UX? UI? U what?

So you’ve got a digital application in your sights. You’ve got visions and dreams of massive return on your investments floating on cloud computing with number one customer satisfaction stars shooting at you like a machine gun, riding rainbows into your pot of revenue gold. How do you realize this dream?

Start the Ride
Whether you are a small or large business, you want success for your digital product which generally entails levels of financial investments. You may be redesigning a legacy system, building a custom web app, or launching the next mobile app to take the market by storm, but if you don’t know how to navigate the UX/UI road your visions may soon become unfocused. The road can become treacherous because of the various opinions on what UX is and how it adds value. Well, here at Surge, we’ve been down this road before, let us help you start the journey.

What is UX and UI?
What does UX even mean? UX is a term that is used to refer to a deep understanding of the users needs. The users behaviors, values and their abilities to access the information or functions needed easily and quickly based off feelings of engagement with the product. Hence, the user experience is the human experience. What is UI? The user interface (UI) is what the product will look like – colors, fonts, style guides and layouts. They are separate roles that often get merged into one. In a nutshell, UX principles are the foundation for how your users interact with your product and UI is the actual interface they engage with.

The industry verbiage alone can be a mind bender. The ride kinda goes like this… “So, I need a UX designer to guide my UI designer to make the best product design that aligns with my customer brand experience. We will need to analyze our business objectives and be strategic with our plans. A strong UX strategy will drive and define user personas, user flow diagrams, wireframes, sitemaps and a working prototype for testing. Oh, and prove the value of all this on my ROI.”

Create a Roadmap
It may be a rough ride if you haven’t ever been down this UX/UI road. Having a clear plan from the beginning of your product design can ensure cost savings in the long run. Some may think all this UX stuff is all fluff and it is just not that important. Well, think again. According to Adobe, leaders in the creative application industry,
“On many projects, a strategy phase which provides the opportunity to reach clear alignment on the scope and goals of the work is often non-existent or very limited. This can lead to costly misunderstandings and backtracking further down the line.” [1]

Think of UX/UI as the blueprints for your product. Just like construction doesn’t build a building without the blueprints, the same is true with UX/UI. There are several studies to support UX/UI is not to be ignored.
“A little up-front UX research can save you hundreds of engineering hours and thousands of dollars. In reality, an estimated 50% of engineering time is spent on doing rework that could have been avoided. What’s more, fixing an error after development is up to 100 times as expensive as it would have been before.” [2]

There is value in using UX/UI product designers.
“Industry surveys have shown that every dollar invested in UX will bring $2 to $100 in return. Racing to market with greater levels of functionality isn’t going to ensure dominance; solutions must offer users an intuitive and tailored user interface.” [3]

Follow the Road
Ah, sweet validation is on the rise for UX/UI and their principles and practices. The key components associated with research, information architecture, testing, problem solving, creative thinking and design iterations are all critical to defining scope and clear direction in the UX/UI design phase of product design strategy. These are invaluable steps to take for a successful product. Do not underestimate the value they bring. Let them be your guide to a smooth journey down the road to success.

At Surge, we design solutions for you. We have the expertise and experience to assist you in navigating this mystical digital world. Our UX/UI Product Designers dive deep into your business to understand the full spectrum of your product lifecycle. We analyze your business and understand your needs. We provide you individual attention and design solutions that deliver results on your UX/UI investments.

Our UX/UI Product Designers can help you travel the road while avoiding rough patches; maybe even do some magic. Here’s to dreaming big and enjoying the ride to find your pot of revenue gold.

Direct Quotes

http://blogs.adobe.com/creativecloud/3-ingredients-for-a-successful-ux-strategy

“On many projects, a strategy phase which provides the opportunity to reach clear alignment on the scope and goals of the work is often non-existent or very limited. This can lead to costly misunderstandings and backtracking further down the line.”

https://www.usertesting.com/blog/2015/01/06/invest-in-ux

“A little up-front UX research can save you hundreds of engineering hours and thousands of dollars. In reality, an estimated 50% of engineering time is spent on doing rework that could have been avoided. What’s more, fixing an error after development is up to 100 times as expensive as it would have been before.”

http://www.fastcodesign.com/1669283/dollars-and-sense-the-business-case-for-investing-in-ui-design

“Industry surveys have shown that every dollar invested in UX will bring $2 to $100 in return. Racing to market with greater levels of functionality isn’t going to ensure dominance; solutions must offer users an intuitive and tailored user interface.”

[This article was written by Collette Stumpf, Senior UI/UX Designer at Surge]

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