Development is a constant balancing act, toggling between maintaining a microscopic view of the finer details and a telescopic view of the bigger picture. We have all experienced being consumed so deeply in a project, that we find it difficult to step back and see it from an outsider’s perspective, with fresh eyes. This ability is critical in a society that is consuming content at an increasing pace. Companies are hustling for their ‘share of eyeballs’ and once you have managed to grab a user’s attention, it becomes an even greater challenge to maintain it. It is imperative that decisions are made through the lens of our ideal consumer. How would they approach it, what are they thinking, what are they looking for, what do they require from us, how can we solve their problem? It is only by building a consumer experience around these questions that we can identify a purpose driven platform.
My name is Mahmoud Al Srouji and I am the Senior Web Developer at the Brand Lounge. I work closely alongside my colleague, Ahmed Shlibak, our Digital Manager and these are questions that we spend a large amount of time considering. In web design, these aspects are addressed through the User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) of a website. We have curated this spotlight series to highlight how these major functions differentiate a good brand from a great brand.
So what is UI and UX, and what’s the difference?
- UI is the user interface. Everything a user can see and touch, such as menu options, buttons, text, layouts, navigation elements, sharing options, etc are all encompassed in UI theory. Any alterations to any of these elements is a UI change.
- UX is the user experience. A less tangible function, it explores the psychology behind a user’s motivations and behaviours. UX concerns itself with more abstract elements like emotions and storytelling. It tracks how users interact with the website, how easily they accomplished their goals, what delighted them and conversely, what frustrated them.
- The two functions work in tandem with each other. We like to say that UI is the vehicle, but UX should drive.
Over the coming weeks, we shall explore many aspects of UI and UX, such as, the history of these functions, human psychology, digital emotions, how to better balance between the needs of human and bots when producing websites, creating effective call to actions, dynamic coding and user preferences.
If this is a topic that particularly interests you or plays an important role in your work also, we welcome your thoughts and subject requests.