Have you been to a grocery store? I know, it’s a silly question. but
The ultimate guide to learning UX and UI design concept will clarify your doubts.
Learn user experience design and user interface design concept with this article. I’m sure everyone has visited a grocery store at least once.
These stores are filled with shelves of products of all kinds manufactured by different companies. What is the purpose of all the products we see in the market? They may serve different functions but every commercial product that exists in this world has two main purposes –
- To fulfill some sort of consumer’s demand or requirement, and
- To generate revenue or income for the companies making the products.
For a product to successfully achieve these two goals, it has to be liked by consumers. A good or excellent product will be loved by its customers, and its sales will hit the roof. Bad products, on the other hand, will be rejected by consumers.
Confuse? Don’t Be it’s not that hard
Okay, I might have confused some of you readers here. Going by the title of the article that mentions UX and UI design, most of you might be expecting the article to be full of technical stuff and computer-related terminologies.
The ultimate guide to learning UX and UI design concepts will help readers to avoid common misconceptions – people often think that the terms UX and UI are all about computers, IT sectors or digital mediums. But just bear with me for a few minutes, because by the time you reach the end of the article, the intro will make perfect sense without me having to explain.
The reason why people think UX and UI are all about computers, apps, and websites. That is what most articles, guides, and videos will tell you. There are many resources that explain these topics in a technical language, using terms that people from the non-technical background may not understand.
Now I’m the kind of person who likes to keep things simple for myself and everyone else. And so I’ll try my best to explain to you in simplest terms, what UX and UI design is all about, what are the processes involved and how these two are similar, yet different in some aspects.
Let’s dive straight into the important questions.
What Is UX Design? What Is A Job Of UX Designer?
UX stands for user experience. The term ‘User Experience design’ in itself can provide a proper meaning. It’s a process of designing something, keeping in mind the user’s experience. Let’s go through a more formal and clear definition.
UX design is a process of developing a product in such a way that its users will have a positive and satisfactory experience when interacting with the product.
Should I make it more simple? UX design is all about creating a product that the targeted customers will love in every way. This applies to any product one can think of, and not just apps, software, and gadgets.
Having said that, it’s also a fact the UX designers are mainly employed in the technical domain. The concept of UX design may be applicable for any product, but if you’re looking to build a career as a UX designer, then you have to focus on the core technical sectors like IT, web design, digital/electronic devices,
So we will now set aside the general concept of UX design, and delve more into the technical aspects. The entire process of UX design can be divided into three stages – visualization, development, and finalization. All three stages are explained below in detail.
The first step of UX design is to visualize a basic idea of what the final product is going to be like. The primary goal is to build a product or a system that will be easy to use, interact with, and ultimately provide the users a pleasant experience. There are no specific guidelines to follow when visualizing a product, but there are some essential steps that are to be followed.
Step 1: Target audience Identification for your product.
Step 2: Do some proper research to find out what features will enhance the targeted audience’s experience when interacting with your product. The general rule of thumb is that your product should have features that are easily accessible, self-explanatory, and that require the users to make little effort to interact with the system.
Step 3: Determine the content and structure of the product based on your research. The content of your product must provide usability to your audience, i.e., it should be useful and beneficial to the users.
Step 4: Make sure that the overall layout of the product is simple, yet visually appealing.
This is the part where you bring life to the idea you have visualized. It’s also the stage where you will be doing most of the technical work like graphic design, programming, and building the content.
If you have properly done your research when visualizing the end result of your product, then the development process will be much easier. There are some basic points that need to be considered during the development phase, which listed below.
- The product should have an appealing visual aspect. This means that it should look good and feel good to use.
- The main content of the product should be useful to your audience, and easily understandable. Users should get a clear idea of how the product will benefit them.
- The product must be simple to operate with clear instructions, and users must be able to navigate through different aspects of the interface effortlessly.
Finally, the most important thing is that the product should be efficient in doing what it intends to do.
This is the final stage where the product is fully developed and ready to be accessed by the users. There are two main steps in this stage, the beta testing/prototype stage, and the final stage.
Beta testing is when you make the finished product available to limited users so that you can observe and analyze the user’s experience in interacting with your product. If the feedback of beta testing is highly positive, the product is ready to be launched.
If not, you will have to collect info on what aspects failed to provide a satisfactory user experience and keep working on them till you get a perfect positive response.
So these are all the processes that are involved in the UX design of a product. Now let’s move on to the next part.
What Is UI Design And What Is The Role Of A UI Designer?
UI stands for User Interface. In simple terms, it refers to the visual aspects that allow users to interact and communicate with a product, device or system. Let’s consider a simple calculator.
