March 9, 2015

UX/UI design, what is it and why is it important?

Written By Gemma Hurst

“Design is not just what it looks like & feels like. Design is how it works.” – Steve Jobs

The biggest misunderstanding about user experience (UX) design is that it’s ‘all about how something looks’. Where in fact, this is just a small aspect of what it really represents. User experience is all about improving how people communicate with technology, and being able to recognise where this needs to happen.

User interface (UI) design is the term that you would associate with the visual and creative part of the design process whereas UX is the overall research and architecture of the content of a project. Some people assume this should be the responsibility of the developer, as they are the ones who build from the designs, but this wouldn’t be as effective without a designer creating a functional and usable interface.

Each year more companies embrace digital mediums, so it is only logical that the integration between design and technology becomes more critical and must provide simple solutions and work as efficiently as possible.

This means that user experience is becoming more important than ever, as there are so many ways it can affect a business, illustrated in the diagram below:

ux/ui design

Good UX design is crucial, whether you have a complex website/app or a new digital business, your goal is always for the user to be able to interact with the product and benefit from its use.

In particular, retail businesses rely heavily on good UX as their main goal is to make is simple for a user to find what they are looking, buy their products and hopefully encourage repeat custom. Users tend to make a decision within the first few seconds of arriving at a website or app, so there isn’t much time to get things wrong. User experience is also a key factor in small and start-up businesses because a site or app is often the users first impression and can directly affect future traffic and business to their product.

This can also affect the financial side of a business. Having the right process in place at the beginning of a project can increase productivity by ironing out functionality problems at the design stage. This makes sure that there is less chance of technically issues further down the line when a developer starts to build, resulting in time and costs reductions.

In conclusion, UX/UI design is all about improving how people communicate with technology, making their online journey as simple and intuitive as possible. Design affects many areas within a digital business and the benefits are vast when implemented properly. Even though a visually pleasing digital product may attract people to your business, it is nothing if the user doesn’t know how to interact with it in the way you want them to.

For some quick design inspiration follow us on Pinterest, or for a more in-depth consultation get in touch and we will be happy to advise.