When a user lands on your website and begins exploring, the last thing you want them to think about is their experience. The site should flow so smoothly that the visitor does not consciously think about their movements between the site’s design, content, and developmental elements. All the user should be cognizant of is the solution they need your site to provide.
Simplicity and usability features should make using the site completely intuitive. If a visitor becomes aware of their experience on a website, it typically means the UX and UI need an overhaul.
User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) are crucial and inherent characteristics of any web design. And while there are definite differences between them, they are integral to each other. You cannot have a positive user experience without a well-designed user interface. You cannot have a clean user interface without a well-planned user experience. You can put a ton of effort into your UI and UX or not, but if either is poorly constructed, your site’s performance could suffer.
What Is UI?
UI, or user interface, encompasses all the visual elements visitors encounter and interact with when they land on your site. From buttons and toggles to icons, animations, menu bars, texts, images, and sliders, your UI design establishes the look of your website and can significantly impact your site’s performance.
What Is UX?
UX, or user experience, is the guiding force behind UI. UX is all about the website’s overall function, accessibility, simplicity, and problem-solving capabilities. Your visitors interact with your website for a reason, and your UX should dictate how your UI will cater to them and supply the solutions they need. If UI is the “what,” UX is the “how and why.”
A Bad UI Design Leads to a Bad UX
First impressions are everything. According to WebFX, visitors base their first impressions of your site on its design 94% of the time. High-quality images, appealing site colors, straightforward navigation, and well-placed content will create an online environment that users will want to continue exploring. However, if your UI design is poorly thought through, doesn’t follow updated style guides, and ignores current best practices, users are likely to react in the following ways:
- Form negative assumptions about your site overall
- Form negative opinions about your company overall
- Leave your site in search of a more desirable or user-friendly one
By benefitting your visitors through your UI design, you’ll provide a positive UX, gain credibility and trust among visitors, and have better odds of converting leads into customers.
How to Think Through UI Design to Create a Successful UX
When designing your website, it is essential to view everything from your audience’s perspective. Creating a user persona to inform your UI design is a wise step to get into the mind of your visitors and display what they need to see in a way they want to see it.
Keep these three concepts in mind when it comes to your UI design:
- Simple tasks – Whether it’s filling out a form, gathering needed info, or purchasing a product, design your site to simplify your visitors’ most common tasks.
- Fast navigation with little effort – Organize pathways to other pages in the way that makes the most sense to your audience.
- Enjoyable experience – Ensure your visitors have a positive experience (UX) with a design that reflects simplicity and ease of use.
To put these steps in context, let’s think of a UI design for a doctor’s office. For the most part, the practice will have two types of site visitors: prospective patients and established patients. To cater to the UX of both, the UI should be designed in such a way that each type of patient can complete simple tasks and conveniently make their way through the site:
- A prospective patient should land on the homepage and quickly get a feel for the navigation. Buttons and menu tabs should guide them toward the most important areas of the website, such as the service pages, new patient resources, and contact page.
- An established patient is likely familiar with the website already. However, they should still be able to land on the homepage and easily navigate to the client portal, resources page, or contact page.
Robust UI design that considers UX and the actions you want visitors to take can significantly enhance your site’s performance.
Is it time to revamp your UI and UX? Talk to the Web Design Experts at M&R Marketing.
Our in-house team of copywriters, designers, and web developers all work together to create a winning strategy that is all about your site’s UX and UI, leaving your visitors with a positive, productive experience online. Tell us about your website or website needs today: 478-621-4491.