While scrolling through articles about web design, I kept stumbling across the terms UI and UX. I always thought they were the same thing, but I soon came to find out they are absolutely not. I found an excellent Careerfoundry article on the difference between UI and UX design. UI refers to user interface, or the look, feel, and presence of a website. It has close ties to graphic design. For my WRTC 496 class, we reviewed several past WRTC alumni portfolio websites made using either Wix or WordPress. The portfolios that had the best UI to me were the ones that were interactive. For copyright reasons, I will not be posting a screenshot of the portfolios. Scrolling down the page brought up new content that rolled in from the side, or scrolling over content brought up a pop-up window. There were also more icons than words on the page, something I find very attractive on a website.
I did find an additional example website that combines good UI design and good UX design: my Fitbit dashboard.
Part of the appeal of keeping up with my Fitbit (or rather, lack thereof recently), has been the easy user interface and clean design of their website. I love the icons and the design of the reward badges you get for reaching a step goal. Everything is right on the dashboard and very easy to figure out how to use. Everything is organized cleanly, and I can easily navigate this dashboard.
UX, or user experience, which is the usability of the website for the user. I have taken a usability course at JMU, so I’m familiar with how digital usability works. First, the most important question to ask is “who is my audience?”. Once the designer knows who the audience is, he or she can begin to design a website that is user friendly and intuitive.
Dollar Shave Club is an excellent example of UX design. I’ve seen ads for these razors, and they market themselves as no-fuss, simple, unisex razors. Their website reflects that same mentality. The usability of this website is simple and intuitive. The descriptions for the razors are funny, and the designer of the site makes it simple to find the product, select it, and order it all in one swift motion. I would say the audience for this site is millennials, and they hit the nail on the head with the modern design.