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UI Design

User experience (abbreviated as UX) is how a person feels when interfacing with a system. The system could be a website, a web application or desktop software and, in modern contexts, is generally denoted by some form of human-computer interaction (HCI).Those who work on UX (called UX designers) study and evaluate how users feel about a system, looking at such things as ease of use, perception of the value of the system, utility, efficiency in performing tasks and so forth.

User experience involves a person's behavior, attitude, and emotions about using a particular product, system or service.

Compared to many other disciplines, particularly Web-based systems, UX is relatively new. The term “user experience” was coined by Leapfrog, a cognitive science researcher who was also the first to describe the importance of user-centered design (the notion that design decisions should be based on the needs and wants of users).

Though it does utilize many of the same techniques to achieve a complex end goal: The structure, analysis and optimization of a customer’s experience with a company and its products.

Saying that all Web systems would benefit from a solid evaluation and design of the user experience is easy; arguing against it is hard if you care about user-centered design at all. But we don’t live in a perfect world, and we don’t have unlimited resources. Thus, we must prioritize and identify the areas that stand to gain the most from UX design and UX designers.

Here is a cliff notes example of a UX Designer’s responsibilities as laid out by our course. It is targeted at development of digital products, but the theory and process can be applied to anything:



Strategy and Content:

   •  Competitor Analysis
   •  Customer Analysis
   •  Product Structure/Strategy
   •  Content Development

Wireframing and Prototyping:

    • Wireframing
   •  Prototyping
   •  Testing/Iteration
   •  Development Planning

Execution and Analytics

   •  Coordination with UI Designer(s)
   •  Coordination with Developer(s)
   •  Tracking Goals and Integration
   •  Analysis and Iteration

So part marketer, part designer, part project manager; the UX role is complex, challenging and multi-faceted. You see that iteration of the product, as connected to analysis or testing is indeed mentioned twice, but in reality you would put it in between every other item on the list. Ultimately the aim is to connect business goals to user’s needs through a process of testing and refinement to that which satisfies both sides of the relationship.

So in conclusion:
   •  User Experience Design is the process of development and improvement of quality interaction between a user and all facets of a company.
   •  User Experience Design is responsible for being hands on with the process of research, testing, development, content, and prototyping to test for quality results.
   •  User Experience Design is in theory a non-digital (cognitive science) practice, but used and defined predominantly by digital industries.

The lesson to be learned here, is that if you’re interested in sociology, in cognitive science, in people and in great products, User Experience is a good place to be; but if you understand those principles and are more visually inclined, you might look at its brother-in-arms: User Interface Design.


What is UI Design?

The user interface is the space where interaction between humans and machines occurs. The goal of this interaction is the effective operation and control of the machine at the user's end, and feedback from the machine, which aids the operator in making operational decisions. In other words, a user interface is the system by which people (users) interact with a machine. The user interface includes hardware (physical) and software (logical) components. But both are close in some ways. Like User Experience Design, User Interface Design is a multi-faceted and challenging role. It is responsible for the transference of a product’s development, research, content and layout into an attractive, guiding and responsive experience for users.
While we currently don’t have a CareerFoundry User Interface Course, we introduce its basic theory and responsibilities in our UX course, including its relation to brand, graphic/visual, and front-end design. Regardless of your role, it’s important to understand the others and how to work with them.

Here is a cliff notes example a UI Designer’s responsibilities as laid out by our course.

Look and Feel:
   •   Customer Analysis
   •  Design Research
   •  Branding and Graphic Development
   •  User Guides/Storyline

Responsiveness and Interactivity:
   •  UI Prototyping
   •  Interactivity and Animation
   •  Adaptation to All Device Screen Sizes
   •  Implementation with Developer

As a visual and interactive designer, the UI role is crucial to any digital interface and for customers a key element to trusting a brand. Tweet this!While the brand itself is never solely the responsibility of the UI designer, its translation to the product is. So in conclusion:
   •  User Interface Design is responsible for the transference of a brand’s strengths and visual assets to a product’s interface as to best enhance the user’s experience.
 •  User Interface Design is a process of visually guiding the user through a product’s interface via interactive elements and across all sizes/platforms.
   •  User Interface Design is a digital field, which includes responsibility for cooperation and work with developers or code.

Or in analogical terms, UI design produces a product’s. Senses – a product’s reactivity and interactivity in response to a user’s input or different display environments. And makeup – a product’s guides, hints, and directives that visually leads users through their experience.