In this short article I’m going to introduce you to User Experience Design. We will compare it to User Interface Design and why and how these two are completely different from each other.
First of all, what does User Experience means (UX for short, or UXD for User Experience Design)? UX focuses on users, why they are using your product, what they need, how they are going to achieve it and what obstacles will they face. UX Designers do research, analyze users behavior and use that data (and knowledge) to create product which is going to make users effective. UX Designers goal is to make users not only effective, but at the same time solve their problems with this specific product (mobile app, website, software, etc.) and just make their lives easier. Let’s consider restaurant booking as an example. UX Designer would encompass every interaction from ordering a seat, giving Google Maps interface to navigate to the actual restaurant, to read additional information about meals in the restaurant, to actually arrive to the restaurant and so on. Whoever is in charge of the restaurant booking experience, needs to consider all those points.
(diagram created by Dan Saffer)
User Interface Design (UI), on the other hand, is closer to what we would call a graphic design or visual design. It’s the actual design of the interfaces that would best facilitate for great, seamless, pleasurable and rewarding interaction between the user and your product. UI Designers create great looking buttons, choosing the right color scheme for the project, making sure application has that visual relationship with the user. Basically, UI Designer is responsible for everything about how a web site or application appears in the interface.
In conclusion I want to say that although UX and UI is absolutelly different words, they work together almost a s a one piece. You cannot just create a beautiful application, which looks beautiful on devices, you also need effective User Experience, because at the end of the day we, as a designers, want to create a product for the users, for the real users and that’s the most important thing to keep in mind.