User interface and User experience are two different terms in web design which are confused. Where a user interface is, what the users look at while using the website, i.e the images, buttons, links and fonts, UX is the feel the user gets while using the website. Both UI and UX are related in many ways and the designers have to incorporate many elements that make for a UX, which is captivating enough to keep the users glued to the website. Understanding the difference between UI and UX is important so as to build better websites which exhibit a UI with provides an enhanced user experience. As there is a difference between UI and UX, the professionals who create them are also different in many senses. There are different requirements of the UI designer and the UX designer. A UI designer needs to possess technical skills apart from the ability to think in a creative and imaginative manner.
UX depends on several factors which goes beyond the UI. User interface designing has only to do with the appearance of the website. It involves the usage of attractive fonts, graphics, colors and design elements which account for a part of UX, rather important part if the not in entirety. Other factors that come into play while designing the UX are related to technology, business logic, usability, interaction design, information design, sound design and several such processes. When all such factors are in the right place and order, we are able to achieve a UX, which has the potential to entice the users and retain them. You can understand the difference with this analogy. UI can be seen as the motorboat and the feel that you get while surfing the sea on the boat is the UX. Better equipped the boat is, the smoother is the surfing experience.
Responsibilities of a UI designer
As mentioned earlier, a UI designer shoulders the responsibility of creating the appearance of the website which the users navigate through while browsing the website. UI designers are required to be well versed with several technologies so that they are able to create an interactive website with smooth navigation. Languages like HTML, CSS, JQuery, Java Script are some of the languages and technologies which are needed to build User interfaces which contribute to the entire UX of the website.
- Customer Analysis
- Design Research
- Branding through Graphic Development
- User Guides
- Responsiveness and Interactivity
- UI Prototyping
- Interactivity and Animation
- Adaptation to all mobile devices
- Coordination with the developer
A website represents the business on the web and therefore the UI designers have the gruelling task of present the strength of the company to the users and let them use the functionality offered by the developers in a smooth way. The visual assets of the websites are designed by the UI designers which is a major contributor to the user experience. The UI designer has to be regularly updated with the latest trends so that interface designed by the designer is in line with the users’ tastes and preferences.
Also, new and advanced technologies need to be learned by the UI designers so that they are able to incorporate the latest features to the website. With smartphone and tablet market on a boom, around 40% of the internet traffic comes from the mobile phones and thus the UI designers have an additional responsibility of making the website responsibly so that it adapts to the screen size of the device where the website is being viewed. Making the mobile responsive requires the designers to know additional technologies which make the job of UI designing inclined to technology. Also, the UI designer has to coordinate with the developer at every stage of UI development so that the front end and the backend of the website are in complete sync with each other.
Realm of work of a UX designer
The role of a UX designer is broader in terms of the work it has to perform. The UI is a major contributor to the UX, but user experience comprises of several other factors which go beyond the mere appearance of the website. It has more to do with complete experience the users will derive out of the website. Hence, every activity that the UX designer performs is aimed towards enhancing the satisfaction of the users by improving the usability, pleasure and ease of use of the website when the users interact with the program. Each and every aspect of the interaction of the users and the company, the products and the services come under the realms of UX. A UX designer is entrusted with the responsibility of looking into each of these aspects so that nothing is left to chance when it comes to offering an unmatched users’ experience.
As a UX designer following aspects need to be taken care of
- Analysis of the competitors
- Analysis of the customers
- Structure and strategy of the products
- Development of structure
- Wireframing and prototype development
- Development of the iteration
- Coordination with UI designers and developers
- Integration Analysis
A UX designer is a creative individual who has the responsibility to manifest the vision of the company on the website through the codes so that a user experience is created which is unmatched in true sense and ahead of the rivals. The structure of the website and its flow have to be taken care of without compromising on the aesthetic beauty of the website which is also a major aspect of UX. The users must not feel any glitch in going through the website and it is made sure by the user experience designer. The UX encompasses the appearance of the website, usability and the ease of navigation. Especially in the case of e-commerce websites, these factors and aspects become even more important as the users have many options, and you better offer a pleasing UX to reduce the bounce rate and retain more and more consumers. A UX designer does not have to be a master of one, but must be a jack of all trades so that each and every aspect related to UX is taken care of.
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