UX and UI: How They Influence Web Design

Ciara Byrne

How often have you or anyone you know closed a web page simply because it “is taking ages” to load? Have you ever uninstalled or switched apps on account of how easy and fast they are to use (or not)? The truth is that modern-day users are growing more impatient by the second, turning bounce rates into a significant key performance indicator (KPI) for online businesses around the world. Any glitch a consumer encounters might drive them away from a product for good. In this fast-paced digital environment, every millisecond counts and every color matters if a vendor ever wants to see their project become a success. This is the exact moment at which web design comes to the rescue!

For most people, web design is synonymous with how a product, more specifically a website, looks. However, skillful experts beg to differ. Web design actually comprises a wide array of aspects, including but not limited to visual design, web development (both front-end and back-end coding), navigation, content, and - last but not least - user experience (UX) and user interface (UI). The latter two notions have already established themselves as a crucial part of both desktop and mobile app design by always going hand-in-hand.

What exactly are UX and UI?

UX and UI are experienced web designers’ left and right hands; their most trusted allies; the inevitably intertwined cornerstones in their work. In practice, the UI is seen as the “missing link” that allows users to communicate with machines. It needs to both catch the eye of the users with its aesthetics and serve as an instant interpreter that could translate the need of the person and convey it to the product. UX, in turn, analyses and assesses the aftermath of the UI encounter with the sole purpose of securing and improving future interactions with the same consumer, as well as old and new users. In other words, UX and UI determine the likelihood of a website or app becoming a desirable and competitive offer on the market.

Taking all of the above into account, it is important to mention that web design is a constantly improving and evolving field. A successful product should frequently be upgraded to reflect the newest UI and UX design trends in order not to lose users’ attention. A simple, one-off endeavor will just not cut it nowadays and the following deep dive will dwell on the reasons why.

UX-UI immediate impact on web design

While some of the “direct” effects UX and UI have on web design can be observed immediately, “indirect” ones are more related to long-term strategy and strategic KPIs. The first signs of a UX-UI upgrade could be among the following:

Custom-tailored graphic design:

This area provides one of the widest fields for improvement from the UX-UI perspective. It includes everything from suitable typography (including font, size, etc.), colors, and page layout through different banners, headings, animation, illustrations, icons, buttons, and sidebars to ensuring adequate whitespace. It is very important to ensure patterns are consistent throughout the whole design. It is also crucial that the purpose of each element is clear, given that excessive UI animation on mobile apps might make the design unnecessarily heavy.

Graphic design is also the area where your existing website is most likely to start seeming dated as new visual trends gradually spread across the web. Although website redesign is a big project, it is also an opportunity to keep your brand current by improving not only the appearance on the front end but the technical design on the back end.

Consideration of dynamic design:

Depending on the idea and intent of the product, responsive design should be incorporated in order to improve user experience on both desktop and mobile devices. Professionals are well aware that graphic design and color accuracy are heavily dependent on the type of device used to view the website or app.

Better content and structure:

Design hierarchy is an absolute must when it comes to making a product comfortable and functional from the user's perspective. This can be achieved by introducing site maps and menus, or by simply incorporating different text sizes or colors. Moreover, content must be useful and should require minimum memory (cognitive) load. Inputting the same personal information over and over again would undoubtedly irritate most users whereas an auto-fill option is bound to surprise positively.

Interaction and control:

A good UX-UI design should communicate back to the person using it. This could be achieved in many different ways, including by providing constant feedback, visible process status updates, and closure confirmation, as well as easy ways to undo changes or go back to a previous point.

The design should also give the person a sense of control by ensuring top-notch navigation that includes elements easy to put into use, such as shortcuts, “Help” resources, etc.

By seeking user feedback from those who test or regularly make use of the site or product, and implementing the results of that feedback promptly, UX and UI designers can incorporate the visual and interactive elements that matter most and bring the best results.

UX-UI opt for minimalistic designs:

The expression “Less is more” is particularly valid when it comes to UX and UI. The general principle dictates that design aesthetics should be simple and clear not only for the sake of user perception but also from the development point of view. Excessive and cluttered designs are more prone to error than a neat version with the same purpose. On top of that, overwhelming web products might instantly put off users with a short attention span.

Diversity is key:

UX and UI serve a wide audience by incorporating familiar and common elements into a product that is to be accessible by all potential users. These rely on emerging disciplines like semiotics for software, UX, design, and business to provide a deep level of understanding, diversity, and variety in designed communications.

A successful product should be easy to find by anyone who might look for it. It should also be adaptable to different needs such as those of color-blind people, different language speakers (if it makes sense to do so), and those who are simply in a hurry. They can address audiences as diverse as those seeking financial advice, plumbing repairs, or a good university (and once there, even an essay writer service and pizza delivery.) Accessibility is also dependent on how findable the solution is, including visible marketing and search engine optimization (SEO).

Quick loading:

Apart from speed in terms of navigation, a very important aspect of good web design is loading time. If a website or a mobile app loads tediously, the user experience is bound to suffer on account of bad back-end coding. This is why UX is believed to affect web design on the programming level, too.

Following contemporary trends

User preferences are often dictated by what is trendy at the moment. In order to make a web design eye-catching and desirable, UX and UI incorporate well-known and recognizable elements such as universal icons, buttons, and widgets such as the Instagram grid. At the same time, this helps ensure a look that is professional, fine-tuned, and valuable.

UX-UI long-term impact on web design

In the long run, UX and UI provide a set of “indirect” and equally (if not more) important outcomes.

Lower cost:

If executed properly, an optimized web design should be easy to maintain. Testing enough times before an official website launch prevents substantial rework on the one hand and consumer disappointment on the other.

Building customer relationships:

One of the main focus points of UX is yielding a stable product identity founded on knowledge of its customer base. In due course, these will transform into brand loyalty, consumer satisfaction, and trust in the product and its credibility.

Increased traffic:

Good UX drives conversation and engagement, transforming it into organic consumer advocacy. This, in turn, translates into higher conversion rates and, ultimately, increased revenue and profit - the Holy Grail for every business endeavor.

So, why invest in UX and UI?

It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder but when it comes to web design, certain rules are in place and must be abided by. If your aim is to create a widely recognizable online solution, then UX and UI experts can become your greatest allies on the path to success. By seeking out feedback from users who actually use the product and instantly implementing it, you will be on a fast train to success.

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