THE GREAT DEBATE
So recently we were approached by a business data analytics firm to provide UX design for a web-based data dashboard project. The caveat being that they would handle the GUI design and development.
And then a deep discussion ensued—on many levels.
Now take that Mars/Venus analogy and apply it to GUI/UX design. Let’s explore how GUI design and UX design are inherently different and try to understand these difference so we can better define them.
GUI design is about designing task-based interactions. The focus is on making specific tasks easy to perform—for them to be intuitive to the user. Thus, a great GUI design removes roadblocks that would impede or make difficult the execution of those tasks.
UX design is about effecting emotion. UX design takes into account how a person feels when interacting with your website, application, products, services, or business. It’s about the person’s emotional connection with a task.
QUICK VIEW OF DIFFERENCES
GUI design is just one of the many layers that influence the overall user experience.
UX design is the sum of all those layers, gauged by a person’s emotional response.
BUILD A GREAT USER EXPERIENCE
A great user experience takes far more effort to do than designing a good user interface. And the results of planning a great user experience have a huge impact. User experience is not as intangible as we might think.
User experience bleeds over into the physical world. For example, most of us are very familiar and comfortable with Amazon’s GUI shopping layout design where the products are arranged horizontally. A UX study showed that when a retail company launched a page with products arranged vertically, session replays revealed a surprising pattern of behavior—the users kept scrolling horizontally even though it didn’t match the layout. If you want people to feel good about interacting with your products or brand, make sure the GUI elements match what users have come to expect from similar types of pages. Humans are amazing energy-conservers when it comes to brainpower. Once we establish a mental model, it immediately gets stored as a default template for all similar schemes, saving us valuable brainpower and energy that would be required for the recognition process.
When in doubt, put yourself into your customers’ virtual shoes. When working on an exciting new website design, it’s easy to get caught up in the glitz and somehow forget about the customer.
Successful UX design means understanding: