User interface design

What is a user interface?

A user interface (UI) is where human and computer interaction and communication take place. This can include display screens, keyboards, a mouse and the appearance of a desktop. It is also the way through which a user interacts with an application or a website.

What is UI design?

The UI design places interactive elements on a screen like buttons or widgets, text, images, sliders, and so on. UI designers ensure that every visual element, transition, animation and movement has a positive experience and is part of the overall design system of the software.

Why is UI design important?

With more and more businesses becoming ever more dependent on web or mobile applications
The growing dependence of many businesses on web applications and mobile applications has led many companies to place increased priority on UI in an effort to improve the user's overall experience.

UX and UI differences

A major difference between UX and UI is that while UI design relates solely to digital interfaces, UX design can be applied to anything. Experiences aren’t just had on digital products. The experience that you have with a voice activated device is designed with the same methodologies as using a banking app on your cell phone.

UX and UI use different skill sets and may use different specialists, but both UX and UI are concerned with usability, accessibility, and most of all, bringing it all together to create a memorable, simple and pleasurable experience for the user.

UI designers

It’s the role of a UI designer to ultimately decide what an application will look like. UI designers choose colour schemes, button shapes, sounds, and things even as fine as padding and spacing and fonts. Ultimately, it’s down to these skilled individuals to create the ‘look and feel’ of your custom software.

Research is paramount

For both UI and UX designers, spending the amount of time on necessary research can’t be understated. What worked on another project for another business will not translate into an entirely different product built for an entirely different purpose.

Both designers will research what it is that users actually want. They find out what users want from an application and how demanding they are with what they want. They also check what they think they might like, but haven’t yet experienced.

This process is iterative and will be done several times throughout the process. Test users will also interact with wireframes of software, where data and insights will be gathered to then go on and fine tune the software yet again.