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UX UI – what is it and what are the differences?

Taking the next steps in the world of internet marketing, sooner or later we will come across terms such as user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). Both terms are crucial in designing and modifying websites – it largely determines whether the website will receive valuable traffic from search engines and whether customers will leave the website immediately after entering, or maybe decide to make a transaction or submit a form contact.

User Interface and User Experience – what is it?

We can call the user interface a representation of the way in which the user gives commands to a program and the program accomplishes certain tasks. The interface communicates the user with the program. These are primarily technical aspects – quick access to the necessary functions, correct description, content distribution, information hierarchy, but also visuals – colors or typography. The same menu on the website can be transparent or not very intuitive depending on the font, colors, icons, contrast or border used. In the case of websites, a part of the UI will therefore be each interactive element that, after performing an action (e.g. clicking), will result in a specific response. When creating or rebuilding a website and application, when we talk about UI, we usually mean GUI, i.e. a graphical representation of the HCI relationship (human-computer interaction).

UX is a much broader term. Covers the entire user experience with a given product. While this term often applies to websites or applications, it can be applied to virtually any good or service. Even when using a pen, wallet, TV remote control or a tea mug, we feel certain emotions that result from the functionality, convenience of use, usefulness or aesthetic setting of the product. The task of the user experience specialist is to make the entire process of contact with the product as simple and pleasant as possible for the customer – this requires constant testing of the solutions used.

According to the research of, the appropriate UI on the website can increase the conversion rate by 200%, and the appropriate UX by up to 400%. Of course, in most cases the result will not be that spectacular, but there is no doubt that these issues are of great importance in terms of a website’s ability to generate profit.

UI and UX – differences

There is no online business for which the user interface and user experience are not essential. Behind every website, portal, e-shop and application, there are business goals that will be achieved by the correct UI and UX. What’s more, an incorrect interface or user experience can deepen the drops and lower the conversion rate, which we will never know without audit, testing and expert error search.

The interface specialist designs and implements solutions, while the UX specialist plans and analyzes the entire structure of the user experience – he conducts research before and during product development, tests the behavior on an existing product, checks how the competition has dealt with certain aspects, conducts an audit and detects errors, users struggle with during service.

UI is one of the elements that make up UX – just like UX, it is one of the elements that make up web development.

The best example of what is UI and what is UX can be the design of many paths in city parks. They are often designed in such a way that requires the stroller (user) to turn only at an angle of 90 degrees – like the heroes of games from the era of 8-bit consoles. It is aesthetic, theoretically sensible, but practice shows that pedestrian paths appear almost immediately in places that the designer did not anticipate. Walkers choose a method that will provide them with a shorter path to their destination – they create their own UX solution, in spite of the original UI. And it may not be the prettiest, but such a path trodden in the grass is more convenient than beautiful, paved and thoughtful alleys.

When it comes to the UX / UI of websites and applications, it happens repeatedly that the website owner invests in a new version of the website – a prettier and more modern one. The number of visitors remains the same, but sales are falling – very often this is the result of errors in the UX design. When conducting tests and analyzing heat maps, it sometimes turns out, for example, that users try to click on graphics or other places on the website that are not interactive. The design used turns out to be misleading and, as a result, visitors leave the site. Even though the UI was designed correctly, UX and the modeling of user flow paths failed.

Why are UX / UI so important?

UX and UI have a huge impact on a website’s ability to generate conversions (e-commerce) or collect leads (service industry). These concepts also concern the issue of website positioning – Google’s algorithm, when determining the order of pages in search results, takes into account whether the website is intuitive, ergo whether the user will probably spend more time on it and interact with it.

A. User Perspective
A person entering a website – no matter from what source – expects transparency and user-friendliness. The user wants the path to obtain specific information or make a purchase as smooth and as short as possible. Research shows that the vast majority of people visiting the website will not come back if the UX does not meet their expectations. When the online store takes too many steps to complete the transaction, the conversion rate is kept low. As internet users, we are more likely to use websites that simply do not irritate during service, work quickly, do not waste our time, and at the same time are aesthetically pleasing and “pleasing to the eye”.

B. The perspective of Google crawlers
In the past, web crawlers who visit pages to index them only paid attention to the keywords in the content and the number of links. This is the past – today Google analyzes not only content and links, but also a number of other factors during positioning. There are several hundred of them – assessed, among others, loading speed or how the page displays at different resolutions (for example, whether the text does not go outside the frame). A web crawler tries to play the role of a user and promote those pages that the Internet user is probably expecting by entering a given phrase into the search engine.

