UI vs UX?
- UI (user interface) refers to any digital element the end-user interacts with. This includes everything from sounds to dropdown lists to fillable forms, to buttons.
- UX (user experience) refers to how UI’s digital elements positively or negatively influence the user’s experience or interaction with the product. UX designers research, test, and refine product navigation and user journeys to improve accessibility, ease of use, or overall aesthetic.
Benefits of UX design
Most issues related to product traction can be linked to poor user experience. Customers need more than a functioning product, they need a frictionless experience that feels almost effortless. You might have a high conversion rate on your website – lots of demos or free trials. But if prospects are disappointed with your product UX design, they either won’t buy or will drop off soon after purchase. With so many options on the market, customers have the pick of the litter. If your product’s going to get ahead (and stay ahead), there’s no room for poor UX.
The role of UX designers
Strategy and planning
Identify the core business drivers, the problem you’re trying to solve, and any potential challenges.
Outline product features – the must-haves (e.g. chat) and the nice-to-haves (e.g. chat emojis) and any additional technologies to include.
Provide clear information and user goals to guide design decisions so your users can always find what they need.
User journey mapping
Create user journey maps (often using step-by-step flowcharts) to inform how users navigate your product.
Wireframing and prototyping
Represent the digital experience with wireframes and prototypes. Wireframes are low-fi blueprints while prototypes are clickable expressions that simulate the user journey and interactions.
Work with a select group of users to test at the prototype stage and make necessary tweaks to the user flow before building out features. Once live, UX designers employ usability and A/B testing based on learnings from heat mapping and analytics.