What is UX and how does it differ from UI?

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ux design

If you’re setting up or creating an online presence for your business, you’ve probably heard of two acronyms—UX and UI. While these terms sound nearly identical and are both relevant to web design, they have distinct differences.

This article will detail what UX is, why it’s important, and how it differs from UI. 

What is UX, and why does it matter?

UX stands for user experience. As you might gather, it’s all about the experience users have when browsing and interacting with your website.

People often use the term UX design and UX interchangeably, but they’re not the same thing. UX describes how visitors feel while browsing your website, while UX design describes the steps web designers take to make this feeling positive.

The goal behind UX design is to maximise the satisfaction and enjoyment of a website’s users. A UX designer’s job is to follow a set of principles known as ‘heuristics’ to ensure every user’s needs are met while eliminating potential usability issues.

Good UX designers will focus on the following factors

  • User goals and tasks
  • Usability
  • Accessibility
  • Simplicity

A website’s UX design can mean the difference between a customer purchasing your product or surface or leaving your website after viewing the first page. That’s why investing in a smart UX design strategy is critical.

UX vs. UI: Key differences

UI stands for user interface. While UI design and UX design aren’t the same, they are interconnected—that is, good UI design is an essential part of an effective UX design strategy.

In short, the user interface (UI) is what the customer sees and interacts with, while the user experience (UX) is how they feel about the product or service.

For example, the UI elements of a website usually include

  • Navigation (i.e. search fields, menus)
  • Information (tooltips, icons, notifications, message boxes)
  • Input (dropdown lists, buttons, text fields, date fields)
  • Visual (colour, imagery, typography)

When your website has an appealing, attractive, and easy-to-use UI, the UX experience is likely to improve. 

Mastering your business’s UX strategy

The first step towards mastering your business’s UX strategy is creating an attractive and functional user interface. Ideally, the UI will be visually appealing, simple to navigate, and useful for the customer.

To further improve the customer experience, here are some best practices to follow

  • Be valuable—consider every customer’s unique needs and expectations.
  • Be accessible—tailor your website to a broad audience, including people with disabilities or from different language backgrounds.  
  • Be credible—all information on your website should be accurate, reliable, and up to date.
  • Be findable—make sure the website is discoverable by people who could benefit from your products or services.
  • Be desirable—create content that real people are looking for.  

Conclusion

UX, or user experience, is about how customers feel when browsing your website. An attractive and easy to follow UI is the first step in mastering your UX strategy, so make sure to invest in this area when planning and creating an online presence for your business.

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