It’s a pretty common occurrence that when people talk about UX (user experience), they actually talk about website design. While the association between the two concepts isn’t wrong, the mistake is to think that they are the same, and it’s a fact that a lot of people confuse them. UX is more than the experience someone has on your website. It’s the complete customer experience, from when someone hears about you to when they make a purchase (and keep purchasing from you, if you’re lucky). In order to get the users really into your brand, you have to think outside the borderlines of your website.
Why focus on UX first?
The main purpose of UX is to create a valuable interaction between the user and the computer, with the means to create a positive experience, and of course, result in sales. UX is all about how your customers feel. It’s subjective, because different people like different designs. This is where UI shows its importance, as there are particular design practices that are effective in order to create the right experience.
Website design is exciting, and people tend to get entangled into all the details and possibilities that it presents. The problem is that, somewhere along the way, the actual meaning of UX gets lost. One must never forget the aspects of UX that bring the user to the website. These are the aspects that you need to focus on as well, and it’s all about grabbing the users’ attention. UX comes first, then comes UI.
Basically, UX is the entire process behind the ideas that lead to the final product. UI is turning the ideas into reality. UX focuses on the strategy. It’s all about data and analytics, visual design, research, and information architecture. This is why it has to come first.
Do the UX research
The people that work on the UX need to do a lot of research in order to determine what the target audiences are, and what the goals for the website are going to be, before the UI design can begin. Users’ responses to UX research are what generates the process of creating the website. This includes questions such as “What are the things that you purchase online?” or “What are your thoughts about the checkout process?”
Once you have done the research during UX design, you will have the necessary data for attracting the target audience via your UI. A research survey can, for example, let you know that there’s a particular design aspect that users really don’t like. Then you can use this information to create the UI that they will certainly enjoy.
Entice people even before they come to your site
There is great importance in the user experience that happens before they come to your website. There are some crucial UX elements that are outside the boundaries of your site. Remember the fact that the website is just one part of the entire user experience. Begin planning your UX with marketing. Have your marketers determine how users are going to find about your new website. For a lot of customers, there is the first interaction with your brand. This is where you leave the right impression. Marketing needs to complement your UI, and it’s what’s going to shape what users think and talk about your brand.
Furthermore, you need to think about what aspects of your UX can attract customers who are otherwise interested in your competition. This means that you should remove the barriers that stop customers from switching from the competition to you. It could come down to the simplest elements that you can work on in order to get the customers to you.
Consider UX before UI
There is a wide variety of ways that you can get to your customers and give them an experience that they won’t forget, before you reach UI. While UI may be the more exciting part, allowing UX to suffer because you are too focused on its counterpart will have unfavorable consequences in the future. As we have previously ascertained, UX is all about consumer research and marketing tactics, which are of an essence.
In order to get things right, you must start way before UI. Consider how the website is going to work, how the customers are going to use it, and how you are going to get people excited about your brand even before you start developing. If you skip the UX process, you can end up wasting resources, and have a product that works well, but simply doesn’t fit with your target audience.
UX is basically the foundation of your business. UI is the part that you can see and feel, but UX is the mind behind everything. It makes it possible for you to know what your audience wants, and then get down to designing with this information in mind.
Chloe Smith is a cycling enthusiast, business consultant for Bapple, and a part-time writer always willing to share tidbits of advice. She believes that passion, courage and, above all, knowledge breed success.