By David Ugarkovic May 19, 2020 In Art & Design, Craft & DIY, Freelance, Graphic design, Money & Life, UI/UX

What is UX/UI and why is it important?

Nowadays, the internet has become overwhelmed with different acronyms, buzzwords, and specific expressions. That can make regular users feel confused and lost in the world of business slang. Frankly, an expression that you use, but don’t know the meaning will make you look… *insert nice word*… clumsy. Well, fear not, because today I will break the UX/UI jargon to pieces to give you all the necessary information.

Are the UX and UI the same?

Not at all, but people get them mixed all the time. You can look at the UI as the sub-discipline of the UX, but with great differences between. Confused you even more, huh? Great. Let’s get started on today’s lecture. 

UI is the bridge that gets us where we want to go, UX is the feeling we get when we arrive.

Jason Ogle – Host and producer of User Defenders podcast, Designer at NCM

UX/UI – The user experience – UX

User experience is, simplified, how the user feels when interacting with his surroundings. That can be anything, from a website to a trip to the museum. Nowadays, the term “UX” is used mostly in the digital world, to describe the experience between the user and the product or service (webpage, mobile app, program, etc.). This part of the experience doesn’t concentrate on the visual aspects, but mostly on practical ones. 

The product must be:

  • easy to interact with
  • relevant
  • efficient
  • pleasant
  • up to date
  • reliable

To accomplish that, as a result, the UX designers must take a holistic approach to the problems. Besides just looking at the big picture (Gestalt Principles), the most important part is to listen to the user’s feedback. After all, don’t forget you are making the product for a regular user, not for yourself. 

“User experience encompasses all aspects of the end-users interaction with the company, its services, and its products.”

Don Norman, Cognitive Scientist & User Experience Architect

UX/UI – The user interface – UI

UX/UI process
Source: https://careerfoundry.com/

The “user interface” term has had its fair share of misinterpretations, mostly because it’s a very wide field of work. But unlike user experience, the user interface is strictly focused on a digital world. The user interface is obviously the tool you use to interact with a certain device or service, like a touchscreen of the smartphone or a homepage of the website. The user interface includes the buttons or the icons in the app, the size, font, and looks of the text, screen layouts, in-app banners, color contrast, and much, much more. Everything you see and can interact within the app or the webpage is UI, and someone designed it to fulfil the user needs above all. UI designers must be good graphic designers, as their job is strictly visual. The good user interface must be:

  • visually attractive
  • stimulating
  • in compliance with the purpose of the product
  • harmonic
  • aesthetic
  • easy to remember
  • have a responsive design

A user interface is like a joke. If you have to explain it, it’s not that good.

Martin LeBlanc

How to make UX/UI work together?

Despite their huge differences in skills and tasks, both the UX and UI have one thing in mind: user satisfaction. To accomplish that, UX and UI must be well balanced, harmonized, and finally have great communication.  The greatest interface on the world can’t save a bad or broken app, and the most well-built webpage will render worthless if its interface is designed too clunky or old-fashioned.

UX/UI difference
Source: http://cdm.ca

UX/UI tips & tricks

Three clicks rule

Most of the regular users will cease to use your webpage if they can’t complete their initial task within three clicks.

The F pattern

Usually, the first thing the users read on the webpage is the two first headlines, followed with the starting words of each row of the text. You must keep their attention there, to encourage them to read the rest of the page.

Five-second test

The first impression is often the most important one when gathering new users. Test your webpage or app by showing it to the new users for 5 seconds, and you will find out what they noticed first, bad or good.

80/20 principle

Also known as the Pareto principle, this simple mathematical theory teaches us that 20% of the good, functional features of UX/UI design will be responsible for 80% of the user interaction with that design. 

Golden Ratio (φ)

Golden ratio in UX/UI
Image by Gary Meisner

The most visually appealing layout, the Golden Ratio surrounds us, whether we noticed it or not. Users tend to memorize and frequently use the product or services with the Golden Ratio included in the logo and/or graphical interface. The Golden Ratio is cca. 1.618 and you can calculate it by this simple formula: a/b = (a+b)/a =  1.618… = φ

Do you need a degree to become a UX/UI designer?

Every diploma and certificate you have is a great proof of your accomplishment and desire to get better at what you do. However, the clients are more interested in your portfolio and previous experience, than the piece of paper. You can become a great designer even if you are self-taught but having a degree does give you a great head start over your competition. 

Conclusion

So, if the product is visually great but somewhat hard to use, it’s an example of a great UI and a bad UX. On the other hand, if you have an easy-to-use product, but with a bad visual interface, you got yourself a bad UI – great UX case. Need help with your UX/UI, branding, or any other products? Need to rebrand your corporate identity guideline? Contact me and I will see what can be done. 

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