Understanding UI, UX and Usability Design

April 15, 2014In Framework, Usability4 Minutes

A lot of designers are talking about UI, UX and Usability these days. If you’re like most business owners, you probably understand the importance of design but start getting confused when all these terminologies get thrown around. To help you understand what these different aspects of design are, we’ll define each and go into why each is important.

What Is UI Design And Why Is It Important?

UI simply stands for user interface. The UI is simply the design element that allows you to control a website, app or platform. The UI of a website is the navigation menu that allows you to explore different parts of the website. The UI of an app is basically the same thing with the addition that it allows you to access features and run the functionalities of the app.

What Is UX Design And Why Is It Important?

UI is under the umbrella of UX (shortened for user experience). To put it simply, UX is all about making sure that the user has a good experience with using your website, app or platform. This can mean everything from your customer support, information architecture, visual presentation, to content progression. Improving UX has a direct impact on conversions, referrals, press, and loyalty as people will be motivated to use your product and spread the word about it upon satisfaction.

What Is Web Usability Design and Why Is It Important?

Web usability design is about how usable your website is. You will measure how quickly your website loads, how accessible it is on multiple platforms, how easy it is to browse between different pages, etc. Like UI, it lies under the umbrella of UX with it measuring a specific aspect of UX. This area of design’s value lies in the fact that the quickest way to improve conversions for a commercial website (via design changes) is to simply improve the web usability.

Which Of These Three Are Important To You?

To put it simply, all of these are important to the success of your website, app or online platform. They all contribute to the performance of your website in different ways. Smaller websites may see the biggest boosts in performance by improving usability whereas apps will see the best results through improving the UI. With that said, the overall focus should be on improving the UX, especially if you already have your visual aspect of your web design down.

Yes, it can get quite confusing trying to understand the difference in these three aspects of design. What you really need to understand is that the purpose of each is to improve up on a specific area of the overall user experience. Businesses will have different design needs based on their situation. For example, if a company’s website has a solid UI, it can improve on its usability and UX. If a company website has a solid usability, improving the UI can boosts conversion rates even further. At the end of the day, it’s all about figuring what design changes you need to increase the performance of your website.

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