One of the most rewarding aspects of my role is consulting with organisations (big and small) as they begin the process of embarking on their digital transformation journey. Inevitably, the conversation (aka debate) will always turn to where the company should direct its focus and digital spend-on User Experience (UX) or User Interface (UI).
Let’s take a quick look at both:
User Experience (UX) is focused on the end users interaction with a business, its products and services. In contrast, the User Interface (UI) is the visual part of a computer application or operating system through which a user interacts with a computer or service.
So what’s the real difference here?
UX is about the entire customer journey and company brand. From the brick-and-mortar experience to customer support, website usability, and more, UX is tied to your overall company brand and directly impacts 2nd sales and overall customer loyalty.
UI, on the other hand, represents the digital customer experience when interacting with a specific channel, such as a company website, social media or other interrelated systems. This directly impacts new customers sales and online conversions.
Once you understand the difference between UX and UI, a company can then address its challenges and objectives through effective digital marketing and branding.
Usability is King
When it comes to digital onboarding, usability is a business’s ability to survive, not just thrive. Research from Nielson Norman Group suggests that a company has around 10-20 seconds to capture a prospective client’s attention and encourage engagement before they inevitably click away.
What does this mean?
Your company home page needs to win over a new visitor quickly, like Usain Bolt on steroids quick. If your visitor can’t quickly tell what you are selling, why it’s relevant, and how to get more information or start an application, you can lose them quickly.
The Usability test
How do you know if your company’s website passes the usability test? Try these questions on for size:
Can new customers complete tasks the first time they encounter your website (design)
After customers have used the design, how easily do they remember how to use it?
Is using the design a positive customer experience with minimal errors?
Here are a couple of standouts in the UX and UI game:
Apple: With iOS, Apple was able to create a familiar experience across its suite of products. While every iOS product has a unique UI, they are similar enough to feel similar and easy to use, providing a great overall UX.
Nest: Nest’s smart technology is designed to control home security, temperature, and video systems with cleverly concealed products that can be controlled from anywhere. Because these products can be controlled separately or together with a single app, the overall UX and individual device UI is seamless.