What is the Difference between UX Design and UI Design?

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If you’ve stumbled across the terms UX or UI design recently, you might be disappointed to learn that you’re not in a new episode or Star Trek, nor will you be witnessing the birth of a new language. What these two terms actually mean might sound incredibly technical – but once you get to grips with the differences between the two, the chances are that you’ll feel in a much better position as far as introducing your website to them is concerned.

UX stands for User Experience and UI represents the User Interface side of things. Individually they are pretty effective techniques for a website to possess, but together they can become a potent powerhouse of performance.

Here at Charles Elena Design, our Melbourne-based UI and UX designers understand the importance of helping our clients – and their websites – to get the best from both worlds.

What Makes UX and UI Design Different?

UX vs UI Design

Consider it like this. You could have the nicest looking building in the world, complete with stunning glass windows and designed by the world’s most prolific architect; but if the structure isn’t up to the job, the walls could come crashing down in no time at all. That metaphor also applies to your online presence.

  • There’s a huge difference between a good website and a great one
  • and without the proper level of care, an extensive behind the scenes development and maximum effort on all fronts;
  • even the most well-meaning business could end up falling flat on its face.

UX design in specific relates to the experience that a user has when visiting and exploring your website. You could have dedicated countless resources to achieving a website that looks absolutely fantastic; but if it isn’t functional, what good will it do? And that’s where UI design comes into the fray. With it, the frame of your website will be taken care of during the UX process, while the UI can take care of the aesthetics of your site to enhance the look and feel for your visitor.

Breaking These Techniques Down

What that translates to outside of digital jargon, is a website that first and foremost welcomes your visitors, then treats them to an interactive site to showcase what you have on offer. With a careful combination of the two, your site could quickly go on to convert a high volume of visitors into paying customers.

UX Designer

So, How Do They Work Exactly?

UX Design

Let’s return to the metaphor that we used above for a moment. The first thing that the building will need is a structure. Without it, the chances are that it will fall apart – but with it you’ll be laying the foundations securely, ready for decoration. And UX specifically relates to this structure.

  • Much like the skeletal beams of a building need to be properly connected, so do the pages and threads of a website.
  • The building will have doorways and access points in much the same way as your website will have links to other pages.
  • But how many people will feel confident walking into an elevator that doesn’t have any buttons?
  • Or climbing stairs without a secure bannister to hold on to?

If you stop at this point, you’ll likely have a fantastically functional website that is capable of getting your visitor to where they want to be; but if your design and layout isn’t quite up to the job, why on earth would anyone want to put up with an empty frame to sell them a product?

That’s where UI comes in handy. The interface of your website could be considered the ‘skin’, or aesthetic part, of your online presence. In construction terms, and where our metaphor is concerned, the UI of a building will relate to its windows, its doors, and the wallpaper and decoration in general.

That’s why it can be so important to obtain the ideal balance between the two technique

Can One Be Used without the Other?

Certainly; in fact, many older websites used to rely on one of the techniques in an attempt to get their customers to buy from them. Now, you might have noticed that we mentioned the word ‘older’ – and for good reason.

Ten years ago, and when search engines like Google were still relatively young, there wasn’t anywhere near as much demand for functionality as there is today. Back then, a website didn’t need to be pretty or appealing, it simply needed to direct a viewer to what they were looking for and the job could be considered done.

On the opposite side of the coin, plenty of websites looked fantastic, but lacked functionality.

What Happened with Design Techniques Next?

Ui Designer Melbourne

It was only when experts like those in our team came to realise how powerful the building blocks of life could be where a website is concerned, that a leap was made in technique.

And these techniques aren’t new by anyone’s reckoning – they have been the concept of life for thousands of years. Just take a common flower for example. Inside it is a complex blend of systems to keep the plant alive, but on the outside it’s an attractive looking organism that tempts bees to visit for pollination, which can help to keep the species alive.

Websites are genuinely no different; albeit in a more digital environment.

  • Instead of photosynthesis, a great site will have a functional backend,
  • a collection of relevant links and
  • a host of technical activities taking place behind the scenes.

And rather than turning the bee away from its prize; the flower will feature vibrant colours and exciting attractions, in much the same way as an aesthetically pleasing design will benefit the person viewing it.

