What is UI?
In web design UI stands for ‘User Interface’. The user interface encompasses anything that a visitor can use to interact with your website, including (but not limited to) buttons, contact forms and other data entry fields, fonts, colours, highlights, drop-down menus, links (for navigation or to open other pages in new windows or tabs), multimedia assets such as video or audio players, and so on.
The Realtionship Between UX and UI
Another team often heard used alongside UI is ‘UX’. ‘UX’ is an abbreviation of ‘User eXperience’, and while in web design UI and UX are definitely two distinct things, they are closely related. Why is this? Because the user interface is what visitors use to interact with your site and navigate around it, it is the vehicle through which a site delivers a lot of it’s overall UX. Without a good UI, it’s practically impossible for a website to offer good UX, or earn any kind of meaningful return traffic as a result.
Web Design UI Considerations
One of the first things that the Seek Social team will look at when taking a new web design UI project is to think about the client’s customers, and the actions they might realistically want (or need) to be able to compete online.
Once we’ve outlined these activities, we will then look to make them as quick and painless to both locate and complete as we can, while also making sure that any and all security measures called for (as might be needed by an online store, for example) are put in place. Essentially, this boils down to ensuring that the vast majority of people will be able to find what they want to find, and do what they need to do on your site in a hassle-free way.
In addition, we will certainly also bear the purpose of the client company in mind when designing a UI. For example, a web design UI project for a clothing retail store is more likely to want to have their conversion pages (that is, the pages where people can buy products) in an extremely visible place. Conversely, a web design UI project for a charity might want to focus on information pages, which will let them tell the story of the good work they do and the people they help, with their conversion pages (such as newsletter signups or online donation pages) taking more of a back seat.
It’s important that we understand what devices are being used to access your site too. Now, we’re not talking about individual makes and models here, but in more general terms – are people using PCs or laptops to access it, or mobile devices?
The answer to this question can heavily influence everything that we’ve mentioned so far – web design UI and UX – since it has a big impact on the amount of screen size available overall, as well as things like how legible certain colour schemes, text sizes or fonts might be for a user.
That being the case – and as we mentioned on out UX page too – if a client can look into this before their web design UI project begins, then that can really help us out. If you’re familiar with Google Analytics, then you’ll no doubt know that you can find this precise information there – however, we want to stress that this is not something that we expect from clients, it’s not a prerequisite to access our services at all, and the Seek Social team are equally happy to design mobile-first, or desktop-first depending on which device type proves to be more popular.
We mentioned above how knowing what devices and screen sizes are likely to be used can help the Seek Social design team identify certain things as being more or less likely to work for your project, and here’s where we put that knowledge into practice.
For instance, we know that typically designing for mobile does impose more limitations compared with designing for desktop, but we also know that those extra rules can actually make it easier to come up with a good design by narrowing down your viable options a little more. Similarly, we’re also aware that usually resizing is less of a concern on mobile devices and can be more troublesome on desktop – due to there being all kinds of monitor sizes and resolutions etc.
Whatever the devices may be that your UI is destined for however, when you partner with Seek Social you can be sure that our designers will use their years of experience – alongside any information we can get regarding how people use your site – to inform their decisions regarding the design of your new UI.