Career option: UI/UX Designer
What is UI Design?
The “UI” in UI design stands for “user interface.” The user interface
is the graphical layout of an application. It consists of the buttons users
click on, the text they read, the images, sliders, text entry fields, and all
the rest of the items the user interacts with. This includes screen layout,
transitions, interface animations and every single
micro-interaction. Any sort of visual element, interaction, or animation must all be designed. This job falls to UI designers. They decide what the application is going to look like. They have to choose colour schemes and button shapes — the width of lines and the fonts used for text.
UI designers create the look and feel of an application’s user
interface. They’re concerned with aesthetics. It’s up to them to make sure the
application’s interface is attractive, visually-stimulating and themed
appropriately to match the purpose
and/or personality of the app. And they need to make sure every single visual element feels united, both aesthetically, and in purpose.
What is UX Design?
“UX” stands for “user experience.” A user’s experience of the app is determined by how they interact with it. Is the experience smooth and intuitive or clunky and confusing? Does navigating the app feel logical or does it feel arbitrary? Does interacting with the app give people the sense that they are efficiently accomplishing the tasks they set out to achieve or does it feel like a struggle? User experience is determined by how easy or difficult it is to interact with the user interface elements that the UI designers have created.
Therefore, UX designers are also concerned with an application’s user interface, and this is why people get confused about the difference between the two. However, UI designers are tasked with deciding how the user interface will look, whereas UX designers are in charge of determining how the user interface operates.
They determine the structure of the interface and the functionality. How it is organised and how all the parts relate to one another. In short, they design how the interface works. If it works well and feels seamless, the user will have a good experience. But if navigation is complicated or unintuitive, then a lousy user experience is likely. UX designers work to avoid the second scenario.
Why is UI/UX important to a website or a business?
In today’s digital world, a brand that does not exist on the web
practically does not exist for the customers. And when on the web, what becomes
the face of the brand? Its website! It is not a stretch to claim, therefore,
that a good website (or app) is essentially to grow a brand and bring in
customers. Good UI/UX helps accomplish many crucial goals for a brand:
1. It helps present a favourable image of the brand, in accordance with its identity.
For e.g – a premium fashion brand would want its website to look sophisticated and premium.
While a website for students would want to look youthful and fresh.
2. It helps to direct users to important sections of the page/website, and get them to take action. For example, a “Buy Now” button will always be in a much brighter and attention-grabbing colour than the rest of the page.
3. It helps manage the flow of the user to get them to take actions in a certain sequence. For example, a brand would want a user to come to the homepage and then immediately click on to another page, sign up for an account, try out a free product and then upgrade. UI/UX design helps create this flow. It helps make the company’s products (e.g., web or mobile app) easy and pleasant to use so that users keep coming back to use them.
Job Opportunities for UI/UX Designers
The primary role of a user researcher is to understand user behaviours, needs, and motivations through observation techniques, task analysis, and other feedback methodologies. As a user researcher, you would conduct user and task analysis to identify areas for improvement in the overall user experience and compile your findings to make meaningful and actionable recommendations to the design/development team.
The primary focus of a usability analyst is to understand what the customer experiences as they interact with a software, app, website or other product/service. As a usability analyst, you would interact with and evaluate what makes a website or other product function well and what could be done to improve the experience of the end user. Your finding are typically shared with the entire UX team and used to back up design decisions.
The job of an information architect is to organise and create structure within the content of a website (or application) so the user instantly feels comfortable navigating and finding what they need. As an information architect, you would focus not only on the target audience of the website or application, but also on the type of product or service being offered and generate the wire frames and sitemaps that ensure a positive user experience.
The role of an interaction designer is to focus on designing engaging interfaces with well-thought-out behaviours. Understanding how users and technology interact together is fundamental to this role. As in information architect, you would use this understanding to anticipate how someone might interact with the system, fix problems early, as well as invent new ways of doing things. You are the primary designer of the operational components of the website or application.
The role of a visual designer is to focus on the aesthetics of a site or application and strategically (based on all the data provided by the user researcher and usability analyst) implement images, colours, fonts, and other visual elements. As a visual designer, you would be responsible for the graphical user interface of a given website or application, keeping in mind that successful visual design does not take away from the content on the page or the page’s function. Instead, it enhances it by engaging users and helping to build trust and interest in the brand.
(Source: Educentre Nagaland)