UI (short for user interface) is one of the many services offered by UI and UX agencies. During the development of websites and apps, this is the process that focuses on the look and style of your online platform, but there is more to it than making your company look pretty.
According to a UI design agency located in Budapest, it is basically about “designing intuitive, aesthetic, interactive interfaces, but it still cannot be considered graphic design per se” (source: ergomania.eu). Professional UI designers aim to create easy-to-use and enjoyable interfaces for the users of the company that hired them.
So, in a nutshell, you may think of UI design as digital graphic design. It is the job of the agency you hired to make sure your website’s or app’s aesthetic is visually pleasing and matches the purpose you are trying to convey to your target audience.
What makes a UI design great?
There are many factors to consider during UI design. Finding the right font or creating the right logo is just the tip of the iceberg.
What you have to understand, is that for each task related to the user interface or user experience the keyword here is “user”: all decisions have to take into account your target audience’s needs and expectations. Most of the time, users will make a very quick judgment based on your graphic design, and then focus on how easy it is to use and “like” your website. They care much less about the design itself than they do about being able to complete actions (like orders, purchases, and subscribing) in the easiest way possible.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that design doesn’t matter. It only means that UI design should support your users in being able to make their decisions, and help focus their attention on the key processes that drive your conversions. Customer journey maps are just one of many methods that UI design agencies employ to create the best possible design from your users’ point of view.
In a nutshell, what makes a UI design great is:
- An enjoyable, or at the very least frustration-free interface
- An overall design scheme that can convey the values of your brand, and reinforce your users’ trust and loyalty
A great UI design manages to “predict” the needs of your target audience. This is what will make their experience on your website or app immersive and tailored to their needs. When appropriate, UI designers also make use of “gamification” elements to make an interface more fun.
The whole point is to leave your users with lasting good feelings about your brand, thanks to seamless interaction with your platform.
What are the benefits of a great UI design?
To summarize the previous point made, if you are willing to put time and effort into creating a great user interface design for your website or app, these are some of the most important benefits you can expect:
- Increased customer satisfaction. No business can be successful without satisfied customers.
- Increased brand loyalty and trust in your services. Working towards a favorable brand image supported by repeat buyers is key for survival and staying ahead of the competition.
- A transferable, consistent graphic design. Once you have a good design in hand, any other variations for future expansions and new channels will be much more time and cost-effective.
What makes UI design different from UX design?
These 2 terms are often used together, but while they are closely related, they are not the same. Think of a house: in that case, UI design would be comfy couches and magenta-colored walls (if that’s your thing), and UX design would be the foundation of your house. UI design focuses on aesthetics that bring focus to key user processes, while UX design is about the processes themselves, the complete user experience.