April 10, 2022
The Importance of UX & UI for your App
You have an app idea, a business plan, coders ready to start work and you are confident in your chances of success. Are you sure you haven’t forgotten something?
In this article, we will explain what the role of a UX/UI consultant is and how they are decisive for the success of your project and your company.
Let’s start with some short definitions…
What is UX?
The prime objective of UX (User eXperience) is to ensure a smooth process in all stages of the use of an application.
To do this, the UX designer produces: "wireframes", storyboards and sitemaps.
He can use computer tools such as Photoshop, but also Sketch, Figma, InVision, or Adobe XD.
What is UI?
The prime objective of UI (User Interface) is to organize the structure of each screen of an application or site by implementing a graphic charter created for the occasion.
The Designer UI uses software such as Photoshop, Figma, Sketch, Illustrator, Fireworks…
How can UX/UI Design boost your digital product? Why does it matter for your business?
With the rise of the digital world and the growing number of digital products all around us, customer experience has changed like never before.
Long gone are the days when everything had to be done face to face or even over the phone, and as result, clients have become users.
For that matter, your business must offer tools and ways to communicate and serve your audience differently, with state-of-the-art websites, platforms, and apps.
As you would do anything to provide the best experience in say, your shop or your agency, nowadays practices demand that you should do the same with your digital products. You need to provide a smooth, reliable, problem-free experience, or more so, propose unique and innovative mechanisms that will woo your audience and make you special.
Continuing with the comparison example of a welcoming shop for your customers, you would need to hire interior designers, decorators, lighting technicians, marketers to promote your offers, and even sound designers; to ensure the success of your shop.
Well, the logic is the same for your digital tools. Since they are now so central to your activity, they deserve all your attention, and that is why the services of UX experts are essential.
The UX consultant does the majority of the work of all the professions listed above but on an app/website. They will thus bring maximum value to your digital product, think about each interaction, anticipate each problem, and plan an overall design that will delight your target.
What exactly can a UX designer bring to the table in terms of results?
Having an extensive UX approach that starts from the early stages of your digital project’s development is decisive for your long-term success and results.
UX designer helps you reduce your costs. Fixing unexpected problems is extremely costly in the long run. Paying for the work of a UX team straight away avoids paying too much on updates and bug fixing in the future, design changes are easier and cheaper than post-development changes.
2. Broader audience
The work of UX designers will have you appeal to more users. A well-thought-out app will be more popular than an app that is too common or too basic. In a highly competitive market, you need to please a larger population to be successful. More often than not, one bad experience with your product can impact you in the eyes of a customer. Second chances are rare, that is why you need to get things right almost immediately.
UX consultants will improve your conversion rates over time and provide you with marketing insights that can help your business development as a whole. They will help you understand your audience better and fix problems such as high abandonment rates by rationalizing your process.
Having a solid UX for your product will help it rank better on search engines. Good UX usually comes hand in hand with lightweight platforms, and since speed is important when it comes to SEO, you’ll be on the right track. That’s not all however, a good UX also means that your digital product is pleasant to use, which will lengthen the stay of your visitors, another determining criterion for your SEO: the longer the usage time, the higher the page ranking.
What process to follow for the best UX/UI results ?
1. Research & Strategy
During this stage, the mission of the UX and UI experts and the Business Analyst is to:
- Understand the goals of the application.
- Imagine its possible uses and conditions of use.
- Draw a portrait of future users to better understand them and the way they use a product.
- Lay the foundations for the navigation on the application or website.
These missions are carried out mainly by two means.
A. Research & Study
By studying key data, trends, user profiles, usage habits, or other relevant data for the target market, the UX UI consultants (or UX "Researchers") will gather a sum of theoretical knowledge to enlighten their future choices.
This is similar to market research, which can be coupled with a study of “personas”, i.e user profiles. UX Researchers can create their databases, by conducting polls, surveys, interviews, or using public or private data.
Next, UX UI consultants can organize workshops to develop their creativity and relate their ideas to the constraints and objectives of the digital product.
These sessions can involve project leaders, business analysts, and technical and technological experts to anticipate possible blocking points during the upcoming development, or even possible future users of the app-to-be.
2. UX Design
Based on the previous elements, but also thanks to the Business Case and the complete list of technical features of the application (specs), the UX designer will then produce the wireframe of the digital product.
This is a refined prototype of the application, which includes all the screens that will make the digital product. Login, homepage, profile… the UX designer will create the full architecture as well as all the possible links and desired paths within the application (also called the “User Flow”).
Initial tests are carried out at this stage by beta users to ensure the correct overall operating logic.
The mission of UX Design can also encompass the experience of accessing the application, namely its implementation in the virtual stores, or even the resolution of problems (troubleshooting) to come.
3. UI Design
Once the prototyping is complete and all the screens have been validated, the UI designer will implement a graphic charter for the wireframe.
They will give an individual personality to the final product: colors, fonts, visual balance, illustrations, photographs, and other media. The UI designer, alone or with the help of a dedicated Graphic Designer, will put in place all the graphic elements necessary for the application.
Indeed, the UI designer will also, in agreement with the UX designer, set up animations and interactions that will complete the user experience for greater general satisfaction. This role can be completely devolved to a separate expert, the Motion Designer (or Interaction Designer).
4. Ongoing Research
You might think that once the design of the application or website is handed to the development team, the work of the UX UI experts is put to a halt, but it is quite the contrary.
Indeed, throughout the coding of their work, UX UI Departments are asked to ensure the conformity of the result with their initial work. Front-End Developers (or UI Developers) will rely on them to ensure compliance with the design provided in the first place.
Even more so, UX/UI consultants should ideally be present throughout the life cycle of the digital product, to make ergonomic improvements, or review elements according to the evolution of objectives or trends.
Thus, at any point in the life of an application, UX/UI experts can restart the process to produce a new graphical iteration, with the help of user feedback, to make sure that the product stays relevant.