One of the fundamental aspects of contemporary marketing is the attention paid to what is defined in English as user experience (UX), which we translate into user experience. Experience is a lived and observed fact, while a user is a person or a group of people who use an object or a service. UX optimization is the cornerstone of any marketing strategy. Concerning web design, the application of this concept, which tends to emphasize the human side of promotional action, is defined as user Experience Design.
As the name suggests, UX Design is user experience design—in fact, a method of designing a site focused on the user and which takes into account their behavior in front of a digital interface (web, mobile, or software SaaS). Its goal is to optimize the user’s virtual journey within the site or online shop to make it as pleasant, accessible, and instinctive as possible.
What Is UX Design? The Human Side Of Design
To understand what UX design is, you need to start with the term UX, an acronym for user Experience (which translates into Italian as user experience). Coined in the 1990s by Donald Norman, a professor of cognitive science at the University of California, the expression designates a person’s lived experience with a digital interface.
UX design can be defined as the set of techniques to be used when designing a platform (website, e-commerce, or mobile application) to design and create an interface that anticipates and satisfies the needs, desires, and expectations of the user. UX design is not only about design in the strict sense (colors, layout, shapes, visual elements, etc.).
The priority is the user experience. In other words, it is a question of anticipating visitors’ expectations and making the interface as ergonomic and intuitive as possible based on user sensations. The designer, therefore, mixes strategic objectives, technological parameters, and interface design techniques to create a website, e-commerce site, or application that is above all easy to use and perfectly compliant with the needs of the visitors.
Difference Between UX And UI Design
As we have seen, UX design refers to the expression of User Experience, while UI Design stands for User Interface Design. Both elements are essential to a good product, and engineers work closely together while referencing different elements of the website or application design process. Indeed, where UX Design is a more analytical and technical area, UI Design is closer to what we call graphic design, although the professional’s responsibilities are a little more complex. The UX designer tries to answer this set of questions:
- What tasks should users perform?
- How do they currently behave on the interface?
- Who are the users?
- How do I make the experience simple and pleasant?
- What is the ideal user journey?
- How can the user journey be improved?
While the UX Designer implements the first wireframes and structures, the UI Designer, starting from his work, literally gets to dress the interface in question, focusing on all the visual and interaction details to make the interface intuitive, attractive, pleasant, etc. The user interface designer, therefore, asks questions such as:
- How do I improve the readability of the interface?
- How to highlight the brand image by optimizing the user experience
- How to optimize the loading speed
- What colors to use to meet the disabilities of some
- Which fonts to choose to be consistent with the structure and content
- How to make CTAs clear and engaging
How UX And UI Design Work Together
As we have seen, UX and UI designers go hand in hand. These are two professionals who must necessarily help each other in the product development process. A beautiful interface that looks streamlined but is difficult to use is an example of a product with good UI but bad UX; conversely, an interface that looks ugly but has good usability is a product with good UX but bad UX.
Both examples cited refer, as is evident, to non-optimized products, which could certainly make more money with the harmonization of the two forms of design. We find many such cases in the start-up world. Often, some brands launch a new product as a UX-focused app: they do user research, set up surveys, collect data, etc. In the end, they manage to create an app that perfectly answers the question, with a successful promise and concept, but without any work on the user interface.
Result: users are very interested; they download the application quickly but run away just as quickly because they are disappointed with the interface (buttons are too small, legibility is not good, brand image is not enhanced, etc.). User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) complement each other, and it is difficult to achieve good results without working on these two aspects simultaneously. A design team must understand these two aspects and highlight them fairly.
What Are The Skills Of UX And UI Designers?
These two professions are different, although complementary. UX designers won’t do the same things as UI designers, even though they will work closely together. The UX designer is responsible for aspects relating to data, structure, testing, and user research; therefore,
- Competitor analysis
- Content writing/strategy
- Product positioning strategy
- Data analysis
The UX Designer is consequently extremely versatile: he can deal with topics related to the product manager, SEO consultant, or user interface designer; he must take care to optimize the product experience as a whole, which implies working on many aspects of the development process. As for the UI designer, his optimization goals will be more focused on the visual interface. His tasks will therefore revolve around the interaction of the interface and its aesthetic rendering. Here are the elements that the UI Designer will process:
- Design research
- Customer analysis
- Brand analysis
- Graphic development and design
- Animation and interaction
- Reactive fit
- Front-end development
User interface work is essential to giving a product some credibility and a strong brand image.
Why Is User Experience Design Essential?
UX design is about conceiving and designing a website or e-commerce site to make the most of it. Already before the development phase, it is necessary to be interested in the functions that the user will be able to use, in the type of path, and in the actions that are expected of him. To understand this, we can consider the bad experience spent on a poorly designed site: since the menu is not clear, we waste time searching for categories or even pages; images don’t load fast enough; a button with little or no visibility does not allow the action.
The visitor gets tired quickly and leaves the page. A good user experience strategy allows you to avoid losing traffic and promotes the achievement of your objectives. The user’s needs must be transformed into specific, clearly visible, and intuitive functionality; this is the essence of UX design.
The Advantages Of A Good UX Design
Here are the main advantages of a quality UX design:
Many websites and e-commerce sites sell the same product or service. However, customers choose to visit and buy from sites that offer a simple and efficient user experience. Increasing the number of visitors automatically leads to an increase in the conversion rate.
Since investing in UX design increases company revenue, partnering with a web agency that specializes in UX design is always a good strategy. According to a study published by Forrester Research, while excellent user interface design can increase a site’s conversion rate by 200%, excellent user experience design can increase that rate by nearly 400%.
Reduced Maintenance Costs:
A good user experience makes it easier for visitors to get all the information they need about the product or service you are selling. If users get all their questions answered on the site itself, they won’t have to email or call. This will therefore reduce customer support costs.
A major SEO Boost:
Effective UX design helps significantly improve your SEO ranking. The ultimate goal of a search engine is to deliver information to users quickly and conveniently. There are several factors that a search engine uses to track user engagement, and UX is one of them. UX design, to improve SEO, should focus on many factors, the main ones being:
- Loading time or page speed
- Responsiveness on mobile
- Implementation of an easy-to-use URL structure
- Increased brand loyalty
Brand loyalty is the tendency of a consumer to purchase the same products over and over again. A flawless user experience not only impresses the users at first sight but also keeps them in a long-lasting relationship. User-centered design and continuous bug fixing are the keys to retaining users and maintaining brand loyalty.