When developing a mobile app, two terms come up frequently at all stages of development (and particularly in the design phase): UI and UX. While these two terms are often considered interchangeable they are actually distinct and describe two very different aspects of a digital product.
What do UI and UX stand for?
UI stands for “User Interface” while UX stands for “User Experience”. These are two similar notions that are closely related, yet very different.
To make it simple let’s apply the following analogy: imagine a bottle of ketchup.
- User interface would be the design of the bottle: its size, shape, material, color, etc. In short it encompasses how pleasing to the eye the bottle is to a user, and the emotions or responses the visual aspects of the bottle evokes.
- User experience, on the other hand, is all about what happens when someone tries to get the ketchup out of the bottle. How easy was it to get the product out? Was it clean or messy? How long did it take? UX is what is left of the brand in a person’s memory when they have finished using the product, potentially informing their decision whether to use the product again.
As you can see they are both closely related as the UI/design will directly impact the UX/use.
Why is UI/UX so important?
When designing a mobile app or other digital products, it is essential to think of UI and UX every step of the way. The way the user perceives and experiences the app is a key factor to its success.
Let’s go back to the ketchup analogy for a second.
If you are planning on selling a ketchup bottle that targets children, the way you design your bottle (UI) will drastically affect the way they use and feel about it (UX). If the bottle is made of glass and very tall, while it may look beautiful (good UI) the children will have a hard time picking it up, getting the ketchup out, etc. thus leading to frustration (bad UX). If, on the other hand, you made a smaller plastic bottle that children can easily use, you will have both great UI and UX.
When designing apps, the final impressions and experiences of the final user should most definitely be taken into consideration. If you design a stunning app that is so complex to use that new users can’t figure it out, the target users may never use the app and discover the products or service.
If you would like to learn about designing UI/UX or have an existing UI/UX you would like our highly skilled designers to review and optimize, feel free to contact us!
For a more detailed article on UI/UX click here.