“People ignore design that ignores people.” — Frank Chimero, Designer

In product design, terms like “User Experience (UX)” and “User Interface (UI)” are quite commonly and interchangeably used. Both these terms have been around for decades, and it’s common for people who use apps and web design software frequently.

Design thinking is about the process of questioning the problem, assumptions, and implications. Along with the observation and development of empathy with the target user, it redefines obstacles to identify solutions.

User Interface

A user interface or UI is an interface through which users can interact with software and hardware. It makes all stages of interaction “user-friendly” and controls the said device effectively. There are various elements included like font style, sound, color, graphics, aesthetics, and more to ease user interaction. Literally, all the visual elements of a software’s user interface and the product’s presentation/ interaction depend on it.

From the touchscreen of your smartphone to the touchpad you use to select the type of coffee from the coffee machine, is all UI. It’s important that each and every visual is carefully considered and the designs are interactive to make the users feel more comfortable.

UI creations have several layers of interaction for the user to control a machine. There can be various types of user interfaces for different functions:

  • Form-driven interface: A UI created to enter data or feed information via a form to a program.
  • Command-line interface: An interface which uses a command-line terminal to interact with a program.
  • Graphical interface: A basic interface which requires user input to get a visual output.
  • Menu-driven interface: An interface that includes a set of menus or lists to navigate and control a program.
  • Touch or audio interface: An interface which uses touch or voice to control a program or machine.

User Experience

User Experience (UX) is how interacting with technology makes a user feel. UX applies to any technology, from an app to a game console.

When it comes to websites, UX design helps in optimizing the interaction between the user and the page. A site built keeping in mind the UX principles always leaves the user feeling as if they have accomplished what they came to do without frustration. To effectively build digital products with effective UX designs, leaders must leverage design systems that promote reuse and assembly.

Many modern-day product teams create original UX designs and craft digital experiences from scratch. In this process, they overlook the advantages of using existing and proven design patterns leading to poor usability, visual and behavioural inconsistencies, as well as longer design cycles. To improve the overall UX quality, software engineering leaders should deploy a design system — a set of reusable design assets and presentation layer code components that helps in building various digital products.

“A design system is one of the most important strategic assets for your company. It is a living digital product that requires a team, a plan and a set of specialised tools,” says Brent Stewart, Senior Director Analyst.

The industry has been changing rapidly, making UX an expectation rather than a differentiator. Given all of this, still on average, only 11.5% of product development budgets are spent on UX. These statistics look like a clear indication of underspending on UX, leading to overspending on development. Therefore, it also looks like an opportunity to do things better than other companies. UI Design is crucial when you look at the larger picture. It’s the cause behind a company’s success or failure. Quality UI design is the top reason why any website enjoys high traffic. The way your website communicates with your target audience and how they learn about your business is crucial for the success of the design. It’s the one area of your performance that you should never overlook or undervalue.