C. Website Owner Perspective
Websites have different purposes depending on the business model. Content websites that depend on ad impressions primarily focus on increasing traffic. In the case of websites of stores or companies from the service industry, a large number of visitors does not matter that much – the quality of traffic counts. Ultimately, the website owner cares about users who browse and buy products or ask for a service quote. As in the second point – acquiring users on the website from positioning makes sense if the positioned phrases and the traffic generated from them ultimately result in an increase in the conversion rate. Some keywords make a marked increase in traffic, but if they are not profitable, they are of little use. The UX of a website or application should also be designed in such a way that customers can follow their personal and business goals. Win-win.

It is not easy to consider all three aspects for which UX and UI are designed at once. For this reason, it is important that UX and UI specialists are in the team when designing or modifying the website. In the case of web development, intuition gives way to analysis, data and tests. The fact that something seems functional and aesthetic does not mean that it is – the devil is in the details, even seemingly trivial, such as the size or color of the button that allows you to add a product to the basket.

The scope of work of a UI specialist and the areas of UX expert’s activity

UI and UX are aspects that need to be taken care of when designing and / or optimizing the website. What will the specialists’ tasks be?

What will a UI specialist pay attention to?
– Broadly understood good graphic design practices: inter-subject light, complementary colors, composition;
– Mental models and design utility, such as the laws of Hick or Fitts;
– Typography – selection of an appropriate font and its size;
– Design, technology and industry trends;
– Color psychology – what colors and their combinations evoke specific feelings in people;
– Goals and limitations resulting from the brief, such as resolutions for which views are to be designed, matching to grids to facilitate the work of front-enders;
– Comments from the UX and other specialists.

What will a UX specialist pay attention to?
– The entire scope of work of a UI specialist;
– Broadly understood good information architecture practices;
– Solutions used in the industry and at the closest competitors;
– Persons – profile, demographics, behavior, habits, expectations;
– User digital proficiency;
– Technical limits (including CMS or server restrictions);
– Goals and limitations resulting from the brief;
– Business goals and principles of exemplary modeling of funnels to the goal (conversion funnels);
– Model user stories and user flow based on research and analyzes;
– Available analytics and A / B test results – for existing pages;
– Comments from UI and other specialists;
– Etc.

If you’re wondering whether you should invest in improving your current business website or designing a completely new one, getting a professional UX / UI audit out of the box is a great first step. Auditors will thoroughly examine, among others the structure of purchase funnels and user flow paths, identify current and potential problems, conduct technological tests and check the information structure on the website. Recognizing errors is essential to improving your results.

What tools does use when conducting an audit?

Among the many tools, depending on the package, our specialists carry out a detailed UX / UI audit using, among others:

Among the many tools, depending on the package, our specialists carry out a detailed UX / UI audit using, among others:
Heat maps – show the elements of the page where the mouse cursor appears most often, where users make clicks or to which part of the page they scroll;
– User session recording – allows you to see how users browse the website and where the elements that inhibit the purchasing process are located;
– Research on areas that confuse and annoy users on the site, such as dead click, rage clicks, misclicks and signals of frustration, such as “thrashed cursor” (a glossary of these terms can be found here);
– Study of the purchasing process and user journey – you can read more about it in a separate article on our blog;
– A / B tests – we choose two seemingly equivalent options and check which of them brings better results in practice;
– User profile research – we check which people are browsing the website, who convert best, why they abandon shopping carts and how to adjust the site to their needs.

UI / UX microfiche:
– Dead clicks – clicks that do not activate anything;
– Rage clicks – clicks that appear when a frustrated user clicks vigorously and repeatedly in a given place because he has difficulty activating a button or link;
– Misclicks – unintentional clicks on a button other than assumed by the user;
– Thrashed cursor – this is the term when the user begins to make chaotic, uncoordinated mouse movements – most often while waiting for the page to load or when the page / page element does not work as it should.

User Interface and User Experience are of great importance both for users who come to the website and for search engine crawlers – and thus, they affect the company’s financial results. If you are not satisfied with these aspects of the company’s website or you wonder what can be improved on it, please contact the UX audit specialist at!

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