User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) are often confused and thought of as the same thing, and while they do work together, they are not one in the same. The Interaction Design Foundation defines the two as:
User Experience Design
“User experience (UX) design is the process of creating products that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to users. This involves the design of the entire process of acquiring and integrating the product, including aspects of branding, design, usability, and function.” - The Interaction Design Foundation
User Interface Design
“User interface (UI) design is the process of making interfaces in software or computerized devices with a focus on looks or style. Designers aim to create designs users will find easy to use and pleasurable. UI design typically refers to graphical user interfaces but also includes others, such as voice-controlled ones.” - The Interaction Design Foundation
UX Designers are concerned with things such as interaction design, wireframes, prototypes, information architecture, user research, etc. UI Designers, conversely, are focused on visual design, colors, layouts, typography, etc.
UX – Why care?
A user’s overall experience with your product/brand can make the difference of whether or not they choose to buy or come back to buy again. If your product is hard to understand or use people will not come back to use it.
Having a user-centered focus within your company and product will make the experience that user has with your product all the better. In order to do this, you need to deeply understand who your users are – I’m not talking demographics, I’m talking understanding their motivations, goals, perceptions, etc.
UI – Why care?
The user interface of your website, app, or landing page is often the first thing a person interacts with from your company, meaning that this is their first introduction to who your brand is and is what they will base their first impression of you on.
Good UI keeps the user engaged and makes the product easy to use and understand.
88% of users are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience, so having a good UI and UX is imperative.
What is a landing page? - A landing page is a page a user “lands on” when they go to your site. The goal of a landing page is to help convert a visitor into a customer.
UX best practices for landing pages:
Understand your user– Who are they? What are their goals? Why are they here? By better understanding your users you will be able to design the best possible landing page to help them achieve their goals.
Avoid Friction– If a site has too much friction of use, users won’t use it. Don’t make your users think too much, don’t make design choices that cause eye strain, and don’t present too much information too quickly.
Build Trust– You want to build trust with your user through your landing pages. Without trust, users will not make a purchase or continue to use your product. You can build trust by being transparent, being consistent, designing for everyone, and so on.
Avoid Distractions– Don’t have unnecessary things on your landing page and don’t give too many choices. This page has one purpose, get to it.
Clear CTAs– Be sure your calls to action are easy to find, read, and are descriptive of what they lead to.
User-Friendly Forms– Don’t ask for too much information at once and make sure the information is easy and doesn’t make the user think too much.
Be consistent and on-brand– Make sure your landing pages align with the rest of your brand from a design perspective and is consistent with buttons and controls. If it is too off-brand users won’t think it is your landing page.
What businesses do UX well?
MailChimp - High Five
Sending an email can be daunting and something you want to make sure is done right. After you schedule/send an email through MailChimp you may be wondering, “did that work?” Well, it did when you see a high five from a chimp come onto your screen.
Rover – Transparency
Looking for someone to watch your beloved pet while you are gone can be scary. You are putting your pet’s life in this stranger’s hands. Rover recognizes this and, thus, when you review a sitter, Rover gives you all the information you need to make your decision such as ratings, reviews, number of repeat customers, et al.
Chipotle – Don’t make the user think
The other day, I went to mobile order Chipotle for lunch but since the app had recently updated, I had been logged out. Of course, with all the different passwords I use, I wasn’t sure which I used for Chipotle and typed it in wrong. Upon doing so not only did the app tell me my password was wrong but they also told me what their passwords are required to have (capital letter, number, etc.); because of this I didn’t have to think about what my password may be, instead I knew instantly.
Spotify – On-brand & Clear CTA
Spotify’s landing page for their premium subscription is a great example of being on brand, having a clear CTA, and only giving the user the information they need when they need it.
Beyond UX and UI Designers, there are many other roles that fit under the User Experience umbrella such as:
Interaction Designer – Mental Modeling, Storyboards, Journey Maps, Wireframes, User Interfaces
Information Architect –Site Architecture, Navigation Design, Organization Design, Search Design
UX Researcher –Personas, Empathy Maps, Heuristic Reviews, Usability Studies, Interviews, and Surveys
Content Strategist –Content Mapping, Content Development, Communications, Content Organization
UX Strategist – Assessment, Vision, Objectives, Planning, Measurement, Execution
With the shift to more products being offered as a service user choice becomes more frequent, so it is important to care about user experience design because it is what will set you apart.