Web designing can be approached in many ways. Some companies approach web development from a web hosting perspective, especially if they want a lot of features installed. Others want to focus on making sure their web domain contains elements they can rank in search engines for. However, if you’re new to web development, you might want to get to know UX/UI web design principles. Of all elements involved in web design, it’s UX and UI that can define the way your audiences see your website. If you get your approach in UX and UI correctly, you may very well have a reliable and efficient website to suit your needs.
UI and UX: Understanding the Numbers
Before we go on to explain just what user experience (UX) and user interfaces (UI) are, it helps to know why they’re needed in the first place. A lot of this has to do with how users and audiences perceive your website. Majority of users (95-percent!) actually said good user experience made them rely on the company more. In fact, businesses with good user interface on designs are likelier to increase conversion rates by a whopping 200 to 400-percent.
With these in mind alone, both user experience and user interfaces remain extremely relevant aspects of website design. However, UX/UI web design aren’t exactly a trip to the park, as creating efficient UX and UI involves efficient planning and execution. At Pnetform, we train our web developers and web designers to understand integral elements of design to ensure we provide effective UX and UI to our clients. However, before we proceed to the technical aspects of the two subjects, it might help if we explain them first.
Explaining UI: What Is A User Interface?
If you’ve stumbled upon this article during a search, you likely have an interpretation of a user interface in your head. Looking at a user interface as the screen you interact with in a program or an application gets you close to the right answer. In fact, the screen can be considered a user interface, albeit a graphical user interface (GUI). However, user interfaces encompass everything that helps users interact with a service or a program or a product. These include things you see in modern technology such as keyboards and screens. Your smartphone’s buttons and touchscreens also count as a user interface. Even lights in a machine can be part of the user interface.
How was this invented?
We’re lucky to be in an age where it’s now much easier to interact with computers and other forms of technology. Back in the day, if we want to use a computer, we need to type a hundreds of lines of code to do simple tasks. In the 80s, the first GUI got invented to help users interact with computers courtesy of buttons and icons that do specific commands. When manufacturers and sellers got wind of this idea, they started integrating these systems into their products. After all, their computers might be powerful, but they won’t connect to customers if they’re hard to use.
What are points of a UI to remember?
With just the above alone, one can’t be blamed for thinking a UI possess a lot of elements. If you’re looking for a quick guide, here are some elements of a UI you should remember:
- Navigational components allow you to move around the interface. These include icons and tags, sliders and pagination.
- Informational components help you interface with the UI much better. They contain tidbits of information that can benefit your experience. These include modal windows, notifications, icons, message boxes, and progress bars.
- Input controls allow you to place commands in an interface. This allows you to input a command and get a response, hence the name. These include text fields, buttons, lists, radio buttons, and checkboxes.
Where are we with UIs today?
Thanks to modern technology, UI designers have a lot to work with to experiment with user interfaces. Smartphones and other forms of technology benefit from improvements in fields such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and augmented reality. Aside from physical interfaces such as buttons and touchscreens, “zero UI” or screenless interfaces like gestures and voice slowly get integrated into systems. You can see this today courtesy of smart assistants like Siri, or even facial recognition technology.
Explaining UX: What Is User Experience?
If UI involves the tools you need for interacting with a service or product, UX deals with the entire experience. User interfaces lead to user experience, since it’s the interface that gives way to interaction. However, not all customers experience a service or a product the same way. This is why user experience can often be characterized as good or bad or neutral user experiences. Companies naturally want their customers to have good user experiences with their products. After all, this often gets those users to avail the product or service.
How was this invented?
The term user experience can be attributed to Don Norman. He’s the cognitive scientist that used the term first in the 90s during his stint with Apple. He defined a UX as the sum of a user’s interaction not just with a product, but a service and the company itself.
What are points of a UX to remember?
If you’re looking for a quick guide to help you establish an understanding of a UX, you might want to look into what’s called a usability honeycomb. Peter Moreville developed this concept to help professionals understand relevant aspects that help users improve their experiences. General elements include:
- How can a customer discover your brand and its products?
- What sequence of events take place when interacting with your interface?
- What feelings and thoughts should arise while they do these tasks?
- What impressions should be expected once they’re done using the product?
Where are we with UX today?
Thanks to UI, user experience specialists have a lot to work with to help users get the best experience out of a product. Users can also give immediate feedback to how good or bad a service and a product can be, which opens a lot of opportunities for improvement for companies.
Design, Experience Matter: Approach Development As A Consumer
When you build your business website, you should always remember that web designing has more to do than just aesthetics. Even your site’s functions can be deeply connected to your design goals. Things like web hosting and web domain have a lot to do with how you approach your UX/UI web design principles. Here at Pnetform, our web development suite allows us to help our clients choose the right approach to web developing – as it’s not always about “just” the appearance. If you combine form and functionality with efficient user experience and user interface, you can get a website that your audiences are sure to remember and appreciate.