Have you been wondering which design strategy to implement into your new website? Understanding the difference between UX Design and UI Design is an important step, but how do you evaluate which is better for your own site—and more importantly, your industry.
Let’s talk about the fundamental differences between UX & UI web design, and then help you figure out which is better for your audience.
The Difference Between UI & UX in a Nutshell
If you don’t yet know the differences between UX web design and UI web design, here’s a quick crash course.
UI Web Design
User Interface describes a design that allows your audience to navigate your website using icons, buttons, and tools. These interactive buttons need to be clear as to what they do, or your user will be confused and probably leave your site.
For example: A burger icon will indicate a menu. The user clicks on the icon and is navigated to the menu where he or she can view the information they require.
UX Web Design
User Experience is a design that goes into the user’s desires to draw them in and keep them on your site for longer. It’s a much more tailored approach that helps your audience navigate according to their specific needs.
For example: Searching for accommodation will require the user to choose a specific area before zoning in in on the type, length and price range of their preferred vacation stay.
The best sites use both UI and UX to give their users the most optimized experience. But it’s still important to know how much of one is needed over the other—and this all depends on your service and your industry.
A Step Beyond Examples
An excellent illustration of a good UX website is a platform allowing you to create your own logo. This type of site immediately draws you into a logo design contest that focuses in on the needs of a user that wants to create a new business logo.
By participating in logo design content, you not only get to create a great new logo, but you also get inspired by other ‘contestants’ who are doing the same. This experience goes a step beyond simply providing you with examples and templates by drawing the user into the work part of custom logo design and making it more fun!
The Shopping Experience
A good way to compare UI and UX is to think of them as a shopping experience. UI is like walking into a restaurant and asking for a menu, looking at the options, and choosing one. The choice is somewhat objective: “I’m hungry, and I want to eat this.”
UX is like walking into a furniture store and trying out several couches to see which one fits your needs best. Everyone is looking for something different, and their desires are subjective rather than objective. “I like this couch more than the others because it accommodates my personal preference of lying down while I watch TV.”
But the question still remains: What’s the best way to go for YOU?
Define Your Website Objectives
The first step is to ask yourself what you wish to achieve with your website. How do you want your users to interact with your website when they visit, and how can you make a sale when they do?
UI web design will fulfill the following objectives:
- The user already knows what they’ve come for, and can find it easily by navigating through the buttons you’ve provided.
- The user isn’t confused about how to quickly have his or her needs met, because the navigation is clear, simple and fast.
UX web design fulfills slightly different objectives:
- The user is drawn into a novel and creative activity regarding your product or service.
- The user gets to choose very specific variations depending on his or her needs.
- The user is encouraged to interact with your website in a way he or she probably hasn’t done before.
Evaluate Your User’s Needs
Another important factor in deciding whether to opt for UI or UX is to put yourself in the shoes of your audience. What do they want? How can they get it? What creative steps will they be willing to go through in order to buy from you?
Asking these questions will enable you to better ascertain whether your website should contain a basic user interface, or a more experiential one.
Evaluate Your Own Service Capabilities
Also look at what your actual product or service is. If it’s something basic that stands in competition with other companies within your industry, UI might be the way to go. On the other hand, if you want to stand out and make the user experience more novel than that of your competitors, then UX is a sure win.
Not every industry will be compatible with UX, but most can be tweaked to incorporate a more experiential interface—you just have to be creative. Consider cooling at some of the best UX websites and decide for yourself which of these would suit your own website best.
Gamification of Your Website
In many ways, you can compare UX web design to gamification since it requires the user to interact with your website. Gamification is nothing more than coming up with fun & creative ways to do everyday tasks. It’s a concept used in productivity apps, gamified to-do apps, and even work based software.
You can implement this gamification concept to just about anything that would usually be considered mundane. UX web designers are trained to think differently about your products and services in order to come up with novel ways to get users to interact.
To the questions, “Should I consider UX or UI for my website?” the answer is simple: BOTH! But again, you must evaluate your goals, your offerings and your target audience if you are to combine them in a meaningful way.
Hopefully this has helped you to make an informed decision. Good luck!
I love writing. If someone asks who Anthony Scott is my colleagues and friends will tell you that I’m a geek into gadgets, photography and software. I like to find out how things work, and if possible write about it. I’m new in this field of content writing, and I hope I can succeed in convincing readers with my writing.