UX, UI and perfectly fitting (app) design
You know the situation: you open an app but then have to wait half a minute before you can start. Or you're already in the app and want to go to another part of the app. You navigate all the way back to the main menu and can only access the other part from there. Little things that lead to major frustrations. You just want an app to work well and not have any unexpected snags and catches. In other words: the design of the app must be good. But when do we talk about good app design? Are there fixed rules for this, because every app is different? The answer lies in the combination of two types of design: UX and UI.
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The World of UX and UI
An optimal app design therefore depends on UX and UI, but what do these terms exactly mean? UX design stands for User Experience design and is, in short, about how an app feels. The focus is on the usability, accessibility and suitability of an app. UX design starts with research into the end users of an app and what they like best about it. With this knowledge, the designer then builds a User Experience design, with which he lays down the technical framework of the app.
So the framework is in place, now the interpretation begins. Every working system has a unique appearance and character, which is where UI design comes in. UI design stands for User Interface Design, and focuses on the visual components of an app. After all, the system can be put together very well, but without clear visual cues, you will still have to puzzle your way through an app.
The perfect complement
So the two types of design complement each other perfectly, but for a good overall design they also need each other. A good UI without UX is like a luxury villa without a foundation. A good UX without a UI is like a rock-solid foundation with a pile of bricks on top. Both are very important, but only together do they form a solid whole. Now that we have discussed this part, let us move on to the next: how do you apply UX and UI adequately?
Good UX and UI
A good whole requires the optimal application of both UX and UI design. But how do you achieve a good design that everyone is happy with? We compiled a list of three tips:
1. Think about the user
When making an app, keep in mind who you are doing it for. Whether you want to create a good system with UX design or a beautiful and user-friendly presentation with UI design, an app is ultimately made for the user. The user should therefore be at the centre of every step of the design process. The developer never makes an app for personal gain, but for the user and the achievement of his goals.
2. Do research
Since users are central to your overall design process, you want to know what they need. What do they want to achieve with your app? But also: what are they already used to? Do research on what apps they use now and how they interact with them. By responding to what users already know, they are less likely to be put off by all the new features of your app. Even if your app is so innovative, useful and efficient, if your users can't use it anymore, they won't use it either.
3. Make sure your app is compatible with the current software,
Do you use iOS or Android? Or maybe even a Windows smartphone? An app with a good design should work well on any system. This means appropriate differences in UX and UI design. For example, to go back to a previous page, on an iPhone you often click at the top left of the screen, while on a Samsung this is a separate button at the bottom right of your touchscreen. A subtle difference, but as a Samsung user, you still look surprised when your old familiar 'return' button doesn't work and you suddenly have to click at the top left of your screen. Again, it is important to respond to your user's expectations.
As much frustration as an app with a bad design can cause, an app with a good design can make life much easier. Never forget how users will ultimately interact with the app. If you anticipate their needs, and the UX and UI design accurately reflects this, everyone will benefit.
Curious about the possibilities that a good app can have for your business? Contact us for professional advice or take a look at our custom work for other clients.