If you are thinking about hiring a web designer to create a new website, or redesign your existing website, you’ll undoubtedly hear “UX/UI” several times in your first phone call or meeting with them.
UX/UI design for websites relates to how a site ‘looks and feels’. User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) can be thought of as the art applied to the science behind any good website.
UI refers to the look of the website: This can include the high-level, visual design of the site, including areas such as use of background colors, images and graphical elements; to incorporating a brand’s logo and color scheme. And UI can also refer to the more detailed design elements for user-actions, such as buttons, icons, sliders and data entry fields from which a site visitor can interface with at the point of a cursor, using their keyboard and mouse, or through finger touch and voice commands.
UX is a little harder to define than UI. UX relates more to the way it feels to interact and engage with your website. Some examples are:
- Do web pages on the site load quickly, or annoyingly slow?
- Does the site user find efficiently, and intuitively, the most accessed features or content on your site, or do they feel like they are scrolling endlessly to access areas with key content or functionality?
- Does the user land on a page with an endless sea of copy about subject matter or content type, or is the user allowed to absorb information in more scannable, stepped pages (often referred to as ‘content chunking’)?
- Are the site’s web pages easy to navigate into and out of, or does the site visitor lack a simple ‘bread crumb’ trail to navigate seamlessly between pages, and commonly accessed areas of interest?
When a website’s UX is done well, the user doesn’t recognize it at all. In other words, the UX designer has figured out exactly who the site caters to (the ‘user persona’), and has anticipated what most appeals to that user, and what steps the user is most likely to take in order to obtain what they need.
The website you are creating may have the greatest content, features and functionality that your desired user could ever want. But if your designer ignores good UX/UI principles, there’s a good chance the site visitor will not appreciate, and engage, with all that functionality you’ve created. Which is to say, they might quickly leave your website, and never come back!
If you would like a free consult to discuss design considerations, or any other ideas for your website or mobile app project, we’d love to hear from you!