UI is short for User Interface, while UX is deciphered as User Experience. The two terms are often used interchangeably, but they should not be confused. An authoritative UI/UX design agency can help you learn the intricacies behind it.
User Experience designers tend to have a broader scope of responsibilities. They think of a customer journey as well as perform various tests and calculations to determine what works well and what should be optimized. UI is often regarded as a part of UX.
Why should you care?
User Experience is vital when it comes to customer conversion rates
No matter how effective your marketing efforts are, you won’t force clients to download your app or visit your website if it has a poor UX. Consumers are impatient. If they cannot navigate your app easily and find what they are looking for fast, they will leave.
Each potential lead is a hard-earned resource that should be utilized to its fullest potential. When talking about websites, another important factor to consider is how User Experience affects your ability to attract organic traffic. Search engines use various metrics to determine which websites are more relevant for a certain query.
The amount of time a person spends on a website is one of the indicators of its value. Increasing the engagement time with your content can bring your business advantages, even without immediate conversion.
Good UX advances your brand reputation
It is vital, especially for startups, and can be the difference between success and failure. Think about it. Apple did not invent smartphones, but it made User Experience sublime. The same goes for Google and Facebook. There were other search engines and social media networks before them, but they made the experience better.
Thomas J. Watson, the second president of IBM, famously said, “Good design is good business“.
Key components of a user-friendly interface
1. Proper structure
Everything must be easy to find. The structure of your app or a website should be logical, convenient, even predictable to some extent. Texts and features should be highlighted in all the necessary places, gently steering viewers’ attention in the right direction. Use lists and bullet points when appropriate.
2. Convenient navigation
This point is closely intertwined with the first one. Navigating your app should be smooth, and your best friend here is a proper, meticulously structured menu. The menu is not the right place to go nuts with animation. Its main purpose is to be helpful to a user. Make it simple, yet incorporate links to all of the components in its structure. Sometimes, it can be challenging. You can study the menus of existing apps for inspiration.
The second element of utmost importance is the search bar. Help your clients find what they need faster by adding a convenient search bar somewhere in the vicinity of the menu.
Last but not least, navigation can be made easier with the help of internal links. When you anticipate that a customer might want to go to a different page within an app or receive additional information while they are reading, provide them with a useful link.
3. Easy to read or skim content
Textual elements of the interface should be easy to skim but enticing to read. Not everyone has the time or desire to read a wall of text, no matter how great its quality is. Use the elements described in the first point to help your users understand the general structure of your message before they decide whether to read it in full.
4. Conversion elements
Arguably the most important conversion element is a “call-to-action” button. Spoiler alert: there should be more than one.
Wherever your client is on your app or a webpage, they should be smoothly directed towards conversion. Call-to-action buttons should not be pushy.
Please, do not make them pop up suddenly in the customer’s face. This can cause your brand reputation damage and deter many potential clients. Instead, make them visible and easily accessible.
When your lead has pressed the aforementioned button, more often than not, the next step is to fill in a form. Make it as simple as possible. In many cases, all you really need is their name and contact information. The rest can be learned during a phone call. If you require additional information, consider getting it in the form of a short multiple-choice questionnaire, when appropriate.
Another important element that can help increase conversion rates are links to your social media pages. Humans are social creatures. A clear demonstration of social validation on websites where users can leave unbiased reviews of your products can go a long way in convincing someone to complete the transaction.
This last piece of the puzzle is more of a UX element rather than UI. Every person perceives what they see in a different way; how you see your creation might not correspond with how it is observed by others.
Get feedback as much as you can. Ask your friends, colleagues, and most importantly, your clients what can you improve? Track the customer journey. Is there a particular place where people choose to press the exit button? Measure the conversion rates of different pages separately. How do they change when a particular update is made?
Projections for future trends
It is not fully clear yet, what future trends in UI will be. But the most promising are motion graphics, gradients, and immersive full-screen performance. Talking about UX, in general, the load time is expected to decrease due to new 5G technologies. Device synchronization is getting more traction too.
Another future trend we cannot help but mention is voice UI. Voice assistants and voice interfaces are of great interest to global trendsetters like Google, Amazon, and recently, BBC. The chances are high that voice UI will become a universally incorporated feature in the near future.
User Experience and User Interface are necessary elements for your business to strive after.
They can help a great product reach the customer. The best UI/UX designers tend to be the ones who can create something unique and yet subconsciously familiar. They can make interface and interaction experience stand out but intuitively easy to navigate.