With further advancement in technology, artificial intelligence, digitization and globalization, a plethora of information is accessible to everyone, anytime and anywhere with merely a few clicks. This shapes how we behave with each other, machines and systems. Moreover, this has ultimately proceeded to a fusion of numerous disciplines which is referred as UX. The disciplines are: content, interaction, usability, persuasion, visual design and behavior.
User experience (UX) is that internal experience a user has as they interact with each series of events and aspects of a company’s products and services. It is where technology intertwines with the human being.
UX applies to everything that can be experienced for example a website or a visit to the supermarket. It refers to the interaction between the user and the service or product.
User experience focuses on how the experience makes the user feel and how simplified the process of completing their tasks is. For example, how simple a user’s check out process feels when shopping online. To experience is believed to be a natural human state, an amalgamation of memory and cognitive process therefore UX designers specifically deliver to the overall feel of a user experience.
On the other hand, the user interface (UI) allows a person to interact with the designs of product or service. It is all about the product’s function and interfaces. It is referred to as the overall feel of a design.
UI is made up of all the elements that allow a user to interact with the product or service. An UI designer will focus on icons, buttons, typography, pages, visual elements, a series of screens and color schemes.
Interface elements comprise of input controls, navigational components, and informational components. Input controls include radio buttons, dropdown lists, checkboxes, toggles, and list boxes. Whereas navigational components include slider, tags, and the search field. Informational components include notifications, message boxes, and modal windows.
Both UI and UX go hand-in-hand. A case of bad UI can destroy good UX for example a user is trying to buy flowers online and the buttons on the website have been placed too close together leading to the user clicking on the wrong button and ordering the wrong bouquet therefore ruining their user experience. Perhaps, this user would be less likely to suggest this website to their friends. This then leads to loss of potential customers for the flower company and a hampered UX for all.
Therefore, it is of utmost importance to know about the user’s behavioral patterns, tendencies, preferences, skills and goals. Keeping the interface simple will benefit users from all the spectrums, of all ages and skill sets. The interface designs that are most likely to be successful are the ones that are invisible to the user, it should feel seamless and convenient to navigate for anyone new on the website. It is vital to strategically use color, contrast and light to the advantage of the user. It’s also important to create consistency by utilizing common UI elements to help the user feel comfortable with their user journey.
Building patterns in language, layout and design throughout the website allow a clean and concise user journey. The system must strive to communicate clearly and therefore careful placement of items is essential to cater to the needs of the users.
Consequently both user experience and user interface are ultimately important for a product’s success.