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The Full Experience: Understanding UI and UX Design

Today, brands of all sizes understand that to engage with target audiences in the digital space, a smartly designed website or mobile app is a must. But, what’s the foundation of digital design? Is it having the right color scheme or choice of brand typography? An attention-grabbing logo or high-impact photography?

The truth is, all of these are key components of digital design. But the designer’s ultimate goal is not simply to paint a pretty picture. It’s to turn curious visitors into satisfied, returning customers – and vital to this effort is having a solid grasp on the fundamentals of user interface and user experience design.

UI and UX are closely related concepts, but the terms aren’t completely interchangeable. Want to learn more? Let’s take a closer look…

UI (User Interface)

At its most basic, a user interface is just what it sounds like – the point of interaction between user and machine. The old-school command line is a user interface; so is your desktop computer’s operating system, your smartphone’s home screen, even an ATM’s touch screen.

In website and mobile app development, UI design is concerned with any aesthetic elements that affect functionality – icons, buttons, color and type choices, even the spacing between design elements. The goal is to streamline functionality and make it easier for your user to get from “point A” to “point B” with smart and purposeful design.

UX (User Experience)

A term coined by design and usability expert Don Norman back in the 1990s, user experience refers to the overall experience users have when interacting with your brand. Indeed, the term doesn’t even pertain exclusively to digital design, but according to Norman, includes “all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.”

When it comes to digital design, key to optimizing UX is understanding the “user’s journey,” and a skilled designer will do their homework about your target audience to make informed design choices. Who is your ideal customer? How can you best satisfy their needs? Simply put – how does their interaction with your website or app make them feel?

While UI and UX are distinct concepts, it’s really best to think of them as overlapping, complementary facets of digital design – both geared towards making things easier on your user, both guided by the same core principles of usability, accessibility, efficiency, and functionality. A skilled UI/UX designer will also consider the emotional impact of design elements, and will take into account the differences between desktop and mobile design to ensure top-flight functionality and a smooth, streamlined experience on any platform.

The bottom line? A well-designed website or mobile app is vital to success in today’s marketplace – and it all starts with a firm grasp on UI and UX design. So, if you’re looking to optimize your web presence and give your customers the best possible user experience, contact Rosie’s Creative today – and let’s get started! And remember, with us, your first consultation is always free!

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