Since the days of yore, marketing and technical people have attempted to dazzle with their knowledge of en vogue technology and terminology.
Everyone wants to rise above competitors by having cutting-edge skills, and the latest ‘secret sauce.’
In recent times, the terms UX and UI have come to dominate the digital realm.
These concepts are routinely confused with each other, hotly debated and constantly evolving, so if you’re a lay person perplexed about it all — don’t blame yourself.
These ideas may be somewhat new to many, but they have been around a long time. They are not fundamentally hard to understand.
The truth however is that there’s real work and thinking involved with their implementation. Egads!
UX stands for User Experience.
It refers to the overall experience of someone using your site, app, product or service.
Its focus is on the emotions a person has during or after using what you make or offer. 😍
User Experience is applicable to many industries, and UX techniques are spreading faster than a grumpy cat gif on Facebook.
Creating a positive User Experience matters a lot for your bottom line.
And great UX will help you accomplish your goals.
UI stands for User Interface.
It refers to the point or space where humans and machines interact, or the “front-facing” part of a machine-based product, such as the navigation, visual design and layout of elements on a webpage.
The User Interface is often a large and important part of the overall User Experience.
So UX is a much broader concept, and UI is a component of UX.
UI is a term specific to machines, computing or control panels, but if we take a guitar as an example, the strings, the fret board and the tension in the strings based on adjustments made could be thought of as the User Interface.
Some guitars are a lot easier to play than others. But the User Experience also includes the history you have with that particular instrument, the perception you have of yourself as its owner and the feeling you get when you play it.
Emotion is so large a factor that some products can get away with poor usability if they have a well established brand with a strong emotional appeal. Harley Davidson is sometimes said to be an example of this. Harleys can be difficult to fix and maintain, and are not the most comfortable to ride, yet their following is massive and extremely loyal.
A digital example would be an app with a compelling design that’s difficult to use or figure out.
Success without attention to usability, more and more, is the exception rather than the rule.
UX and UI are highly concerned with making things that have good usability.
That’s because through thirty-plus years of research we know that the most important thing by far that impacts a person’s User Experience, especially of something new or unfamiliar, is its ease-of-use, its learnability, its user friendliness.
The creation of apps and websites often includes shareholders, project managers, designers, developers, writers and marketing people.
That’s a lot of competing and deeply held beliefs, world views, opinions and interests.
Watch Mobile Usability Futures with OG usability expert Jakob Nielsen.
A UX/UI approach keeps the focus squarely on the wants and needs of users.
Users can also be called customers, site or app visitors, clients or members.
These are the people whose opinions actually matter to your bottom line.
Now, tell us how you feel about this article. And please … use as much detail as possible!