The most simple definition of User interface (UI) is any content users can interact with to utilize digital products or services. This content includes everything from screens and touch screens, keyboards, sounds, and even lights. However, to understand the development of UI, it is beneficial to know its history and how it evolved into best practices and expertise.
Posted: 26 Aug, 2020
In the 1970s, using a computer required that a person used the command line interface. By the 1980s, computer scientists at Xerox PARC developed the first graphical user interface (GUI). This breakthrough provided users a more intuitive experience by allowing them to submit commands through icons, buttons, menus, and checkboxes on their personal computers. By 1984, Apple Computer released the Macintosh personal computer, which included a mouse click. The Macintosh was the first commercially successful home computer to use this interface. The accessibility and popularity of personal computers and office computers gave birth to the field of designing user interfaces.
The improvements with user interface (UI) gave way to the development of the user experience (UX). That is, the creation of the GUI gave users of personal computers an actual product to interact with, changing their experience with the machine. With this development emerged the term "user experience," coined by cognitive scientist Don Norman in the 1990s, when he was working at Apple. Presently, there are a plethora of definitions. For this article, UX is defined as,
“all aspects of the interaction between the end-user and the company, its services, and products.”
This is a broad definition that can cover every interaction that a consumer may have with a product or service, not just a digital experience. Some UX professionals choose to call UX the live customer experience, while others further refer to it live as experience design. UX design considers every element that shapes the consumer experience, the feeling it brings to users, and how easy it is for users to complete a required task. From the feel of the physical product in the user’s hands to the simplicity of the checkout process when purchasing items online, it’s all-encompassing. The goal of UX design is to create a relaxed, efficient, relevant, and comprehensive experience for users.
At the most basic level, the UI consists of all the elements that enable someone to interact with the product or service. On the other hand, UX is what the individual interacting with the product or service gets from the entire experience. Don Norman and Jakob Nielsen sum it up well when they assert:
“Even if the user interface is clearly an extremely important part of the design, it is important to distinguish the overall user experience from the user interface (UI). For example, consider a website with movie reviews. Even if the UI for finding movies is perfect, if the underlying database only contains movies from major movie studios, then the UX will be terrible for users who want a small amount of independent release information.”
Today, there are millions of mobile apps on the app store. Some are successful, while others find it difficult to compete in the highly saturated marketplace. All successful mobile applications, however, have one thing in common—they all have a look and feel that appeals to users. All users look for attractive, as well as initiative applications. Attractive visual applications are usually the result of efficient user experience (UX) and user interface (UI). The best mobile application developers will tell you that while developing an application, it is also important to emphasize its Ul/UX design because this is the beginning of the application's success.
As mentioned above, creators of applications should always prioritize an effective UI/UX design. This requires in-depth research and advanced planning to understand the needs of users and the problems the application intends to solve. The following are the reasons why you need to consider UI/UX principles when developing an application:
Mobile app users like easy to use and more attractive apps. The most successful applications (such as WhatsApp) have provided users with seamless navigation and an engaging interface. Developing an application with effective UI/UX design is the starting point for having a successful application. This is as most app users prefer apps that are visually appealing and user-friendly to apps that are powerful but not very attractive. The excellent interface gives users a realistic feel while using your application. It also provides them with a continuous flow of valuable information. More and more users will become interested in your application, which will bring organic traffic. This increases the conversion rate, thereby increasing the brand name. Therefore, an experienced UI/UX designer must be hired to ensure that a mobile application is interactive and enjoyable for users.
Important aspects of Ul/UX need to be improved to improve the visual appearance of applications and functions. These include: