Deciphering The Importance Of User Experience
If you’re part of a product team, you’ll likely have come across the terms UI and UX. Sadly, many professionals have never learned the nuances behind the terms, nor the important differences between user experience vs user interface.
Difference Between UI And UX
UI refers to the user interface of a software product or hardware-software combination. For example, a mobile app’s user interface is a UI. A UI coder is focused mainly on creating an engaging and functional user interface for a product.
UX, on the other hand, refers to the user experience. It encompasses the entirety of the user’s interaction with a product. The focus of a UX designer is on creating a smooth end-to-end experience for the user.
To Hire UI Developer Or UX Designer?
Naturally, there is some overlap between the two. UX designers will need to pay attention to UI design, and a UI specialist will also give careful thought to the usability implications of a design. A UI Developer resume for an experienced web UI Developer will show a mix of UI developer skills and attention paid to UX.
As the following trends in UX show, improving the usability of your product will often include doing a better job executing on design and aesthetics. UI developer salary, for all-rounders with UX skills, will be higher as a result.
User Experience Tips: Content-focused Design
In 2017 and 2018, the web design world has witnessed the rise of what has come to be known as “content-focused design.” The content-focused design is distinguished, in large part, by its minimalism. It dispenses with eye-catching animations and other page enhancement to deliver simpler interfaces that highlight the content. Some notable examples of content-focused design are the designs for Medium, Reddit, and the LATimes.
On the Medium website, for example, the emphasis is on the text of articles posted by authors. The black typography on the page stands out and makes it easy to read the test. The designers chose to employ a significant amount of whitespace which reduces the noise on the page. The result is that the focus of the website visitor is channeled at the content, making it more likely for him or her to read an article through to the end.
Reddit takes the content focus beyond articles, to make it easy to read nested responses to a thread. The simplicity of the design makes it easy to follow conversations in a way that would be hard to do with a more flashy, distracting, design.
How Responsive Interfaces Enhance UX
Another key design lesson that will improve user experience from your app or website is to keep the site responsive through automatic loading of content while scrolling. Websites with item feeds such as Youtube and Twitter illustrate this design trend well.
For example, Youtube’s design eliminates the need to click through to different results pages when you search. Rather, as you scroll down the page, the website auto-loads new batches of results that suit your query.
This pattern has been used to great effect across social media websites like Twitter where scrolling through a news feed auto-loads new items as the user scrolls down. The result is that the user is kept engaged with fresh new content that provides an incentive to the user to stay on the page.
The number of clicks to discover new items is reduced. In addition, this design technique reduces the number of choices the user has to make on the page since they just have to scroll down.
Voice As A UX Enabler
In reality, there are many more design trends that you can use in your design and development to create an outstanding user experience. Looking forward, for example, the use of interactive voice input is a new, rising trend.
Voice input is already used in apps like Google Now to create a hands-free user experience. This makes using apps very easy to do when multitasking, for example, when the user is busy in the kitchen or driving. In the future, more and more apps on Android and iOS will use interactive voice input.
Improve User Experience With Flat Design
One of the most enduring design changes of the last several years is the widespread adoption of flat design. Popular websites using flat design include AirBnB and Square.
On AirBnB’s website, for example, you can see the role flat design plays in making a website’s functionality more accessible. Form controls and select filters are presented in a flat environment. As a result, navigating around the site is extremely easy.
With flat design, you can vastly improve the user’s journey around your app or website, but you need to design with the audience in mind. A statistical study by the Nielsen Norman Group found that young people’s preferences leaned towards flat design at rates about twice that of older people.