Ep 2: What’s UX/UI?

In this week’s episode, we get into User Experience & User Interface design and how this relatively new field of design is helping businesses break new grounds.

Kalika Yap
The Juicery by Citrus Studios, a podcast where we serve up sweet, simple bites of information about design, marketing, and business. I’m Kalika Yap, founder and CEO of Citrus Studios, We’re all about helping entrepreneurs innovate and grow through design driven solutions, tune in as our amazing team of creatives show you how to turn your business into everyone’s main squeeze.

Ryan Penarroyo
User experience expert, Steve Krug said it best. “Don’t make me think.” It’s short and to the point. The less a user has to think about navigating a page or how to use a product, the more a user can interact with satisfaction. For example, say a user is navigating an eCommerce site, looking for some new shoes. If they have difficulty understanding what buttons are clickable, or can’t easily get to, or manage the shopping cart, they are far less likely to complete a purchase. The whole point of this eCommerce site is to get shoes to customers that need them. But when something makes it difficult to do so, and potentially causes frustration in the user, we have a problem.

The value in considering UX/UI in marketing and development is that it identifies and minimizes those sometimes common issues companies have.

The main focus is on improving customer experience with the product, not how the product gets into the hands of users. UX/UI has become increasingly important over the past decade. Today’s entrepreneurs are beginning to understand the importance of facilitating a positive user experience for their clients. And how it directly connects to the growth of their business. The increase in accessibility and affordability of technology has put the internet and subsequently businesses in the hands of billions of people.
Thus the importance of user-focused design has become more and more necessary.

Now let’s break it down. UX stands for user experience. We’ll get into methods of testing, research and psychology behind UX/UI, but basically UX is everything that affects a user’s interaction with a product or service.

The goal is to look for holistic solutions to improve the user journey while finding the core and essence of the product. UX designers seek to make technological interaction more or less invisible.

They want the customer going back to the original quote. To not have to think. This is best achieved by minimizing human and tech interactions so that a user base can be provided with exactly what they want and need. Almost as if by magic. Now UI on the other hand stands for user interface. The UI design is the visual and tactile interaction between the user and a product. It consists of the actual buttons users we’ll click on the text. They will read. Images sliders and everything else that the user interacts with.

The reason you always see UX paired with the UI is because user experience informs much, if not all, of the decisions made in a user interface. While connected, these fields have two very separate and valuable roles.

Let’s talk about the roles of each designer. The UX designer’s main responsibility is mapping out the user journey. By mocking up flowcharts and wireframes. These are low fi mapping systems that help the team determine how they want the user to interact with the product, as well as where more specific information is needed.
Then the UI designer comes in. They take the information that was provided by the UX framework and make visual decisions.

UI is therefore the visual representation of the holistic decisions made by the UX team. This is then displayed in things like layout, visual design and branding. Together UX/UI teams aim to make a seamless experience for the user. When it’s done well. This is what people refer to as user friendly.

Now let’s talk about research. Unequivocally the most important aspect of UX/UI is research? Generally, it can be broken down into primary and secondary research. Primary research’s main purpose is to gather information and answer questions that have not been asked before. It involves going directly to a source and involves firsthand methods of obtaining new information and accounting.

This can be done through interviews, surveys, questionnaires, and focus groups. This is an expensive, but extremely effective method. Because of the price tag, smaller budget projects tend to use secondary research, which consists of gathering information that has already been generated. Often, this includes compiling analytics, reports, or customer reviews.

While not as extensive as primary research, this tends to be the most common method. Regardless, it’s still valuable and generates useful information for the UX/UI designers.
Once research has completed the UX/UI designer will analyze this information and start to develop personas.

Personas are fictional characters that have the qualities and characteristics of the target user base. A user journey is then established to help map out the intended use of projected tasks and functions all based on the persona. This is where those site maps and wireframes that the UX designer created are used to help plan and strategize the user interface before the actual design phase.

So why is this so important? From a business stance. UX/UI is one of the best ways to ensure your company’s goals. You can fine tune the exact response and ensure that your customers have a positive and perhaps even pleasant experience.

The primary goal of any successful business is to increase the growth of the company.
Investing in thoughtful and intuitive UX/UI will increase brand value and create faster sales and conversions while rewarding customer loyalty.

UX/UI is not a buzzword or a trend. It is absolutely the future of business and design.
Thank you for listening.

Kalika Yap
Thank you so much for tuning in. The Juicery is produced in house here at Citrus Studios. Music for the podcast was produced by Otis McDonald. To learn more about Citrus Studios. Visit us on the web at citrusstudios.com. You can also follow us on social media at Citrus Studios across the board. Thank you.
And remember when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.