UX, CX, UI, UXD, IXD, UID, IA, UCD… the lovely world of user experience is full of acronyms and it’s easy to be put off by them if you’re not savvy in the lingo. Let’s start by breaking down what each of those means:
UX = user experience
UI = user interface
UID = user interface design
UXD = user experience design
UCD = user-centered design
IA = information architecture
IXD = interaction design
The terms we’ll be talking about in this article are UX and UI. Each of these has an important role to play in the user experience. So, how exactly do they play a role in a user’s experience with your website?
Let’s start from the beginning. What exactly is the difference between user experience and user interface?
User experience is ensuring that all audiences, specifically those within the target market, are finding value in their interaction with an organization’s website. In order to craft a seamless, quality user experience, everything, including messaging, design, marketing, and interface design, must come together to seamlessly and effectively.
User interface is how all audiences engage and interact with the website graphically. In particular, UI is the way that audiences use devices to browse, learn more about a product, and make a decision.
Why Does User Interface Design Matter?
The customer journey, or sales funnel, is how consumers bond with an organization and make the decision to purchase.
What does UX/UI mean for websites?
Breakage is where organizations lose customer interest and losing interest means losing money. Without an organized and defined strategy that outlines movement through a website, consumers will feel lost as they try to navigate through a site. Organizations that find themselves with huge areas of breakage should ask themselves these questions:
- What do your customers want?
- What do they need to get what they want?
- How do they achieve those needs using your website?
- How does the user solve what they need through your product?
- How do users find your product?
- How efficiently do your users execute their tasks using your tools?
These questions, of course, breed more questions that organizations need to answer, but any site needs to be able to know why it exists and how users work with it to identify where users are falling away.
This is the first step to creating a site with strong usability that succinctly answers queries and is able to inform consumers and turn them into customers.
The Glue Between Users and Organizations
Let’s roll back to the definition of UX for a second, one phrase in particular: crafting a seamless experience. Everything that an organization does rolls into UX. If UX can’t succinctly bridge that gap, there’s a problem. At most, an organization has 8 seconds to appeal to the user before they move on. If the UX designer can’t find a way to establish how their organization is the key to that user’s problems, that user will move on.
Think of UX as the barrel for whiskey. All of an organization’s messaging and services and marketing is the distillate and flavors inside the barrel. Individually they don’t really do much, but together they bring that sweet, sweet taste you’ve been craving. Be precise in messaging and building services and that will give the UX what it needs to make the magic happen.