Let's put some lipstick on this pig - illustration of a pink pig with lipstick

User Interface (UI) and User Experience(UX) must go hand-in-hand

A pig with lipstick is still a pig. It just looks a bit different. Maybe better or worse, I don't know, I am not a pig farmer.

Many clients approach me wanting to re-skin their website. They say "We want to jazz up the look and feel of the site." But often this is just like putting lipstick on a pig.

You can't just change some buttons and colours on a web site and expect the user experience to be any different. You need to also examine the users needs and expectations. What is it that the user is trying to do? Is the web app fulfilling this need?

It is important to assess what the user is wanting from the web app and deliver this with style.

However be aware that changing a layout without a real purpose just means the user needs to learn a new path. Many of us have had that "where has that button gone" experience. It is very annoying and if done haphazardly can have the user looking for an alternative app.

The user paths through the website need to be reviewed to see if they are logical and intuitive.

The User Experience needs to be reviewed and tested by real users to assess the usability of the website.

Any changes should be prototyped, reviewed, and refined. We are after the best possible product. A market leader. Not just a quick fix to get some fading attention.

Technology keeps rolling

Technology has moved on, a UI and UX from 4 years ago is very different from that expected today.

Devices now have higher screen resolutions and a better adoption of standard web technologies.

We can now embed custom fonts and resolution independent graphics to produce a slick interface design.

We have better insights into user activity and expectation and UX and UI design patterns.

A cartoon  pig saying "We just aren't connecting. I need an emotional response! Oink"

Getting emotional

In a crowded marketplace, presenting a brand personality is important to create an emotional response with the end user.

This emotional response influences brand loyalty and sales.

On the Internet, UI and UX work hand-in-hand to create an emotional response. This emotional connection is what we are after. It is a connection at a subconscious level that drives user behaviour.

If done right – users will love your product. This is a positive User Experience :)

Definitions:

User interface (UI) or Graphic User Interface (GUI): is not just the skin of the website – it is also all the elements that do things. These elements include buttons, links, form elements, and widgets. UI is important because it makes web apps look good. If done well it creates an emotional connection with the user.

User Experience is how the user feels about using the software. If the software is hard to use it can leave the user with a negative user experience. If the experience is good – it can make the software fun to use, creating a positive user experience.

Let me know your thoughts below.

Tags: User Interface,User Experience

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