Making best muffins in the world involves UI & UX. Yes! I am serious. To begin with, you will need a recipe, ingredients, few utensils and an oven. Then you blend, bake, decorate, serve and devour it.
The method of making muffins is the UX, and the process of decorating and serving them is the UI part.
DO NOT forget this muffins analogy. I will be using it throughout the article to help you understand UI/UX easily.
People often use these terms interchangeably, and if you are a developer, it is a fatal mistake to think that both these terms mean the same, which brings us to the obvious question.
What is UI (User Interface)?
User Interface, when it comes to mobile apps UI is concerned with the presentation of the app. It’s not just about the look and feel of the app but also, how easy or hard it is for the user to engage with the app.
For instance, after taking muffins out of the oven, you put them on a plate to make them look beautiful and delicious.
Similarly, a UI designer’s efforts are primarily directed towards the graphic designing of the app. Their aim is to keep the UI simple, efficient and easy to operate.
Why UI Matters?
To make your app successful, it is essential that users are compelled by the app’s appearance to use it frequently. UI designing should be undertaken with the aim of delivering your user with one of the best visual experience and interaction design
User Interface Design = Visual Design + Interactive Design.
Visual design is the personality of your app and Interactive design is the way people interact with your app.
What are the Essentials of a Good UI Design?
You have to make your muffins look pleasing and beautiful so that the buyer is compelled by its presentation to choose it over others.
Likewise, make your app stand out from the crowd by using good graphics. Designers should bear in mind that one size doesn’t fit all and should go for graphics which are customised to smoothly run on various screen sizes.
Don’t forget to use some impressive high-resolution images which will boost the visual appearance of the app by leaps and bounds.
Know About Users
Before diving into app designing, it is very important for designers to know about the likes, dislikes, preferences, in short as a designer you should know your users inside out.
Through your research, you should be able to find out who your users are and what kind of apps your users need.
Once you figure this out, only then, you should go ahead and start developing and designing the app.
Play by Rules
You have to stick to the recipe otherwise the muffins won’t turn out great.
Follow the rules of the platform for which you are designing the app. Don’t try to change controls and designs which have already been accepted by the users.
Keep it Simple
Keeping design simple doesn’t mean compromising on style. It means a simple and neat user interface which enables first-time users to easily use the app without going through the pain of watching long tutorials or detailed instructions.
Now, let’s know more about the other side of the coin, i.e., UX
What is UX (User Experience)?
User Experience is concerned with user’s overall experience while using the app. It incorporates the personal feelings of the user before, during and after the interaction with the mobile app.
Taking our muffin analogy even further, user Experience (UX) means how the consumer feels before, during and after eating the muffins.
Why UX Matters?
UX matters as it is the process through which you boost customer satisfaction and their loyalty by developing the usability, ease of usage and pleasure derived by the user through interacting with the app.
The longevity of a mobile app is decided by its UX design.
A user may delete or give your app a low rating given its poor UX.
What Makes a Good UX Design?
If your customer wants chocolate muffins, there is no point in making delicious strawberry ones. The only way to figure this out what they want and what you should provide is only through research.
Research helps you in figuring out what kind of experience the user is expecting from your app.
Tasting or testing your muffins before putting them out for consumption is essential to know how they turned out as well as gaining insight as to whether the consumers will approve of it or not.
When it comes to UX, testing part is often ignored by the designers as they are under the false impression that users will always approve of their apps but that may not be the case every time.
Try to involve real time users at the time of testing. Their response and ideas may help you give a clear picture about what to keep and what not to. This will also save you from the hassle of re-doing all the work and save time and money.
“The best products do two things well: features and details. Features are what draw people to your product. Details are what keep them there.”
When it comes to mobile app development, UI designers are the ones who take care of details while the UX designers tend to the features.
For instance, signing up a newsletter. A UX designer will cater to the design the user flows, the steps that a user would take to sign up.
The UI designer will refine these steps, adding colour and emphasis to the original design giving users the clues they need to successfully navigate the newsletter sign up process.
The next time you bake muffins and serve them, remember that the consumer might have a different experience if the muffins were served straight from the oven or beautifully presented? Undoubtedly, the latter would be preferable.
However, there is no denying the fact that UI & UX are two sides of the same coin. Striking a perfect balance between these two is essential to keep the users contented and loyal towards your app.