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What is UI and UX?

A Designer’s Guide to the Tech Industry

  • Differences between UI and UX.
  • How to design a stunning UI & UX.
  • 5 Common Mistakes that kill your conversion rate.

UI or User Interface

A Stunning User Interface
Courtesy: dribbble.com/kristina

UX or User Experience

As humans, we are obsessed with things that look good.

A functional and aesthetically pleasing user interface may turn many heads, but it is not the only thing that is needed to retain users. When a design decision is made based only on how good it should appear, the product is no longer being designed for the users. That is where UX comes in the spotlight, and to the designers’ rescue.

A Delightful User Experience
Courtesy: dribbble.com/ramotion
  • Is the usability good enough that the user can use the product easily?
  • Are design decisions being driven by reliable data and user research?
  • Is the product intuitive enough to guess and present what the user wants?
  • Deciding product structure and strategy
    While vision gives clarity for the desired goal, strategy defines the journey to achieve it. Even before the design and development begin, a strategy is made to create milestones of what should be done step by step.
The following elements constitute a good UX strategy
  • Prototyping
    While wireframing provides the visual idea of the planned layout, prototyping gets more close to the actual product. It consists of middle to high fidelity representation. It gives the look and feel of the final product as well as the interactions, which further proves itself helpful in user-testing.

Points to Ponder On

1. Don’t just design transitions, but the whole interaction

Designers go head over heels seeing those fabulous Dribbble designs and fancy transitions. The innovations that have occurred in modern interactive devices such as smartphones, smart-watch, etc. have made it possible to bring in a plethora of effects and inspirations too such as scrolling animations, button transitions and all sort of flashy things. While it is tempting to use these from a predefined library, the goal should not go out of focus. Use whatever is necessary and feasible for development.

2. Think Quality over quantity

Following types of data could emerge from user research:

  • Qualitative:
    Observations of user test participants quote from contextual interviews — data that helps the product designer understand the why.

3. Use more research methods

Every research method has its perks as well as drawbacks. That is why using a mix of them can provide more dimensions to the data acquired. Triangulating research can enable UX designers to confirm data accuracy and relevance, helping them to have a more precise view.

4. Use more participation

It is required to have a common showcase arena where the project progress, findings, and planned steps can be exhibited to promote more transparency and participation. Choose the participants strategically and make it easy to access whatever is relevant to them. Users, stakeholders and colleagues, everyone collectively has more ideas, insights, and perspectives than a single UX designer, so take advantage of this great asset. Everyone may not be from the same demographic, but they drive the design to a more user-centric approach, which further promotes relationship building and helps build something astounding by collaboration.

5. Be visual in the first steps

While design documents provide insight into client requirements and user needs, it is preferable to be more visual. You don’t need to worry even if sketching is not one of your skillsets; nobody needs to be an artist while delivering ideas about the user flow and design. One of the most significant benefits is that it provides a broader understanding of the problems a UX designer is trying to solve.

Common Mistakes that are Killing Your Conversion Rate

The facts below provide an overview of the current situation:

  • 47% users expect a web page to load in two seconds or less.
  • 95% of visitors agree that good user experience is the most crucial element of a website.
  • 94% of people will close and stop trusting a site if the website design is not engaging.
Mistakes that kill your conversion rate

If everything is made to draw attention, none of them gets it

A designer should think more precisely and put themselves in users’ shoe to understand — What is the most important thing they may want to know or do. Information should be presented step-by-step according to that importance. There should only one goal that is to be focused — Conversion.

  • Unintuitive Navigation
    After de-cluttering the content, the next task at hand is deciding the hierarchy and navigation. What a website or application has to offer should be evident in the heading, and how they can gain from it should be described shortly in subheadings. Do not re-invent the wheel. Put things where users’ expect to find it. Do not make many positions, look or form changes from what they are used to. This might confuse and frustrate them. User-friendly navigation keys are critical, as there is only a second or two to convince a user to stay.
  • Text-Text Everywhere
    Nobody has the time to go through blocks of text. What an end user does is comb through it to get an overview of the subject. Therefore using related, informational, and soothing imagery may take the users out of the monotonous boredom of reading and at the same time feed the knowledge about the text they might not be reading. So try to use less but precise wording wherever applicable.
  • The 404 Dead-End
    There are situations where a user might not be able to find what they need and land on a 404. Consider a use case of an e-commerce application, where the user cannot find the product he/she was looking for. Such situations can be creatively utilized to drive the user to someplace where they could have a new start. The home page or the seasons’ new outfit collection might be a good place to start with. Presenting the users with aesthetically pleasing illustration, or animation of an empty crate is also an excellent way to hold on to them.

Concluding View:

“People ignore designs that ignores people.”

— Frank Chimero, Designer

Over the last decade, hardware has witnessed tremendous transformation. Now products have become much cheaper, efficient and smaller. Therefore making similar softwares proficient of beautiful animations, graphics, and interactions is extremely critical.

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Mayank Pratap

Co-founder of supersourcing.com | Writer at Entrepreneur| Co-founder @ Supersourcing ! Featured in Forbes, Fortune Magazine. ! Future of Works ! FirstchequeVC