The widespread integration of websites and apps into everyday life has resulted in the specialisation of two facets of user centric design; user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). User centric design considers what the target audience wants to achieve and endeavours to make this process as easy as possible. As technology and therefore user expectations evolve over time, so too should your design. For this reason, UI and UX are fundamentally iterative exercises, which should be revisited routinely and constantly improved upon.
An interface is comprised of visual elements which enable a user to interact directly with an application. Humans engage with websites and apps to complete tasks. Typically, the simpler the interface design, the easier it is for users to understand. For instance, the appearance of three short horizontal lines indicating a navigation menu have become a universally recognised interface design convention for websites optimised for mobile devices.
Employing predictable page or screen layouts and including widely recognised symbols or icons throughout the interface ensure the user can quickly identify the components which enable them to complete an action, like clicking the logo to return to the homepage. Great interface design is effortlessly intuitive, ensures activities can be completed efficiently and is enjoyable to use!
Every touchpoint your brand has with a user influences their experience, either positively, or negatively. These encounters can range from the service you provide, to the voyage they make exploring your website. Consequently, the interface of your website is a component of the user experience. However, UX as a discipline is broader than the functional aspects of a website.
It is predominantly concerned with how the user feels about your brand or responds to your application. For example, a website visitor’s journey is not often a linear journey beginning from the homepage. Many users will have arrived on a blog or product page. So it’s essential potential pain points are minimised. Our Designers achieve this by implementing seven core UX principles: usefulness, valuableness, desirability, findability, credibility, accessibility and usability.
To ensure the interface of your website or app delivers a satisfying user experience, the Clearly Digital team develops user personas. Personas are semi-fictional representations of members within your target audience. These personas embody stereotypical characteristics of potential customers. This allows the team to speculate how the user would act in particular scenarios.
Each activity the user is likely to undertake while using the application is constructed as a short user story. Multiple stories combined produce a user journey. Utilising tools such a heat mapping allow Designers to analyse how users engage with the application and the route they take. This study reveals opportunities to optimise the experience.