What is UX/UI design and why is it important for startups?
The terms UX and UI are often confused or considered interchangeable, but these design trends are different. Both in detail and essence. Experts in these fields move in the same direction but work on different problems. In UX UI design for startups, it is important to carefully analyze these two areas of design and understand how they differ and how they are similar.
What is User Interface Design?
UI stands for User Interface, which means “user interface”. It is a field of digital product development, including visual design for brands/websites/apps, or services. The user interface should look good, meet the latest applicable standards and at the same time be useful. The last point is especially important because user interface design isn’t just about making pretty icons. These icons should make it easier to understand what the client is doing, and the rest of the interface should have a clear hierarchy. Key features:
- This applies to digital products only;
- It is important to focus on elements with which the user directly interacts;
- Create the perfect combination of fonts, color palettes, shapes, and animations;
- The result is a product that meets the user’s aesthetic needs.
What is UX design?
UX stands for User Experience, which means “user experience”. Here is the key difference between one type of design and another. UX designers at Cieden are not only interested in how websites and services look but also in how users interact with them. A field like UX design encompasses many related disciplines. This includes elements of psychology, business acumen, analytical skills, and an understanding of how modern services, processes, and technologies work. Professionals need to have a wide range of skills to deliver a great experience to potential clients, which is what Cieden does, where skilled professionals work to create quality design projects for a variety of startups. Key features:
- Used in digital and analog products;
- Focus on customer interactions from product launch to final interaction;
- UX design represents the structure of the future application and eliminates any problems that users may encounter;
- The result is a digital product that helps people solve their pressing problems.
What is the job of a UX/UI designer at Cieden?
We already know that UX designers and UI designers have very different qualities. Even though they are actively involved in the creation of a single digital product, their scope is broad. UX designers at Cieden pay more attention to how users feel when interacting with a digital product. Based on the experience of others, they familiarize themselves with the structure of the program, learn how it works, and improve it according to current requirements and needs. User interface designers look at digital products more creatively and try to make well-designed interfaces look as clear as possible and be as comfortable as possible for users.
Study of the characteristics of consumer behavior
The UX design process begins with researching potential users. A digital product is designed for a specific audience, so UX designers start with a thorough analysis. A UX designer must know what key tasks customers allocate resources to and how they use the digital product provided to them. This creates an overall user interface design and visual solution, especially when it comes to specific user actions. You need to track the behavior of your website visitors and software users. What links are opened, how you usually find the material you need, how quickly you find information, and what behavior you expect from an application or web resource. This creates a basic abstract structure of the product based on the user’s key preferences and habits.
Create a typical user image
The process does not end with studying the behavioral characteristics of potential customers. Similar to defining your target audience, when developing UX design you need to create a picture of the typical user.
How old are the users of your product?
What is their specialty?
How much free time do they have after work?
How much do they earn and are they willing to pay for your services/products?
What other services do your customers use?
Such a key approach allows you to build a picture of a typical user for whom a specific digital product is intended. For example, there is an application for those who play sports and want to switch to a healthy diet. The ideal user is a young person who spends most of their time at work, taking care of themselves and trying to get the most out of fitness apps. This information can be used to determine the order of available app functionality, what information to display on the home screen, and how to select exercises. Their order and other aspects depend on the preferences of the “ideal user”.
Development of interface solutions for UI and UX
At this stage, UX and UI designers at Cieden work more closely together. Both experts look for specific information about products, sentiment, and customer experience. At work, the designer creates a graph that summarizes the person’s journey from the appearance of the intention to launch the application (opening a web page) to a purchase or other action (the logical purpose of using the application). Cieden’s development team creates a logical software framework that contains several diagrams that illustrate possible user behavior. These possible scenarios form the basis for the development of interface solutions, adding functionality, creating a common style, and other aspects of the service (websites, applications, etc.).
Prototyping and testing of developed functions
Once the development team has a ready-to-use framework (a picture of what the app or website will look like), they start building an initial prototype. At this stage, it is important to create a variety of logical variations. When conducting painstaking research on their target group, UX designers and testers carefully check whether a given digital product is suitable for solving the described standard key user tasks. A prototype is a small version of an application/website suitable for fully evaluating possible use cases. The more real it is and the more available functions and tools it has, the better. This eliminates the need for patching immediately after the digital product is released to the market. During pain testing, you can invite a small group of potential users to test the prototype. UX designers must take into account their own experience, feedback, various key concerns, and other details of the user interface (not only regarding the placement of objects but also the features available).
Implementation of the visual design of the digital product
A UX designer may also be involved in the development of the visual components of the user interface, but this is usually done by another Cieden employee. Responsibilities include creating an app/website look and feel that relates to your brand, engages users, and meets modern, applicable design standards. User interface designers create color schemes (the basic palette for all page elements) and icons and choose fonts and visual content. Much of what the user sees depends on the user interface designer. It is based on your current requirements. The customer associates requirements with this design. Color schemes, icons, and fonts become recognizable objects associated with the brand of the startup for which the design is being designed.
Basics of quality UX/UI design for startups
Design requirements for applications and services change quite often, albeit spontaneously. Visual innovation in the industry happens more often than the general UX design setup that is considered the norm. However, there are general ideas that will help you create great projects for startups by following the trends. The interface should be designed according to the actual wishes of the user. The most important rule of a good interface is to be obvious. There should be no elements whose purpose is unclear. Suppose you have an online store. In case you use a generic shopping cart icon, try to give your customers the features they want and expect when they click on that icon. Customers get confused when they suddenly see a list of products or another section. It is extremely important to clearly explain to users where the features and tools they need are located. This is especially important when creating interfaces for mobile devices. Thanks to extensive beta testing with real people, you can create great interfaces tailored to the needs of your users. Learning user habits can simplify some features or re-prioritize the original design texture for a startup.
Good interfaces are built on patterns
Consistency is on the list of basic design principles. Don’t confuse your potential customers with a bunch of different buttons that don’t have a clear logic. Let’s say you have an online store with a special approach to design. Explain it without further explanation or guidance. If the button is green, it is a positive action, if it is red, it is a negative action. If there are filters on the left side of the catalog page, place them in a place visible to users. Predictability helps in creating a quality design. Follow current trends. This is true for user interface designers. If you look at what modern websites and apps look like, you will see that they are similar. There are trends that everyone is quick to follow.