Have you ever heard the terms user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) and wondered if they mean the same thing? In web design, these terms are often used interchangeably. However, they mean very different things.
The way your site visitors perceive your website and engage with your site’s content is crucial to your overall success. That’s why having a clear understanding of user experience vs user interface design is something all website owners should prioritize, whether they hire a professional web designer to help build their site or learn website design and go it alone.
One of the main reasons UI meaning and UX meaning are confused so easily is because the terms were coined at very different times. In fact, the term user experience was first revealed by Don Norman in the 1990s while he was working at Apple.
It wasn’t until sometime later, though it remains unclear when, that the term user interface was coined. Adding to that confusion, user experience and user interface are often thought by people to be the same thing by some, overlap in some ways, or mean completely different things.
Let’s take a look at each.
User interface (UI) is considered the environment in which humans and machines (computers) interact. The end goal of the user interface is to ensure the people interacting with your website designs can do so effectively.
In other words, UI is any design element that your site visitor may interact with while on your website. This includes things like:
In all, the user interface of your website relates to web design and has an artistic feel to it. The way you design your website affects what your site visitors see, hear, and even feel while browsing your site.
No matter what type of website you have – a blog, an online business, or even an eCommerce shop – the way you design your site’s interface makes a difference in whether people will enjoy visiting your website or even convert.
Here are the things your UI design should always have:
On the other hand, user experience (UX) is the experience your site visitors have as they interact with your website, products, and/or services.
When it comes to creating a good user experience on your website, the following characteristics should be considered:
This “usability honeycomb,” developed by Peter Morville, is helpful in remembering how to create the perfect user experience for those visiting your website.
Now that you know the meanings behind UI and UX independently, it’s safe to say the following:
It’s important to remember that despite being two completely different terms, user interface and user experience do relate to each other as well, albeit in a tangled way.
You can have a beautifully designed website and attract a lot of traffic. But without a stellar user experience, it won’t matter how great the UI design is, you won’t reach your potential as a website owner.
If you’re ready to build a new website or give your existing one a facelift, understanding the differences between user interface and user experience will help a lot. This is especially true if you’re thinking about hiring an Australian web designer to help you out. After all, if you invest in a professional to help you out, you’ll want to make sure they know the meanings of UI and UX.
Here are the things you should look for in a web designer that’s focused on good UI web design:
Here are the things you should look for in a web designer that’s focused on good UX web design:
Choosing a web designer with experience in both UI and UX can be tough if you don’t know what you’re looking for. It can be even harder when you take on a task of this size on your own, even if you do know the differences between user interface and user experience.
Luckily, here at Keen to Design, we have what you need whether you want to spruce up the visual appeal of your website or improve the user experience and land more conversions. So, contact us now and see how we can help.
Not only do we know what it takes to design a beautiful website people will love from the moment they arrive, we know that the user experience is what takes things to the next level. Guiding your visitors through your site and taking action in the way you want them to is what we do best. And with affordable web design packages available, you can trust there’s an option for everyone, regardless of budget.