The buttons with numbers, operatives like add, subtract, etc., the power buttons, all together make the interface of the calculator. It allows a person to perform calculations as per their choice. Any and every aspect of a system that lets a user interact with a product can be considered as a part of the user interface.
So that gives us a basic idea of what UI design is. It’s the process of making a product look good, feel good, and easy to interact with. But isn’t that what we said about UX design too? Yes. But the difference will be explained later in this article. For now, what I want you to do is set aside everything I’ve explained about UX for some time, and focus only on UI design.
The process of UI design also has three main stages – research, development,
This is the stage where you will need to research on –
- Who are the targeted customers for your product,
- What features and settings will benefit them when using your product,
- How to implement those features in the interface of the product in an easy and efficient way.
In this stage, you will perform the necessary technical operations to actually lay out all the required features within the product in a simple. The research stage is where you put in most of the brains. Once you have an overall outline of all the features you need in your product, the development process will be less complicated.
Once the development is complete, the only thing left is to finalize the product. Here too, a prototype or beta version of the product will first be launched to limited users and their feedback will be collected. If any loopholes are shortcomings are observed, rectifications will be done until the product gets a largely positive response. After that, your product will be ready for launch.
The ultimate purpose of UI design is to make a product aesthetically appealing and extremely easy to use so that any person interacting with the product will not face any inconvenience.
Okay, now let’s combine all that we discussed UX and UI design. You may have noticed that they may have different definitions but seem to be very similar. Yes, both processes are share similarities in many aspects which is why people often fail to differentiate between them. So I’ll try to explain the difference between them, and will also tell you why they seem to be the same thing.
Differences (And Similarities) Between UX And UI Design
The first point to be noted is that both UX and UI design go hand in hand to achieve one result – to make a product that users will find useful, simple and pleasant to use. Such a product will have a high demand and will benefit them as well as the company that has developed the product.
This point also explains why I talked about products, customers, and businesses in the introduction. A good UX design combined with UI design will make a product successful. Consumers will enjoy using such products, and companies will make good revenue from selling such products. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.
This also explains why UX and UI designs are similar. Since both processes aim to achieve a common goal, the concept and steps involved in both processes are also somewhat identical. But it’s important to know the differences between them as well. Differentiating between UX and UI design is a bit confusing because they are not two completely separate
The main difference is that UX has a wider spectrum, while UI is more like a part of the UX process. UX design focuses on the overall experience of people who use the product, while UI design focuses on just the interface, graphics and visuals. For example, let’s consider the popular app Instagram.
The UX designer is the person (or team) that decides to include different features in the app like stories, live stream, messaging other users, filters and editing options for photos, and every other feature the app has.
They will convey this information to the UI designer, who will then decide how to lay down these features in the app, like the stories appearing on top of the home page, the heart-shaped button below every image which can be clicked to like a photo, etc.
If that was not clear enough to make you understand the difference, here’s a better analogy. UX design is like the skeletal system that provides the basic framework of the product, and the UI design is like the skin, flesh, and muscles that make the final product look good.
Though there are differences in the concepts of UX and UI design, they cannot function separately. A good UI design with bad UX design will lead to a bad product. For example, consider a device that is very easy to use, can be operated by anyone and is also very lightweight and convenient to carry – meaning it has a good UI design.
But let’s say it has a battery backup of one hour and needs to be charged for 8 hours – so the UX design is terrible. Thus, even with an efficient user interface, just one factor will make the app completely useless.
Perfect Balance Perfect Product.
To make a perfect product, it is essential to maintain the right balance between a good UX and UI design. But the best part is that the concept of UX and UI design is not just limited to technology and general products. You can even apply it in other trades. For example, when I thought of writing this article, the first thing I did is made a guideline that included points like,
- Who will read this article, and what content will they be expecting to read?
- How will the content benefit the readers?
- What are the topics that I should discuss in this article to give the readers a clear understanding?
- How to keep the language and tone of the article simple and understandable?
All these points make up for the UX design of this article, to give the readers a pleasant experience and beneficial information. And when I actually started writing, I had to focus on factors like,
- Putting main topics in bold
- Using numbers and bullets to explain important points
- Dividing each topic into subtopics and steps
- Properly dividing the paragraphs according to the content
- Choosing proper fonts
These steps make up for the UI design of this article, so that it will be visually appealing to readers, and will make it easy for them to navigate through different parts of the article. This final example should provide a clear idea of the concept, similarities, and differences between UX and UI design concepts.
So did I do a good job of explaining the concepts of UX/UI design? Did my article manage to provide a satisfactory mixture of user experience and user interface? Let me know in the comments below!
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