As Rahul Varshney, Co-creator of Foster.fm quotes “User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) are amongst the most confused and misused terms in our field. UI without UX is like a painter slapping paint onto a canvas without thought; while UX without UI is like the frame of a sculpture with no papier-mâché on it. A great product experience starts with UX followed by UI. Both are essential to the product’s success.”
UX design emphases on interactive aspect of the product, the behavior, and the design and customer interaction. Whereas UI handles the architecture of the content and the sitemap.
Thus, to simply say, UI is how things look, UX is how things work. UX is the approach, whereas UI is the output.
The Definition of UX
User experience (UX) design is the method of building products that are meaningful and create personalized experiences. The process involves the vigilant design of both a product’s usability and the ease of interaction between product and consumer. The UX design encompasses the procedure of product building starting from acquiring and integrating the product which includes features like branding, design, usability, and function.
Factors that Matters for UX
- Useful: Content should be original and fulfill the need.
- Usable: UX must enable users to effectively and efficiently achieve their objective.
- Accessible: The digital and information products must be navigable and easy to locate.
- Credible: The ability of the user to trust in the product that you’ve provided.
- Desirable: Desirability in design must be put across through branding, image, identity, aesthetics and emotional design.
- Valuable: Products must deliver value to the business which creates it and to the user who buys/uses it.
- Accessible: Providing an experience which can be accessed by users of a full range of abilities.
Skills Required for UX Designers
UX design is the popular as well as the standard formula for product success in the technology sector. As the skill is in demand, so are its professionals. These days every UX designer claims that they have a profound understanding of the trending skills. However, it is important to know what qualifies a UX designer as skillful? The proceeding paragraphs will rightly answer the question and narrow down the skills that are a must for a good UX designer:
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Responsive design is of great importance for compatibility with multiple devices. Thus, to fulfill the demand of recent times, it is crucial for the UX designers to be skilled in crafting responsive designs.
Agile and Lean UX
Agile and lean software development is UX features that are here to stay. The role of a UX designer within the agile team is extensive. They are more of a design facilitator and conductor rather than just a designer. The pace is also that bit quicker so being able to very rapidly conduct UX research and design is important.
Proficiency in Prototyping
UX design majorly depicts interactions. This feature can be better illustrated and evaluated with the help of prototypes. Prototypes are way better than traditional annotated wireframes and visuals. The design isn’t measurable if prototyping is excluded. Thus, it is essential for prospective UX designers to be proficient in rapid prototyping.
Niche UX professionals gauge user personas in terms of cognitive and behavioral characteristics. This involves knowledge base, impetuses, and desired outcomes; all of which are significant for designs.
UX designers aren’t bound to gain expertise in design skills, rather, it will be beneficial for them to have a fair understanding of business skills. Businesses are hiring talent based on their ability to multi-task. Designers in the future can be seen delivering presentations, scripting business cases, addressing key business stakeholders and managing the predictable politics that are rife within most organizations.
The Definition of UI
UI Design is a collection of tasks relating to optimization of a product for operative and entertaining use. The function of User Interface Design is to complement, the look, and feel, the presentation and interactivity of a product. This field of design fulfills the concerns and requirements in presentation and the look of a website. User Interface (UI) Design mainly focuses on forestalling user requirements, for active interaction on the interface. It is to ensure the interface is early accessible, understandable and pilotable. UI unites the perceptions of interaction design, visual design, and information architecture.
Factors That Matters for UI
Intuitive and Consistent
The controls and information on the webpage of any digitally enabled product must possess an intuitive and consistent navigation. If this feature is paired with easy accessibility and navigation, then it’s an icing on the cake.
Creative yet familiar
It is a good initiative from the designer’s perspective to identify and integrate things that users are comfortable with. However, the consumer market never compromises on appreciating and interacting with innovative technology.
UI must be capable of handling update installations and integration of modifications without proposing any form of conflict of interest.
Responsive in this context has a couple of mentions. Firstly, the swiftness of the webpage. If not, the interface it is the software behind it should work fast. Secondly, the interface should respond and update the user to inform them about what’s happening.
Clarity is the vital aspect of user interface design. One of the major objectives of user interface design is to let people interact with your system by communicating meaning and function.
Clarity in a user interface is commendable. This should not be mistaken with over-clarification. There is always a tendency for designers to fall into this trap. The idea is to stay clear and concise.
Skills Required for UI Designers
- Strong background and experience in creating wireframes, storyboards, user flows and flows and sitemaps.
- Proficiency in Photoshop, Illustrator, OmniGraffle, knowledge about visual design and wire-framing tools is always a plus.
- Outstanding visual design skills with compassion to user-system interaction.
- Conversant with the latest UI trends, techniques, and technologies
- BS/MS in Human-Computer Interaction, Interaction Design, or related
- Experience working in an Agile/Scrum development process.
How UX and UI Overlap
The separation is blurring between the tasks performed, skills required, job responsibilities for UX and UI designers. They possess and work towards similar goals. This is the primary reason for wrong usage and confusion of these terminologies. Here are the goals of UI/UX Designers.
- Pleasing and addressing the customer/visitor needs.
- The user-centric design will be their agenda. It is up to the users as to how they want to interact with products and services, not how the designer thinks they should.
Thus, in recent times there is a unification of UX and UI design. A major share of the designer community is upgrading their skills in their respective areas. Individuals acting in both experience and interface design, can connect with customers better and reduce the overall design time. The employers always prefer such talent. As the topic is about blending of UX and UI, and the isolation is great in terms of mental acumen. However, it is a completely different experience when working in these fields. These fields shouldn’t undergo separation and must have a common point of contact in terms of directives.