- Michael Jones
The user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) of technologies, especially web-based solutions and apps, are critical to such technologies’ market success. “Taking advantage of the benefits of great UI/UX design is more vital than most people realize,” explains Eliza Brooks in a JumpStory article on design. “Everyone wants to experience and have the best technology, while at the same time not wasting any precious time.”
“If users cannot use your product and access all of its features, your prospects of success are greatly reduced,” notes Digital Solutions. “This usability factor is where the realms of User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) enter the picture. A great User Interface will draw people to your app right away, while a great User Experience will leave a lasting impression on your users.”
At ZorroSign, we have taken this truth to heart and are proud to unveil our entirely redesigned UI/UX for the next generation of our multi-chain blockchain platform for digital signatures!
UI v. UX
To begin, a quick definition of UI and UX may be helpful. “Generally speaking, UX is the one that ensures your digital platform works smoothly—including pleasant and accessible designs, a clear and concise user journey, simple navigation processes, responsiveness, etc.,” explains a recent Wire Delta article. “On the other hand, User Interface or UI Design is for just that—the interface. In other words, UI takes care of typography, layouts, colors, graphic design, and visual design. So, while it is helping customers interact with different digital products and services, it does not consider the user journey.”
In other words, the UX is the sum of the whole—the complete experience a user has of using a specific UI, engaging its features and functionality, and generating whatever outcomes the technology produces—functionality, information, calculation, etc.
While the UI is the environment of the screen or app, the physical engagement and interaction via clicks, buttons, form entry, and all other inputs and outputs.
“User interface elements usually fall into one of the following four categories,” write Maria de la Rivva for Career Foundry. “Input Controls, Navigation Components, Informational Components, Containers. Input controls allow users to input information into the system. If you need your users to tell you what country they are in, for example, you’ll use an input control to let them do so. Navigational components help users move around a product or website. Common navigational components include tab bars on an iOS device and a hamburger menu on an Android. Informational components share information with users. Containers hold related content together.”
So UX is the total experience of using a technology, while UI is the tactical, direct engagement of the technologies interface.
Why Your UI/UX Must Continuously Evolve
“User Interface (UI) updates present an exciting opportunity for design teams to reinvigorate stale experiences, address issues, and explore future iterations,” writes Ayana Campbell Smith for Envy Labs. “It’s never a question of if interface updates will be necessary, but instead, when.”
For an innovative technology company, resting on the laurels of a successful product is simply not good enough. Innovators must continuously revisit, refine, and improve their solutions to ensure their great technologies are also great experiences for their customers, clients, users, and prospects.
A well-designed user interface delivers five key user experiences according to GeeksforGeeks:
- Simplicity—which is to say, the minimum clicks or keystrokes to achieve a task
- Consistency—across typeface, style, size, and components to deliver information with minimal chaos and ambiguity
- Intuitiveness—input and navigation that is easy to learn, with concise and cogent icons and labels
- Prevention—readily prevent users from performing inaccurate/inappropriate actions on the site by steering them always to the correct functions
- Forgiveness—a quick way back/out if users find themselves in functions or content they did not mean to engage
Perhaps equally important, users’ expectations for simplicity, consistency, intuitiveness, prevention, and forgiveness evolve over time—especially as new technologies come to market and reshape their expectations. Recall for example the leap in UI expectations from desktop computers (keyboard and mouse), to our expectations on mobile phones or tablets (touchscreen or voice command)! Evolving technologies produce evolving user expectations and needs for UI/UX.
The Value of Great UI/UX
“A strong and valuable user experience offers a business a strong competitive advantage in attracting and retaining their customers,” continues Brooks. She calls out five critical benefits to a strong user experience, including:
- Improving customer acquisition—”The more aesthetically pleasing a brand’s site design is, and the more intuitive the features are, the easier it is for them to build trust and thus increase the chances of the brand attracting users and quite possibly converting them into customers”
- Helping with customer retention—delivering an intuitive, beautiful experience brings people back to that experience!
- Optimizing development time and costs—by focusing on the customer experience, development teams can more “easily pinpoint and address usability issues” and “anticipate the needs of users before releasing the solution to a wider audience”
- Increasing productivity—efficient UI/UX design streamlines tasks, work, and outcomes
- Generating more user engagement—for example, employing UI design that is instructive, clearly conveying the help/benefits of engaging a specific page or functionality
“Investing in an effective Ul/UX design increases customer satisfaction, resulting in satisfied customers,” continues Digital Solutions. “People like to work for companies that make them happy. Ultimately, this will improve your firm’s credibility as a client and fosters positive associations with your company and brand. As a result, the worth of your company and your brand name will shoot up and increase.”
At ZorroSign, we agree completely!
“Digital products with a good user interface give you a competitive edge in a constantly growing world where companies are starting to realize the importance of good user experience,” says Tiffany Eaton for UX Collective. We realize this truth and are excited to share the new UI/UX we bring to market.