What Do We Mean When We Talk about UI & UX ?

By June 11, 2015 Web Design
UI and UX design

Sure, you’ve already seen or heard the terms UI & UX. Don’t let these acronyms scare you: it’s not about anything complex, such as coding, or other boring things. These two terms refer to User Interface and User Experience: two sides of the same coin. But today, we will talk about this subject in regard to the design and usability of your website.

Maybe you’re thinking: “why should I care about this?” Well, if you want to create a website whose design allows your dream audience to really connect with your message, then these letters are your holy grail.

As we said, UI means “User Interface” and UX means “User Experience”. The complex aspect is understanding the difference between these two similar-sounding concepts, so we’ll use the remaining characters of this post to explain it.

User Experience is not something that is added to a product (in this case, a website design), but is the sum of all interactions that a user has with the product. The products are created thinking of generating a user experience as positive as possible.

When it comes to a website, UX not only has to do with the color, layout, design or template you choose: it involves a lot of factors that make the overall user interaction with your site, such as shortcuts, icons, search engines and especially those small details that can make user experience a super smooth interaction — Whereas the UI consists of the specific elements that let you interact with the product; UI factors or properties define how the user experience (UX) will be shaped.

For example: you head to Bal Harbour to buy some clothes. Now, imagine that in the Bal Harbour shop there are few to no mirrors, the waiting line for the fitting rooms is endless, the clothes have no indicated sizes nor is there a guide anywhere, sellers are busy working on other things, and the locale is very dimly lit. Besides all that, the cashier is not working. It’s quite the apocalypse in there!!

What will your UX be for that product in that particular store? Not very positive, right? You will probably leave as soon as you can— to never return— and try your luck in another store.

If the second store you enter has discounts, nice music, friendly sellers and spacious fitting rooms, you might want to come back the next week – and you will recommend it to your friends. In short: User Experience is the determining factor between a returning customer or prospect and one who runs away forever. The same goes for websites.

Except that unlike with physical stores, prospective customers may make this decision in as little as a few seconds, rather than putting up with poor user experience for several minutes before trying a different place.

Slow web pages that can’t be displayed on mobile devices or have ugly, outdated designs make today’s users want to run away from them. But bad interfaces are not always so clear to detect. Sometimes UI problems have to do with confusing messages, unclear instructions, or labyrinthian pages that seem to get you nowhere or whose contents or existence seem inexplicable.

So if you are thinking of creating or redesigning your own business website, keep in mind these concepts, and consider that small details can really make a difference.

“Knowing how people will use something is essential,” Donald Norman said. If you do not understand how people are using your product, or which is the easiest way to use it, you will inevitably make a few mistakes along the way.

A photo posted by kiloThought (@kilothought) on

Instead of wasting energy, money, and time on web marketing strategies that aren’t netting a return on your investment, consider contacting KiloThought Media about our highly personalized web consulting services.

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About Camila

I'm Camila, a freelance writer living in Buenos Aires. When I'm not working on a communication related project, I’m probably watching Netflix, writing scripts or cooking. Whenever I can, I pack my huge backpack and travel around the world: meeting new people and exploring new cities and landscapes is what I love the most.

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