UI/UX Guide

User Experience
UI/UX Guide
Article by Maria Martin
Last Updated: March 14, 2023

In today’s technologically advanced world, everything must be efficient and intuitive. This is where UI and UX enter the picture.

What is UI/UX Design? Two highly sought-after job posts in the tech industry. These are different specialties that operate so close to each other that many interchanges and merge them into one role – a practice whose efficacy is to be determined.

UX and UI design are centered on the ideation, creation, and development of digital interfaces and productivity tools. Read about exactly what they are, how they serve you and your customers, and the benefits of integrating their best practices into your workflow.

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What Is UI Design?

User interface (UI) is how a user interacts with a machine, software or computer system.

UI design involves creating visual elements that give precedence to how your audience sees and feels about your platform – whether it’s your website, your application, or your product’s software.

As the name suggests, UI design is focused on the user’s perception of viewing the platform. The “design” part applies as each user is different. It takes skill and experience to find the right balance between what each person finds valuable and practical, along with your business interface. At its peak, UI can increase a website’s conversion rate by 200%.

How To Become a UI Designer

A UI designer’s background is usually in graphic design, web design, or something similar. Coding experience isn’t required but is always appreciated since UI designers typically work hand-in-hand with developers.

Teamwork and communication skills are good as collaboration is key to building a well-working project. A thorough understanding of visual design and branding is essential, as well as a working knowledge of responsive design, and can use mockups and layout tools. A UI designer must also be adaptable, able to solve problems that arise, and able to work with others or by themselves as needed.

What Does a UI Designer Do?

UI design is one of those positions in tech that lives in a fast-paced, demanding industry. Specialists in this field are creative, quick on their toes, and well-informed on the recent trends and practices to develop visuals and aesthetics accordingly.

Generally, a UI designer works on the following visual elements:

  • Overall look and feel of an interface, whether it’s a website, an application, or software.
  • Crafts a visual style guide to set standards for brand imagery, color palette, typography, and iconography.
  • Develops a responsive and intuitive interface.
  • Works with UX designers to produce a platform that balances form and function well.

There are many avenues to get into UI design. Today’s specialists are primarily self-taught and shifted from visual and graphic design fields to focus on developing the user interface. Come equipped with the appropriate skill set and have a background of working with tools such as Figma, Sketch, and Adobe XD, and you’ll have room to thrive in the field.

What Are The Different Kinds of UI?

The typical user would be most familiar with the interface available on computers and mobile devices. That said, there are different kinds of UI that you may not have known are considered the same:

  • Graphical User Interface (GUI) – Present in most devices with a screen, like your computer and your phone, users are typically familiar with GUI. It’s the easiest and most interactive interface one can use. Touchscreen graphical user interface falls under this category.
  • Command Line Interface (CLI) – This is a text-based interface that mainly requires a keyboard for users to interact with. Originally used as the primary interface for computer terminals in the 1960s, users can interact with CLI through lines of script that may be challenging to learn for the average user today.
  • Menu-Driven Interface – A much more straightforward, more compact UI focused on a limited number of operations. Users encounter menu-driven interfaces in bank ATMs, digital camera programs, restaurant self-service screens, and more.
  • Voice-Based Interface – Also known as conversational UI, voice-based interfaces are fast-growing thanks to the internet of things (IoT) industry growing as rapidly as it is. Users interact with these through vocal commands through voice recognition technology and self-teaching programming.

What Is UX Design?

User experience (UX) involves how your audience engages with the interface, analyzing how satisfying, challenging, and stimulating the platform is, how easy it is to learn and how well a product runs.

UX design is the practice of creating a product focused on the way your audience would encounter and engage with it. UX measures how well users can interact with the interface for digital platforms. Research and data play central roles in UX design, as specialists conduct regular tests and experimentation to determine which methods work best.

Users have been shown to stop viewing content, 41% because it took too long to load and 30% due to the display not showing properly on their device. 90% of users have said they stopped using an app because it performed poorly. This is the critical role UX specialists play for customer retention UX and eCommerce UX, among others.

UX design prioritizes your audience’s behavior and preferences in how they will navigate your platform. There’s a science to making your platform user-friendly, and keeping this in mind as you build your online platforms can optimize your custom website user experience.

How To Become a UX Designer

UX designers must have a thorough understanding of customer relations and how to empathize with their needs. In a field centered on creating user-friendly tools and products, UX designers must work closely with test user groups, UI designers, and product developers throughout the process.

A UX designer must have customer relations and excellent interpersonal and communication skills. You need to have a working knowledge of user research and analysis techniques, supported by a fundamental grasp of information architecture. Having backgrounds in psychology and behavioral science are great additions to your skillset.

A comprehensive understanding of the design process is essential, especially when collaborating with other designers. Programming or coding knowledge is beneficial but not necessary.

Account and project managers with designing experience who want to actively produce tools that benefit customers can find an exciting and rewarding career in UX design.

What Does a UX Designer Do?

A UX designers hours can vary depending on the project timeline. At the start, you can expect days to be focused on research and testing, followed by drafting samples and prototypes. While these processes can undoubtedly occur during the middle and even after the project is launched, taking these steps at the beginning comes first.

Below are a UX designer’s responsibilities in a nutshell:

  • Researching and collecting feedback from test users to measure the effectiveness and practicality of a design.
  • Collating information on user personas, developing user journeys, and ideating solutions to meet users.
  • Preparing prototypes and wireframes and collaborating with UI designers to ensure their function.
  • Delegating new tasks and strategies amongst the team to establish a consistent standard in
  • Keeping up-to-date on trends and regularly improving and streamlining designs to follow industry best practices.

How Are UI and UX Design Different?

Many of their tasks and skills overlap, but UX and UI designers have different focus areas.

A UX designer focuses on the user’s journey and ensures a product has a logical flow to its use. That there’s a familiar and intuitive understanding of how a user interacts and experiences it. Everything from conceptualizing, researching, prototyping, and testing how well the product can be used is the UX desigdesigner’sd-and-butter.

A UI designer works on the appearance and aesthetic that guides the user as they interact with the product. This comprises every graphical element that users encounter, including the buttons, the color palette, the typefaces and the icons, and more. You can expect a UI designer to have developed and polished every visual touchpoint that the user interacts with.

How To Balance UI and UX Design Proficiently

Whether you’re or UX design specialist searching for a job opening, or you’re a company looking to hire for these positions, you may have encountered posts that list them as a combined

In your search to better understand UX and UI design, you may have encountered posts where they were combined as one specialty. While this is certainly a possibility – one person capable of doing the job of two people – it’s important to note the distinctions between them. Because they have different focus areas, having an extensive knowledge of the workflow and processes that these fields cover is definitely impressive.

In a fast-paced industry where adaptability is keycritical, it’s better to have multiple baskets for your eggs. Companies who employ UI and UX designers may opt to combine the roles into one, which is economical for small businesses and startups who have a limited budget for hires. Established enterprises benefit from having more means to fund multiple hires, making for more specialists who can collaborate and produce more efficiently than a small team. More heads are better than one, after all.

Professional UX companies can help you in that regard by providing their expert opinion on the matter and guiding your business as fits your market.

We’ll find qualified user experience agencies for your project, for free.
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