User Experience (UX) comes into every part of a user’s interaction with a company or brand to define your perception of them. For online (web and cellphone) design, UX is how everything is assembled for the interface experience such as layout, text, visuals, interactions and sound. Good UX design represents how each element is used, rather than simply what it looks like.
Form follows function – that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union. – Frank Lloyd Wright
Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. – Steve Jobs
So why is UX important and what does it mean for your business if you are a business owner? The value of investing in UX is that a good experience will delight your customers. Good UX has been shown to increase conversions and increase SEO because Google values sites that are easy to use, navigate and understand. Ultimately, a good experience will keep your customers coming back for more.
The difference between UX and UI
It might be useful to dial it back a bit and look at the difference between UI and UX. UI is the unique look and feel of your brand applied to your online identity, ensuring that it is portrayed in a visually enticing way. On the other hand, UX is more the big-picture experience that the user has when interacting with your website or product, like how easy or pleasing it is to use. While both are equally important, it is vital that you don't sacrifice one in favour of the other.
According to techterms.com, a common example of a hardware device with a UI is a TV remote control. This indispensable item isn’t known for its looks, it offers a user-friendly set of buttons including a numeric keypad, volume and channel buttons, mute and power buttons and an input selector, among others. These buttons, and the way they are laid out, make up the user interface. The humble remote shows the value of UI that works effectively.
So even if you have a great UI on your website, it's still possible that a visitor could have a bad experience. For example, if your content is positioned in a confusing way or your customers find it difficult to locate what they’re looking for, or complete the tasks that they want to do, then they might get frustrated and abandon their engagement with you, meaning that you lose out on a potential conversion.
So how do you put good UX design in your UI?
For good UX, you need to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and ensure that you are making their experience as simple and as efficient/effective as possible.
Visitors who find that your website content isn’t optimised for their device are likely to leave. Similarly, if your menu and page structures aren't intuitive, making them difficult to navigate, visitors will most likely take their search elsewhere.
So how do you know you are giving visitors what they want? Here are the basic steps outlined by uxplanet.com for the UX design process:
User personas develop a representation of audience segments for a particular product or service that you are designing.
User interviews are conducted with existing and potential users to gain an insight into what would be the most effective design.
User stories feature descriptions from the perspective of the person who wants that feature.
Functionality map builds out a map using user stories of the pages you want to create and organise by hierarchy.
Wireframes are visual guides representing the skeletal framework of a product with a preview of the look and feel.
Prototyping is a mock-up version of the final product that is used for user testing before the product launch with the goal of reducing wasted time and money.
Usability testing with real users identifies roadblocks or any friction they might experience.
We can help
Good User Experience design is part of our digital platform offering. Download our digital platforms brochure to find out how we combine a simple website, mobile app, intranet, marketing platform or your e-commerce site with delivery sales, marketing and digital transformation strategies to culminate in powerful CX, UX and UI to deliver your brand to your users.