UX (user experience) design anticipates potential difficulties for users of a product and negates these problems as effectively as possible. The term often applies to electronic products.
UI (user interface) design seeks to make the product as easy to use as possible for the consumer.
What is good UI/UX design?
Simply stated, good UX design should make the product as effective as possible, and good UI design should make navigation and use of the product as intuitive as possible.
One of the main components of great UX design is minimizing user error. An example of this being done well is the alarm clock on Amazon Fire tablets. It is a common problem among alarm clocks that the user will accidentally mix up am and pm when setting the alarm. To avoid this, after turning on the alarm, the Fire tablet will give the user a pop-up that tells them how long it will be until the alarm goes off. This
both helps diminish user error and gives the user greater peace of mind that the clock is set correctly.
Meanwhile, one of the biggest hallmarks of good UI interface is conveying information to the user in a way that is intuitive to them. Apple products have famously excellent UI design. The specifics of these designs are difficult to immediately call to mind for most people, even if they use an Apple product
every day. And therein lies exactly why their UI design is so effective: it makes the experience easier without drawing any attention to that fact. The user doesn’t need to think about it to understand and appreciate it.
An example of one of Apple’s revolutionary UI designs is elastic scrolling. On a handheld device, if you are scrolling and come to an abrupt stop, it may be unclear to the user whether that is the end of the page or if the page has stopped working. To combat this issue, Apple created elastic scrolling or “the rubber band effect,” which makes the page snap back slightly when you reach the bottom. This physical representation of hitting a barrier intuitively makes it clear to the user that they have definitely reached the end of the page.
Why is good UI/UX design necessary?
The main point of both UI and UX design is that it doesn’t matter how great and innovative your product is if your consumer base can’t use it.
It is key for your consumers to not only be capable of using your product, but to be comfortable using it. Therefore, unless you are advertising exclusively to extremely technically-adept experts, it is vital to invest resources into UI/UX design.
Great UI/UX design makes the difference between dealing with a product and enjoying an experience.