What do Feng Shui, ancient Greek tool ergonomics, hoover vacuums, mechanical typewriters, Disney World, and Apple's website all have in common? They all delved into UX Design.
User Experience (UX) Design is a human-first way of designing. It's all about the user's interaction with a product or service. It can cover everything from physical products to digital experiences like online shopping or swiping through an app. It's focused on the user's journey to solve a particular problem. The UX Design process centers on understanding the user, mapping out a logical route, and ensuring optimal functionality. UX Design considers every element that shapes user experience by keeping in mind questions like: How does it make the user feel? How easy is it for the user to accomplish their desired tasks?
This ancient practice can be traced back to 4000 BC. However, it wasn't until cognitive scientist Donald Norman joined Apple in the early '90s as the first User Experience Architect that UX Design was defined.
User Interface (UI) Design is what you utilize to interact with a product or service. It focuses on the user's visual experience on a website. UI Design covers all the screens and visual interactive touch-points that the user moves through when navigating from one point to the next. These can range anywhere from tapping a button, scrolling down a page, or swiping through images. It focuses on how a product's surfaces or interfaces look and function.
If we're talking about a website, they can help ensure a good user experience. While UI design focuses on the overall look of a website, UX design will help make the user's experience agreeable. UX Design can also be heavily linked to business because it considers both the user speed, user goals, and those of the company. Both of these types of design working together can have a positive impact on business, such as:
As you can see, both types of design are slightly different. Still, they together create a perfect "marriage" of functionality and aesthetics. If you are interested in learning more about this topic, check out a great book called "Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability" by Steve Krug.
Many companies claim to be innovators and trend-setters. However, the design of their products, services, website, and overall customer experience seems somewhat outdated. More and more, the consumer is beginning to appreciate the value of good user experiences. Companies that successfully adapt to the new norms set by consumers will see rewards such as:
If you've ever left items in your cart because the website you were on required you to create an account before completing your purchase. Then, you know the frustrations of having a bad user experience. But what about the cases where everything is designed with the consumer in mind? Below you'll find a few examples that showcase the tremendous impact of good User Experience Design.
The web designers for a big retailer assumed that every user who would buy a product in their online store should register before the payment. The company's sales were declining. An outside consulting firm ran some usability tests and recommended that a single button be changed. Sales revenue grew $15 million a month later and an additional $300,000,000 in the first year.
Proper UX and UI Design can be fantastic tools to grow your business. However, many companies forgo this practice because it requires an investment of time and money. But the numbers are there to prove that it's a worthwhile investment. When you design every element of your product, service, or website with the consumer's goals in mind, you will reach your own goals faster. If you don't, keep these words in mind:
"If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design." - Sir Ralph Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover.
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