[Infographic] UX vs. UI: What’s the Difference?

UX vs. UI: What's the Difference?

 

A company website is an integral part of any marketing strategy. It is a crucial platform from which you can position your business in front of customers. The information that your website contains and how you present it on your site can affect the way visitors perceive your company. This relationship in web design is what is known as user experience (UX) and user interface (UI).

 

To say that UX and UI are interchangeable isn’t exactly right. Although these two terms are related, there’s a clear distinction between them. Between the two, UX has a broader scope, covering a vast array of web design factors like usability and even UI. That’s right, UI is a subset of UX. In terms of website structure, UX pertains to how all the elements on your website work, while UI is focused on how things on your website look.

 

Why does UX and UI Matter to Your Business?

For one, 94% of visitors close websites that have a degraded web design. Additionally, 48% of online users agree that website design is the top factor that influences how they view a company’s credibility.

 

There are also misconceptions that UX/UI is all about the visuals or aesthetics. Your website might have impressive graphics and all the information about your product or service, but if the loading times are taking longer than what’s acceptable for users, you compromise your chances of getting business from your visitors. Slow loading pages can negatively impact your site’s visibility on search results, and that’s the last thing you want to happen.

 

After all, isn’t the primary purpose of your website to boost brand awareness, generate traffic, and ultimately sales? None of those is possible if you’re not reaching your target audience because you neglected UX and UI design.

 

A clear and thorough understanding of UX and UI can help you identify which aspect of your website needs to be optimized. In line with this goal, here’s an infographic that aims to demystify the confusion between UX and UI. It will define each of these web design elements, discuss what constitutes each, and tackle how they differ from one another.

 

Infographic - UX vs. UI: What's the Difference?

 

The Real Score Between UX and UI

If you’re getting your website designed, you’ll be coming across the acronyms UX and UI very often. From the definitions above, you already know that UX is more encompassing than UI.

 

Don Norman, who invented the term “user experience,” puts UX in proper context by saying: [User experience] is everything—it’s the way you experience the world, it’s the way you experience your life, it’s the way you experience the service … it’s a system that’s everything.”

 

Whereas UX covers the whole spectrum of the user experience, UI is more specific to the “cosmetic presentation” of a website.

 

As a website user yourself, you have certain expectations on how a website should function and how it should be formatted. That’s UX and UI, respectively.

 

You can also dissect these two elements more clearly by looking at what UX and UI designers do. A designer specializing in UX is in charge of making sure that the website delivers the information or service that the user wants, while the UI designer is responsible for arranging all elements on a web page in an intuitive fashion.

UX and UI Go Hand in Hand

There’s no need to compare UX and UI or have them compete with one another in terms of importance because they are two separate, yet codependent concepts. However, despite their different nature, these two elements of web design work together to make your website not only useful but also engaging for users.

 

Here’s an example to illustrate the relationship between UX and UI: A website offering a collection of medical literature might be successful in organizing the different categories of medical science (UI), but if users need to make a dozen clicks to get to the database only to wait a few more minutes for the page to load, the website might as well get rid of the feature since it disrupts the seamless experience (UX).

 

What Makes for a Great Website UX

  • Looks and Feel
    The kind of browsing experience that your website provides to visitors can help you build trust and credibility with your customers. A great website is one that takes users on a pleasant journey as they look for solutions to their problems. Make sure that every interaction on your web pages is smooth, simple, and easy for users. For instance, your product or service pages should have matching headings and subheadings, so visitors don’t feel confused if they’re looking at the right information.
  • Functionality or Usefulness
    You also need to consider the users’ needs first. Think about what type of information they usually look for or how they want to pay for a product or service on your website. You can then address these needs by including relevant features or functionalities on your website.
  • Familiarity of Users with Your Website
    Apart from being useful, a website should also be designed with predictability in mind. In a predictable UX design, users know more or less what will happen when they tap, swipe, or click on something. This kind of awareness is valuable to make users feel more comfortable and empowered as they navigate through your site.
  • Relevance to Users
    All the considerations described above make research a core aspect of UX. You need to invest time to find out what online users perceive is an ideal customer experience and utilize your findings to modify or improve your website. You could start your research by identifying and studying buyer personas—in this case, your website user—as it can provide you with crucial data about user profiles and behavior. Taking the example above, once you know the type of information your visitors need to have on your website, you can use that insight to dictate how information should flow.
  • Alignment with Customer Journey
    User research can likewise tell you a lot about the customer journey—from finding your brand through a Google search or social media post and then engaging on your website until they register as users. Being aware of this process can help you map out your website’s structure, so that you’ll know what information, item, elements, or features a particular page should show based on what user needs emerge at different parts of the customer journey.

What Comprises UI Design

  • Layout
    A good UI design means your pages are free from clutter and distractions. There should be a good combination of media and text that’s interspersed well with one another. Remember that putting too many elements on one page can affect the way users see information on your website and ultimately affect their user experience.

    You can use colors to help with user navigation, too. For example, clickable buttons are shown in solid colors, while buttons that are disabled are grayed out.

  • Imagery
    Photos, illustrations, and animations should be relevant to a page’s content. Imagery may also include your logo to help you communicate the personality of your brand.
  • Structure
    The way you organize or arrange the elements on your website should be logical. For example, you can group similar items such that there’s a separate section for order details and shipping details.
  • Typography
    Type is an integral part of UI because it helps convey ideas through words when using images won’t suffice. Thus, the font type, style, and size are your key considerations to make your site more readable for users. You can also utilize good typography to distinguish one thing from another, such as headings and subheadings.
  • Forms
    These pertain to the input controls that enable users to tick boxes, select from a dropdown menu, and the like, to indicate their choice or response. Your form fields need to match the data type that you’re trying to collect—you can’t show users a date-and-time form field if what you need them to do is to describe the issue they’re having with your product or service. In such a case, you need to make a text field available for users to write their inputs.
  • Navigation
    The navigation design of your website is what guides users as they move from one section to another. Users need to have a point of reference to let them know where to go next or how to go back to a page they previously visited.

Final Words: The UX and UI Elements of Web Design

A good UX and UI design can be instrumental in attracting visitors to your site and keeping them engaged throughout. You can’t work on UX without touching on UI, so treat them with equal attention.

 

As you gain insights into how people are using your site, you should also check on your web design to help you improve your site’s features and functionalities.

 

Find out how by consulting with web design experts at MicroCreatives. Contact us now!