UX and UI: What is the Difference?
UX design goes hand in hand with user interface design (UI). In UI, the designers build the application interfaces that users interact with. The primary goal of this process is to design aesthetically pleasing, intuitive, and interactive graphical layouts. These layouts have components like buttons, images, and text entry fields.
UX design then determines how users interact with these components. For instance, UX designers can ensure that the;
- User experience is smooth and intuitive, and
- Customers get a sense of accomplishment when using the application
If the application is seamless, then the user experience will be good. If the application is complex and users have difficulty accomplishing tasks, then the user experience is terrible.
Despite their unique focus, most companies only invest in UI design, thinking that UI and UX are interchangeable.
The Need for User Research
Research enables UX designers to understand what users expect from an application. Often, user research entails uncovering some of the customers’ past experiences to know what to include in the design. For instance, most users expect to open a file by double-clicking.
A UX design informed by this knowledge will ensure that the application meets this expectation. In the absence of user research, the UX designers might decide to fasten the file opening process with a single click, resulting in a bad user experience. Such incidences are why a company needs to invest in user research.
Why You Should Invest in UX
It does not matter whether you are providing services or selling goods. Customer experience is at the center of each digital business.
Below are five reasons why investing in UX is investing in the market.
Higher Conversion Rate
When it comes to user experience, the first impression matters most. For example, the first time a customer interacts with a UI, their experience will remain forever. They will narrate this experience in stories, share it on social media, or vow to avoid it forever. If the experience were positive, the user would come back and maybe bring more customers. This conversion is why businesses need to align their goals with UX design. Factors that might boost your user experience and conversion rate include:
Defining your personas Identify your target users, research them, and know their needs and expectations. Then design a UX that meets their requirements and expectations.
Being consistent Your UX design needs to be consistent. Consistency creates predictability, which, in turn, makes a comfortable interaction in which users do not need to relearn everything to use the application.
Enable customization UX design should take into consideration the issues of personalization and customization. For instance, look at Netflix. The company allows its customers to customize the genres they watch and recommend personalized movies based on the user profile. Users are more likely to rate their experience positively if they feel that they are in control.
Improved Customer Experience
UX design prioritizes customer experience by ensuring that the UI is user-friendly. But anyone can claim that their application is user-friendly even if it is not. In UX design, a user-friendly UI has three characteristics.
Ease-Of-Use Customers should navigate your application or website with little difficulty. Sometimes, UI designers might deem an interaction easy when it is not. Through user research, UX designers consider the customers’ knowledge, skills, and jobs to develop an interface that users can easily navigate.
Simplicity Part of a good user experience is a straightforward and organized customer journey. The user interface should not have too many steps or interactions. For instance, imagine this scenario: a company that offers customized services requires users to fill in a questionnaire with 100 detailed questions. Chances are, the majority of this website’s visitors will leave without completing the questionnaire because it is too long. In UX design, creating more direct interactions is the easiest way to a customer’s good graces.
Clarity Your application’s user interface should clearly outline what you want the user to achieve. For instance, sign-in and sign-up can confuse non-native English users, resulting in irritation and poor user experience. UX design aims for users to know what will happen after clicking either of the buttons.
Improved User Engagement and Loyalty
A positive user experience builds up customer engagement. Whether it is a personalized service, user-friendly interface, intuitive navigation, or precise information, a positive experience will cement your brand’s loyalty. Over time, these loyal customers become vocal brand advocates.
Those with poor user experience tend to avoid the application. Some might post their bad experience on social media and attract others who vow never to visit the harmful app.
Decreased Development Costs
UX design saves the company from re-designing and fixing products because they do not meet customer expectations. The design has two main stages: prototyping and usability testing. Prototyping is an iterative process that builds a model of the end product and tests its usability.
The technique minimizes errors in the final product by scaling redundant features. The designers refine the model until the final product meets all the company’s UX requirements with all iterations. Users also provide valuable feedback on the changes they want and satisfying features.
UX design invests the business’s resources in customer experience and satisfaction. Since a good UX is good for the company, the process yields a tangible return on investment (ROI). On average, a one-dollar investment in UX returns 100 dollars. Actual user experience goes beyond fulfilling customer expectations. You should also focus on:
- Build applications that address exact user needs
- Building interfaces that support natural approaches to accomplishing user goals
- Optimizing the product’s technical, cognitive, and physical features to increase UX efficiency and effectiveness
- Smoothing transitions between related services and communications
The UX importance design helps the business to provide a satisfying customer experience. UX design can also serve as a marketing tool. UX and advertisement have a dependent relationship in which the customer experience advocates for the company’s product. A good user experience also encourages the customer to seek out more of the company’s products.
Product-Led Growth and Sale
Companies are shifting from traditional sales to product-led sales, which focus on product experience. For example, look at Apple. When you buy an iPhone, you receive the product and the brand’s identity.
Apple’s identity becomes your identity, and those who buy iPhones would not hesitate to purchase iPads, and Apple watches. Such companies take pride in their user experience, which is their primary sales drive.
Benefits of UX to a Business
Greater Business Intelligence Information is power. Business intelligence tools like Google Analytics enable you to collect data, analyze it, and visualize it. The insight gained from data analytics can be essential in improving your product’s UX. You can also collect data by sampling customer reviews and satisfaction surveys.
Competitive Edge UX design is about customer satisfaction and retention. The more positive your user experience, the higher the rate of conversion and retention. UX design also allows you to collect meaningful data that is essential for business intelligence.
The collected data, customer retention and satisfaction, and reduced development costs provide a competitive edge. No wonder companies like Google and Facebook invest lots of money in UX design.
Increased Social Media Sharing User experience determines whether a customer will want to share your product with others. If the encounter is memorable, the probability of sharing is higher. If not, you will have a bad review and an unsatisfied customer.
Shareable buttons are a promising avenue for increasing social media access. Make the buttons prominent, visible, and clear, and link them to social media sites like Twitter as part of a good UX design.
User research will help you keep track of your customer’s progress. For example, you can learn whether browsing through your product was a positive or negative user experience. It also helps to make your product aesthetically pleasing.