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Understanding UX/UI- The Basics

Author: Josh Pepper
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By Josh Pepper- UX Recruitment Consultant 

Having trouble understanding what all this UX/UI business is all about?  Stuck when trying to comprehend what a ‘UX process’ is, or how UI differs to mere visual design? Then fear not, this article will help ease those concerns and provide you with a greater comprehension of it all.

I made my recruitment debut in the IT sector, so as I joined Forward Role as UX/UI recruiter, I was excited about taking the leap into the creative & design world! From day one, I worked hard to get an in-depth understanding of the industry, asking all the obvious questions and immersing myself in all things UX/UI!

So the Good news for you?  I’ve done all the ground work to provide you with the straightforward demystified version of what UX & UI actually is!

Here are my non ‘techy’ basics:

 UX

So let’s jump straight in. What even is UX?

UX (User Experience) describes the journey a user has when going through the process of getting from A to B.

If we were to use a website as an example, the UX would refer to the process whereby a user navigates their way round that website. How easily they got from the ‘homepage’ to the ‘about us’ page; or from ‘kids wear’ to ‘checkout’, and then how easy it was for that customer to navigate the ‘checkout’ page. Did they end up buying the product, and if not, why not? What factors regarding the usability of that website prevented them from buying the product?

As is evident above, UX is not simply about software and technology. UX-ers spend a lot of time researching human behaviour – who is using this product or service? Why are they using it? What would cause more people to use it?

 

The UX process

To create an effective User Experience, you must have a tight UX process. One that ensures the journey of the user is as comfortable as possible. A good UX process should include these elements:

 

-          Product definition

-          Research

-          Analysis

-          Design

-          Validation

Then repeat the process, until you’re ready to release your Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

 

UI

So where does UI fit in with this?

The purpose of UI (User Interface) is to provide a system for a user to interact with the product or service. Within this falls the visuals of the system.

 To use the example of a website again, the UI would refer to the elements revolving more around the visual side of things. So what the user was seeing on the screen, how attractive that was, how well the layout aligned with company branding and so on.

 In general, most software needs expert UX and UI to be at optimum effectiveness. E-commerce provides a great example for this. Think about how easy some sites are to use than others when it comes to online shopping. How often you’ve found yourself buying things on Amazon you didn’t know you needed?

 Interesting, isn’t it? Well I think so anyway.

 Then again I’m a UX/UI recruiter, so I’m a little biased.

 If you have enjoyed my musings, think there’s room for improvement, or down right hated them, don’t hesitate to send an email to josh@forwardrole.com. I’m fresh into this industry and  always up for a discussion.

 Alternatively, any UX/UI specialists in London or the North West who are not completely unimpressed with what I’ve said and would like a more in-depth insight into the market, feel free to get in touch. My phone number is 07909 801 870.

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