In a Nutshell- The Not So Perplexing World of UI-UX Design
Alright, folks. It’s time to clear up the confusion surrounding some of the top Tech skills that are stealing the spotlight in 2020; UI-UX Design.
It’s easy to see them as twin jobs, especially when they frequently exist in the same sentence. But it might surprise you to learn that the roles of the User Interface and User Experience Designers are far from similar.
What does a UI-UX Design Professional do?
Take this guy for example, the UI Designer. His job is to map out the entire graphical layout of an application, or even a website.
This said application could be like your very own Instagram, or the famous Twitter app. We bet you love Twitter, don’t you?
Well, we’ve got news for you. See how Trump is losing Twitter followers while Biden gains them.
Now, back to us. In a hypothetical situation, our UI Design guy is responsible for sketching and designing the blueprints of those colorful buttons users like you click on.
This also includes the text you read, the images, text entry fields, and every other interactive feature there is to toy with. So basically, any type of visual element in the interactive process of all apps has to be designed and planned out.
Because, news flash, these apps don’t just drop from the sky!
The wall of difference between them.
The UI Designer.
The wall of difference that separates our UI Design Pro stands between the various decisions concerning the visual aesthetics of the application. This involves choosing what the application will look like in the end.
It would mean picking out colors, and even go as far as button shapes and font styles used for text. Take Instagram for example.
We all love its simple interface design and the fact that its icons work. But if there was a transition from the light and dark theme to red, and giant icons that cover up half the screen, it would be a different story.
The UX Designer.
Now that that’s settled, why don’t we take a stroll down the UX Designer’s work cubicle and see what he’s up to?
The relationship between both UI/UX Designer is one characterized by a collaborative effort in order to produce remarkable results. And you can learn the top 5 ways to bring out the best in your own team here.
While the UI Designer will be busy in a corner working on how all of these interface elements appears on screen, the UX Designer will be testing out the flow and functionality of the app.
Now, welcome to the UX Designer’s world. Buckle up. You’re in for one hell of a ride.
In his world, it’s not just about app beauty anymore. It’s a web of other things like testing app usability. He does this while putting into heavy consideration the user satisfaction in the process of interacting with the app or website.
Here, the UX Designer tests all the various on-screen design elements, by using the various controls like menu bars, tool bars, fonts, buttons, and so on. This is to know whether they are responding to user input the way they are supposed.
If they don’t, he tries to make adjustments where necessary. One important thing to note here is that a user’s experience with an app or website is determined by their interaction with the interface.
So whether the experience is going to be an enjoyable one or entirely frustrating is of utmost priority to the UX Designer. This is why we called it a “collaborative process” earlier.
The UI-UX Design team have to work together to create an app that not only looks good, but works good.
At what point does the UI-UX Design team collaborate?
In a hypothetical situation where our UI designer guy provides his initial design of how the app should look, and then suddenly decides to alter it, the UX team has to be on-board with every change. Because then, he would have to try as much as he can to make sure the app functions in adaptation to the designs provided by the UI designer.
If there is improper communication between both sides, then in a situation where you try to click the “+” button to post on Instagram, you could end up in the story section. And so, proper communication between both UI-UX Design Pros seems like the key to avoiding a world of problems like that.
So if you don’t want this to happen to your own team, here are 7 ways to help fix poor communication in the Workplace.
Which brings us down to learning a little about what is needed for a successful UI-UX Design. Well, research, for one. Proper research.
The role of research in UI-UX Design.
A good app or website is not going to just drop out of thin air. Or somehow, magically fit the expectations of its users.
No. For this to happen, both sides of the Design teams have to thoroughly research what users want.
Asking what they hope to get from the application is one way to start. This research often runs as deep as involving users in usability sessions. Or rather, trial runs to test out the app and get feedback for your app fast.
Another thing would be to know the intended target audience and design as if you are a part of it yourself. Sounds crazy, right?
But thinking like a user allows you to put yourself in any consumer’s shoes, and bring yourself closer to understanding what they want. And with all that’s been established, perhaps it’s safe to conclude here that the overall success of any website or mobile application rests on a good UI-UX Design collaboration.
Just imagine you bought the finest car in the world. But for every time you put it on reverse, it lurches forward instead, and practically does the opposite of ever command you give it.
Wouldn’t this be a huge pain in the butt?
But if you had both, a fully functional vehicle and looks to match, your experience driving it would be a great one. This is one sufficient analogy to depicting UI-UX Design with.
Irene is a Freelance Writer who helps professionals and startups build an audience with original content online. She has written over +30 tech articles, and other types, and is backed up by over 2 years worth of experience. She loves reading and listening to music, while she’s not tapping furiously on her laptop.