. It is no longer necessary to explain that the colored rectangle is a button, and the three horizontal stripes are a menu.
- The complexity of design itself as a discipline. Interfaces have become simpler, but the design itself has become more complex and layered. Now sites are complex systems with many different elements: application forms, personal accounts, subscriptions, and online consultants. It is necessary to clearly think over the user’s path on the site so that he does not get lost, quickly finds the necessary sections, and ideally, performs targeted actions.
- The emergence of the profession of UX / UI designer. The market was flooded with various narrow specialists with the prefix UX / UI. A great UX/UI designer sees all aspects of the process and is good at both analytics and design. But in reality, everyone who has heard a lot about these terms and has dealt with websites at least a little tends to call themselves UX / UI.
- The emergence of many specialized tools for web design: Sketch, Figma, Readymag, Framer, and others. This facilitated and accelerated the work of designers.
Web design has come a long way of formation and development, and is eventually reborn into UX / UI. Now, this is the only form of existence of sites, the main principles of which are based on the needs of users and usability.
With the advent of UX / UI, the work of a designer has not become easier. Only the outer side has been simplified. Inside, everything is much more complicated. UX / UI has introduced a number of standards and methodologies that can and should be adopted when working on projects.
Now it’s not enough just to work in Photoshop and be able to draw layouts. A strong designer understands people’s needs and makes user-friendly interfaces.
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