It is not unusual to hear people discuss great user experience (UX) of a specific product or uniqueness of a website’s user interface (UI). UX and UI are crucial elements to every product and work closely in determining the ultimate value that users draw. Even though they are very close, the inherent roles of each are very different. While UX design is rather technical and indeed analytical, the UI design closely mimics the common graphic design.
Even as we embark on answering the question, what is UX and UI?, it is important to appreciate that none will achieve the anticipated optimal impact without the other. UX without UI is like a classroom without learning desks and books. On the other hand, UI without UX is like painting a house with random colors.
What is UX design?
User design, commonly abbreviated as UXD or UED, is the process of driving customer satisfaction by enhancing a product’s usability and pleasure. A user experience designer targets enhancing all facets of a product or company for higher satisfaction through research, development, testing, and prototyping.
To ensure that a product logically flows, user experience designers may target identifying and solving the stumbling blocks to drive higher levels of user satisfaction. To achieve this, the user experience designer mainly utilizes a technology called wireframe.
What is wireframe? A wireframe is the main technology used by a UX developer to create the layout of a product. It is a low-fidelity and simplified outline of a product that makes it possible to get recognized in lines, represented texts, and X squares for future images. The armature/skeleton is the basis of creating the ultimate product. The main wireframe tools include;
- InDesign CC
- Fluid UJ
- Photoshop CC
Before using the wireframe, you will need to breathe life into it. Prototypes mainly include the first user interaction to demonstrate and test the ultimate functionality of a design. The core prototyping tools used in UX include;
A deeper look into UI Development
UI is a consolidation of tasks that target optimization of products to enhance the success of their use. Consider it as the look, feel and interactivity of a specific product with the user. However, the difference between UI and UX is hard to draw, especially by companies that only want to change their image out there. In some cases, you could find the job description of a UI similar to that of a graphic designer.
UI helps with the transference of a company’s product research, development, content, and layout with a target of achieving better experience for all users. While the roles of a UI UX designer often overlap in some areas, user interface development is strictly a digital profession.
UI developer roles and important technologies
The work of a UI developer is more demanding compared to that of a web designer. The UI work demands that the developer sees the product from the customer’s viewpoint. By applying advanced mathematics and latest technologies such as CSS and XML, the developer comes up with workable solutions to make interaction more authentic.
The main roles of UI developers include creating front end web applications, integrating front end applications, and implementing the best practices in cross-browser compatibility. Other tasks include designing user interfaces for team environments and running usability testing to help resolve interface problems. To achieve the objectives of their roles, UI developers apply the following technologies;
- Backbone.Js: This tool provides one of the best model-based structures for giving latitude to the UI.
- HTML5/CSS3: This is among the latest HTML versions that support a wide range of UI frameworks including Foundation, Skeleton, and BootStrap.
The meeting point between UX and UI
The line between UI and UX is gray. While UI plays a very crucial role in UX, the latter has a larger scope. Note that this does not mean UI is in any way less important. In fact, the way you apply UI can make or break your app or site. However, UX developers have to factor a lot of diversifications about interaction design, copywriting, creating taxonomies, and coordination among others.
- Focus on solving a particular users’ problem: To come up with great user interfaces, the designer must establish the problem he is trying to solve, the anticipated flow and product’s hierarchies.
- Understanding the target audience: Notably, designing a great interface should be drawn directly from the target clients. If planning to launch an app, it is prudent to have a clear idea of what the future requires. You must figure out what will bring people to your app and understand the competitors.
- Using visual hierarchy: One of the key targets for UI developers is helping users focus on specific items. The best way to achieve this is establishing the elements that should be bigger and focal points in a product/site. A landing site might want to emphasize on downloads or the price of a product. In some cases, introducing a new/ unexpected component that enhances the UX could work wonders.
- Use of colors and contrasts: Selecting the right colors is crucial in enhancing the effect you anticipate in any interface. Colors can help to determine the relationship between the elements and visual hierarchy to enhance the UX. When working on UI, it is important to emphasize on uniformity and carefully vary the contract to deliver special effect.
Demand in the industry for UI/UX developer
The demand for UX and UI developers has been growing rapidly in the last decade. Unlike with the traditional marketing, more companies are now embracing the use of websites, landing pages, and more importantly mobile apps that require carefully designing for better UX. However, the demand for UI/UX developers is not just limited to websites and mobile app development.
The developers are now going further to overcome the challenges of dealing with Big Data without compromising user experience. While the loads of data that continue to accumulate faster than any other time in the past become a reality, even companies that consider their interfaces satisfactory are going back to the drawing board to rethink their UX and UI.
For newbies in the web and apps design, the fields of UX and UI development are perhaps the most important. The demand has in the last couple of years outstripped supply. Simply think of the new businesses working on new sites, and the chances are they have some work for enhancing their UX and UI to drive higher traffic and raise sales.
Remember that even as you delve deeper into the specifics of UI and UX, it is equally important to get the clear grip of how graphic design works. The graphic designer focuses on crafting lovely icons, visual elements, controls, and guaranteeing a lovely topography.
User Interface and User Experience are perhaps the most important components in today’s products, sites, and mobile app development. While UI UX concepts, role, and technologies overlap in many ways, developers need to get everything right to guarantee their clients results. Even as the demand for UX and UI designers keep rising, the secret to success is understanding the differences and focusing on the target audience’s requirements.