So, Are Both Techniques Best Used Together?

Yes – in fact, according to research, websites that feature strategically developed UI and UX designs are far more likely to hit the mark when it comes to appeal, compulsion and conversion.

What Do These Terms Mean?

Generally speaking, appeal relates to a website’s ability to keep a visitor staying put, or exploring further. If you’ve ever heard of ‘bounce rates’, you’ll be pleased to hear that the term ties in directly to a website’s User Interface. The more appealing the site looks, the more likely the visitor will be to stay there – and as a result, the bounce rate of the site can be reduced.

  • Now, there are a whole host of techniques and factors that can go into keeping bounce rates low,
  • such as the positioning of images on the landing page of a website,
  • as well as any calls to action and other necessary features – but as you might imagine, this can get pretty technical.

That’s part of the reason why our team prefer to take care of the technicalities on behalf of our clients; so you can sit back and relax while the specifics are looked after by the most capable hands.

So, that’s the appeal of a website in a nutshell, but what about its compulsion?

 

The Part That Compulsion Plays in a Website

  • This term relates to the UI of a site again.
  • It basically represents how compelled a visitor might feel to stay on the website,
  • or to explore it further and potentially make a purchase (or book a service).
  • The more compelling the site, the more likely the user will be to stay put – it’s as simple as that.

If they stay on your website they won’t be viewing a competitor’s one, which in the long run could result in much greater profitability for your business.

The Importance of Conversions with UX in Mind

And conversion? Well, unlike the above two points, the term ‘conversion’ relates to the technical processes involved in turning a potential buyer into a paying customer.

  • Your website will need to be attractive,
  • whilst offering the right type of information to a potential lead,
  • before guiding them through the conversion process.
  • As you can probably imagine, this process will be far more technical and may involve a payment system and other features.

This is where the UX design steps into the spotlight. The easier it is for your visitor to learn about what you have on offer, add their choice to their cart and then checkout with ease; the more likely they will be to return. So a seamless, uninterrupted payment process will fall into the category of a user’s experience and can be far more preferable than a faulty, ill-prepared one.

A Closer Look at What Makes These Terms So Unique

If you’re still feeling a little unsure of the main differences between UI design and UX design, there’s one more trick up our sleeves to help you to identify the key traits belonging to both.

Consider a large fir tree – like the ones brought out during the holiday season. These trees have many species and some of them will lose their needles at certain times of the year. But there are other types known as ever-greens that remain full of needles all year round. Now, we know what you’re thinking; what on earth do fir trees have to do with user-based design?

User Interface Design

And That Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg

Now that you understand the importance of UI and UX when used together, the chances are that you’ll be keen to explore the potential even further. Our team here at Charles Elena are as friendly as they are experienced in the art of digital services; so why not get in touch?

But for those of you that want to learn more about the differences between these two services and the other benefits that they have to offer; prepare to have your mind metaphorically blown.

Quite a bit, actually.

  • The main structure of these trees is designed in a way to ensure that water can consistently travel to all branches, no matter how tall the tree gets.
  • In digital terms, this would represent the way in which UX design focuses on allowing a website’s visitor to reach the right types of products via links to pages.

Once the water reaches the branch it cycles back, allowing a consistent process to be achieved. This is why UX is so important; because without it, the website could quickly suffer with errors, missing links, or an inability for a potential customer to purchase the product that they want.

  • And rather than expecting your customer to traverse an empty, barren site (or a fir tree without needles), you’ll undoubtedly want to encourage them to make the decision to buy.
  • And that’s what should be in mind when having your UI developed.
  • Just as a fir trees’ needles can look appealing; they also offer functionality in the form of being able to absorb sunlight all year round.

But that’s not all that they do; they also act as a buffer between birds and the bark, which in turn houses the most vital components of the tree itself. So, if you consider your own website, you’ll see that the trunk is your framework, the bark is your security and the needles are in place to appeal to your visitor, whilst working intricately with the other systems that make up your site.

And That Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg

Now that you understand the importance of UI and UX when used together, the chances are that you’ll be keen to explore the potential even further. Our team here at Charles Elena are as friendly as they are experienced in the art of digital services; so why not get in touch?

But for those of you that want to learn more about the differences between these two services and the other benefits that they have to offer; prepare to have your mind metaphorically blown.

UI and UX Design Aren’t Just for Viewers; They Are for Search Engines, Too

You read that correctly; although the User Interface will be viewed digitally by a visitor and the User Experience processes will help them to enjoy the functionality of your website; that really is just the tip of the iceberg.

Search engines including Google, Yahoo and Bing also take full advantage of their own algorithms when it comes to exploring just how relevant your site could be when it comes to deciding where you should be placed compared to your competitors.

What that means is that a great UI and UX system could actually encourage search engines to consider your site with a little bit more authority than those that bypass these features.

If you’re into SEO, you’ll undoubtedly see the potential here, but even if you’re not – just imagine the potential of having a website that speaks to its physical and digital audiences in equal measure.

UX UI Design and SEO

How Beneficial Could This Be?

Think of it like this. If your website is fully kitted to offer a viewer a flawless experience, whilst demonstrating to Google that it offers plenty of information and functions without issue; then what your site is actually doing is ticking all of the right boxes.

  • That means that without being found via a search engine, your site could enjoy direct traffic that knows what they are looking for – and come ready to spend.
  • But with indexing, thanks to search engines, your website could be easily found online and draw in an entire new volume of visitors ready to spend their hard earned cash on what you have to offer.

Two Parts of the Same Puzzle

In reality, a website that features a strong UX and UI design won’t just be keeping up with the demands of modern technology and services; it will actually be putting itself in a position to reap the rewards well into the future.

Individually these techniques might be appealing on some levels, but when combined and professionally incorporated with one another; your site could end up becoming a market leader in your industry.

The Evidence Is Clear for All to See

In reality, a website that features a strong UX and UI design won’t just be keeping up with the demands of modern technology and services; it will actually be putting itself in a position to reap the rewards well into the future.

Individually these techniques might be appealing on some levels, but when combined and professionally incorporated with one another; your site could end up becoming a market leader in your industry.

Don’t just take our word for it – have a look at some of the biggest websites in the world. Regardless of the industry; the largest brands and agencies will share one thing in common and that’s a system that simply works.

They all utilise the same, or similar, measures. They all have websites that look phenomenal whilst nurturing the viewer, thanks to behind-the-scenes systems that enhance experiences.

But perhaps most importantly of all, they have found the balance between aesthetic appeal and technical functionality. And that is what our digital design agency here in the heart of Melbourne happens to specialise in.

  • We understand not just the key differences between these two advanced techniques;
  • but how to incorporate them in a way that can maximise your output,
  • enhance your websites productivity and improve your conversion rate.

Is UX or UI Design Really For You?

This will depend on your needs and expectations, but in most cases that we’ve come across, all types of websites can stand to benefit from the techniques; regardless of their size. Even if you have a page that consists of a single landing page, the chances are that it could be restricted to maximise the impact that a user feels when visiting, whilst encouraging them to venture below the fold.

And once they are there, you’ll be able to direct them to your product or service in the most effective way imaginable – by utilising the power of UI.

  • The same could be said for larger websites, including those with tens of thousands of pages (or even more).
  • By addressing the system in charge of a user’s experience and then applying an appealing layer over the surface to tidy up the framework;
  • you could create a captivating site that speaks to the masses and rewards you for your efforts many times over.

Get In Touch With Our Expert Web Developers Today

The Difference between UI and UX design

If you’re ready to take your website up a few notches, why not get in touch with our team right now? We’re happy to chat on the phone or via email – and as we approach each and every project with individuality and a focus on your specific requirements, you can rest assured that you’re in the best of hands.

When it comes to maximising the effect of the UX and UI systems being introduced to your website, we make use of the latest technologies, state of the art facilities and a host of experience. When paired with our willingness to help and our friendly attitude toward our projects, you’ll quickly feel right at home.

So, why delay any longer than you have already? We’ll take care of the technicalities behind your UI/ UX requirements – and once we have a strategy in place, your website could quickly go from strength to strength. To learn more, simply get in touch with us today and we’ll get the ball rolling together.