Last month, I talked to you about the term user experience (UX) and why it was important to your business goals. Based on some questions I received after the article posted, I wanted to go a little deeper by talking a little bit about a design principle that often goes hand-in-hand with UX and really ties everything together.
Why Is UI Important?
“UI is the bridge that gets us where we want to go, UX is the feeling we get when we arrive."
– Jason Ogle
This quote by Jason Ogle is so simple, but it nails the goals we try to achieve with each site we work on. When we work on a project, we always start in discovery where we can identify goals for the client and users. We create user stories to break down each specific person that could come to the website and what their objectives are.
Jane Smith might want to know what the reviews are of a product, but Mary Sue wants to know what the dimensions are. We have to create an interface that showcases information for both users.
Using the same example I referenced in my article on UX, think of a house. UX is the finished product but UI is the blueprint that shows the electrical system, the slim cabinet drawer that fits your cookie sheets, and the pocket door for your bathroom. All of these items make you love your house and gives you that feeling of being home. It’s the little touches that give make a house your home, and it’s the little pieces of UI that bring your UX to life.
Thinking About UI for Your Website
Think of the main navigation and your website. Do all the major links clearly convey what a user is trying to find? This doesn’t always mean listing all your services. A visitor might want to see your client list/portfolio or your CV. Every business and user is different, so spend the time upfront to identify the needs of your users.
You’re in the thick of your business day in and day out. Sometimes, bringing in an outside party often helps break through barriers and see your customer base from a fresh angle.