How To Tell The Differences Between Great UI & Great UX Design
Remember back in the good old days when there was really only one term used to describe how much of a pain in the neck it was to work with a computer or website? That term was user-friendly probably somewhere around 1998, which may as well be considered the cyber dark ages by today''s standards. Apple computers were all the rage because they were user-friendly, which is a term that has evolved into something we call usability today. Alas, usability encompasses two more terms we use called User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX), which are two very different concepts, but often get confused and lumped in together.
The User Interface is more concerned with tangible design and the visual aspects of a webpage or product. It how and where we use drop-down menus, navigation bars, banners, headers, font choice, etc. on a webpage. It''s also how efficiently designed a physical product is. More and more often we''re using minimalist approaches when designing a UI. As professionals, we''ve learned that effective simplicity works much better than complicated works of art. One of the best examples of this is the Google search engine. The UI is as effectively simple as simple gets — It includes a very recognizable and effective logo, a search bar, and a couple buttons beneath it. It''s also right in the middle of the page where the user''s eye is naturally drawn to and it really offers very little choice. You type what you want to search for in the bar and you get your results — UI genius!
The User Experience focuses on the product as a whole. It involves how satisfied the user is after performing his or her desired function on your website of how easy it was for them to use your physical product or service. There are less design elements involved and more technical innovation and process efficiency to take into consideration. Take the previous example of the Google search engine. In this case, the reason the UX is genius here is that after you use the UI, you receive clear, accurate, and nearly limitless search results in a logical order of common preference in a matter of seconds. If the search results either weren''t as accurate, illogically ordered, or took too long to be returned, all those factors would contribute to a less favorable UX.