Think about two of your favorite websites or mobile apps. Have you ever wondered why you’re so drawn to them? Your decision to click on a website or download an app is partially conscious thought, and partially clever user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design.
With modern companies putting so much effort into customer-centric products and devices, it’s not surprising that an impressive UX and UI design enhances the overall customer experience (CX). Companies like Airbnb, Google, Apple, and Mint owe much of their success to their user-focused design approaches.
According to a recent Forrester report, a well-executed UI and UX design has the potential to raise customer conversion rates by as much as 200% and 400%, respectively.
Because they’re so important, let’s break down the difference between UX and UI.
Imagine a website, platform, or mobile app as a house. The UI is the foundation and electrical work – it’s the functional structure that helps devices communicate with users. UI can take on many forms, like pages, icons, and buttons.
UX is the interior design and landscaping of the home. UX describes the experience a user has while using a product or device. Both style and design fall under the UX category and play a large role in whether a consumer enjoys using the digital product or not.
The key to successful, long-lasting customer relationships is to lead strategy and design with UX and UI in mind. Here are some tips on how to successfully create something with which customers will enjoy interacting.
At the beginning of the design process, it can be tempting for UX and UI developers to default to a formula that’s been proven to be successful. However, different customers have different needs, and taking the time to do your research before beginning the design process sets the framework for a happy, loyal customer.
An easy way to gain surface-level insight on customer demographics is consistently pulling data from any and all analytics tools in your arsenal. This will give you basic data, such as length of time spent on your site, what they clicked on, and if they abandoned their shopping cart.
To get a stronger understanding of what customers want and potential problems they may face, read up on common industry pain points and be sure you’re addressing them. Conducting competitive analyses can also help shed light on popular issues, as well as present new ideas for design and functionality.
We work alongside business analysts (BAs) to figure out what our customers are saying about our platform in terms of ease-of-use, depth of functionality, and more. This information is then used to prioritize updates and new projects and initiatives to better serve clients.
Many designers often place the majority of their attention on a project's aesthetics instead of functionality and usability.
Functionality is a crucial factor of digital products and services. Imagine how frustrating it would be to try to make a credit card payment only to find out the link is broken – the customer won’t care how nice your website looks if they can’t do what they wanted to when they get there. Designers and engineers have a responsibility to keep sites functional and easy to use, so it’s important for them to work together throughout the entirety of the project to give users ideal experiences.
The rate at which tech is currently advancing keeps UX and UI developers on their toes, requiring a lot of work to stay on top of industry trends and innovate to remain competitive.
Looking at competitors in your industry is a great way to get ideas for ways to innovate and get creative with design and functionality, but why limit yourself to just one industry? Great ideas can come from unlikely places when you cast a wide net. So, looking at CX trends across the board is the most beneficial practice when innovation is top-of-mind.
Many UX and UI pros will post their work to sites like Dribbble to showcase projects they’re most proud of, and obtain feedback from other designers on how to improve them.
Personalizing interactions is a huge trend right now. Designers are focusing on presenting functionality that allows users to customize their favorite websites and mobile apps according to their specific needs. This strategy increases customer satisfaction and retention since the project is directly catered to the users’ needs.
Striking the right balance between new and tried and true features is the key to successful and innovative UX and UI design.
We live in a world where the customer experience is more important than the price of a product, meaning solid UX and UI strategies and design translate into higher customer retention and acquisition and an increase in sales.
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, 54% of U.S. consumers say customer experience at most companies needs improvement.
The moral of the story: Design with UX and UI top-of-mind.
About the Authors
Kelly Li is a UI Developer at Stratifyd who loves binge-watching Friends on Netflix, going to rap concerts with Jiaming, and practicing yoga.
Jiaming Fu is a UI Engineer at Stratifyd who is a full-time programmer/designer, part-time dreamer, coffee-drinker, and art addict.
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