As anyone who’s trialled eye-tracking software or heat-maps on a web page will attest, users make split-second decisions that dictate where their journey takes them next, and specifically whether the next click leads them deeper into the website or back the way they came. Page navigation, menu size, typefaces, colours, pop-ups, loading times and mobile-optimisation all affect UI, be it positively or negatively. What might seem obvious to you in terms of navigation may not be intuitive to a first-time visitor who hasn’t clicked that link 100 times before. That’s why UX/UI design is so crucial. Sometimes the slightest of details can make dramatic differences.
Should you minimise clutter by using a collapsible hamburger menu on mobile? Will large background images scale on smaller devices? Are your CTAs and ghost buttons too small, too large or just right? There’s a lot to agonise over. It’s the sort of intelligent head-scratching that we’ve developed quite a talent for over the years. For one thing, we’ve seen – and helped create – some of the best-looking sites on the web, and have gotten a feel for what works and what doesn’t. For another, we’re approaching your site with one advantage that you don’t have: the luxury of seeing it for the first time.
“What has been seen cannot be unseen” goes the internet meme, which pretty much summarises UX/UI. It’s a job best left to the experts, partly because they can offer a fresh perspective, but also because they have the skills to refine your UX and improve usability for new users, for returning users and for those accessing your site on a variety of devices.
If you’re wondering what the difference between UX and UI is incidentally, or indeed whether there is a difference, the answer’s yes, but the disciplines work in tandem so are generally paired up. UX (user experience design) is all about making interfaces useful – easy to interpret in other words – while UI (user interface design) is about making them attractive. When designing a new product such as a website, UX comes first, as the designer works out the route that visitors should take as they flow through the site. Once these user flows and wireframes have been tested, the UI designer gets to make them look pretty.
The best site, from a user experience, is one that is clearly laid out and easy to navigate but which is also pleasing to browse. A site with good UX, for instance, will likely only have one main goal per page, with every element placed on the page with the intention of facilitating that goal. Still confused? Okay, we’ll make one last stab at separating the two: UX is all about helping the user accomplish tasks like reach the checkout. UI is about appealing to the user on an emotional level, such as wooing them through cute icons, complementary colours and chic typefaces. UX/UI design is a bit like gravity: you don’t have to understand it fully to appreciate that it’s important. And just like gravity, our design team will help you balance your website or mobile app, making it navigable for your users and preventing them from floating off elsewhere, never