Technological advancement has reached such a point that there is an abundance of websites and mobile applications out there for nearly everything and everyone. The online space is so saturated that no one wants to spend any more time than absolutely necessary trying to access a website or application.
At one point in time, during the early years of the internet, people waited minutes for webpages to load. But now, most people abandon websites if they take more than 3 seconds to load. Furthermore, if people can’t immediately find what they’re looking for in a website, they move on to the next competitor.
That’s why it’s absolutely necessary for you to give your website or mobile application users the most seamless and efficient experience possible. That’s where UI/UX design comes in — this is what you need to focus on if you want to retain your users. In this article, we discuss what UI and UX are and their importance in website and mobile application development.
WHAT IS UI DESIGN?
UI is short for User Interface and it is basically the form in which users are presented with information on the internet or in mobile applications. UI essentially focuses on how the screen looks, feels, and how users interact with them. Visual elements like screen, graphics, buttons, menus, etc, all fall within the purview of user interface design.
WHAT IS UX DESIGN?
UX is short for User Experience and it basically focuses on how users interact and engage with the website or mobile application. Interaction is key for all websites and applications. The value and worth of your product is determined not by how many people merely view it, but by how they interact with it.
This interaction can mean different things for different products — signing up for a newsletter, navigating between different pages, entering a poll, etc. UX design focuses on creating the website and application in such a manner leads the users to interact with it in order to accomplish certain goals. It also focuses on a seamless transition for the users so they can naturally navigate from one part of the webpage or application to another.
PRIMARY COMPONENTS OF UI/UX DESIGN
Before we get to the importance of UI/UX design, it’s necessary to understand the key components. UI/UX design basically has five key components — Information Architecture, Interaction Design, Usability, Wireframing, and Visual Design.
INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE (IA)
Information Architecture is all about serving the prime function of the product. It means the website, mobile application, or software has to be designed so that the users can gain access to every part of the platform without any difficulty regardless of which browser or device they’re using. IA also means enhancing the navigation menu’s accessibility so that the users can go through the entire website or application with the greatest ease.
Interaction Design basically encompasses every aspect of the product with which the user interacts, either directly or indirectly. Direct interaction simply refers to buttons, menu style, etc — things that they interact with. Indirect interaction refers to things like aesthetic components, graphics, and color schemes — things that facilitate smooth navigation and interaction.
Usability is basically the user-friendliness. This means every aspect of the design should be easy to navigate and understand so that users get all the information they need at a momentary glance through the page as well.
Wireframing is basically a demo of the final product. Before the actual website of application is launched, a cheap sample is made and distributed in order to test all of the features, navigation, menus, aesthetics, and user-friendliness. If there are some errors in the design, it can be rectified before the final product launch.
Finally, visual design is basically how you visually define the company’s brand and personality. This refers to the selection of the correct set of graphics, photographs, color scheme, fonts, icons, etc. Basically, every visual component of the product should work with each other and project a singular unified image of the brand as a whole. This may not seem necessary, but the visual image can have a major impact on how users perceive the product even before actually using it.
IMPORTANT OF UI/UX DESIGN
So now you know all about the basics of UI/UX design — you understand how UI and UX differ and what are the key components of UI and UX design. In this section of the article, we’ll discuss the importance of UI/UX design for mobile app development and website development.
People are naturally extremely visual. We like things that look neat, well-organized, and attractive. If your website or application looks the part and has a smooth interface, people are more likely to give it a shot. If your interface and interactivity are haphazard and poorly-constructed, you will likely lose all of your users and viewers before they’ve even seen what you have to offer. A strong UI/UX design can ensure that your users stay on your page for long periods of time, which, in turn, enhances your statistics as far as SEO is concerned and your website can rank higher in search results.
In this over-saturated technological marketplace, first impressions are often your last impression. This is especially true if you’re a startup — you need to create a strong first impression and get your users hooked from the very beginning. A good application or webpage will help you come across as professional and authoritative, which will make people trust your business more, whatever it may be.
APP STORE FEATURES
The best way to attract new users is to get features in app stores. It’s extremely easy to drown amidst the thousands of apps that are uploaded to Android and iOS app stores week after week. However, all of the app stores come with feature sections where users can find new or upcoming apps. You need to get your application featured in that list to gain access to a wider demographic. But these app stores are extremely selective — the only way to make it into their lists is to collect rave reviews and to have a stellar UI/UX design.
RETURN ON INVESTMENT
If you have a smooth design and interface, more users will be able to interact and engage with your page. Let’s say you have an e-commerce website. If you have a messy page, your users won’t be able to find the cart or checkout location immediately. If they take any more than a few seconds to locate it, they are likely to abandon your store altogether. It doesn’t matter how good your products are, you won’t sell them if your users can’t find the correct buttons. By focusing on UI/UX design, you can lead your users to interact with your website or application the way you want them to. This can massively increase your returns on investment.
UI/UX design is currently one of the main components of website and mobile application development. With all of the competition out there, it’s essential to provide your users with the easiest interface in order to win their loyalty and grow your business. With UI/UX design, you can attract more loyal viewers, turn them into customers or lead them to engagement, rank better in Google, get featured in app stores, and basically boost your returns on investment. In the long run, a strong UI/UX design can make or break your brand, company, or product.