UX is not UI

Design can be a broad and vague term. When clients come to Chelsea Apps Factory, many of them think the designer’s job is to make things look pretty. They are puzzled to discover that UX and UI play a large part in our delivery cycle. They often don’t know what these processes entail and why both are so important.

What exactly is UX and UI? What do they involve? Why are they so crucial to product development and how we design at CAF?

What is UX and UI?

Design is about problem solving. It’s about understanding how people think, learn, remember and behave. It is crucial to understand the psychology behind human actions to design the right experience to get the right results.

User Experience (UX) Design focuses on the interaction and overall experience between the human and the system. User Interface (UI) Design focuses on the relationship between the user and the product to ensure that the interface is easy to access and use.

UX entails much more than UI. UX is about resolving problems and removing obstacles to enable users to complete their goals efficiently. UI is a huge component of UX and one of the most powerful tools for delivering a great experience.

The interface of any device is the most visible layer with which the users interact. UI is the top surface of the system and visually brings everything together. It forms the connection between the user and the system – UI is the lifeblood of the entire user experience.


The role of UX and UI Designer

UX designers identify the target audience and develop personas that will help determine the features and the information hierarchy and dictate the user flow. Their primary concern is how the product functions and feels. The main responsibility of the UX designer is to ensure that the product flows intuitively from one step to the next. They conduct usability tests, refine and iterate the flow based on real users’ reactions and feedback.

UI designers make sure that the design of the product is consistent from screen to screen. They are responsible for developing a coherent style that enhances the user experience. They ensure that the design language is applied systematically across the product. The UI designer’s main concern is to maintain consistency in visual elements such as layout, typography, colours, iconography and imageries. They aim to create cohesive style guides and pixel perfect assets.

Design team at CAF

The boundaries between UX and UI designers are rather fluid, even blurred. It is not unusual that one designer wears different hats.

Our designers at CAF have a wide list of skill sets: user research, information architecture, sketching, wireframing, prototyping, typography, brand design and motion graphics, to name a few. We have a mixture of generalists and specialists: some of us focus on visual design or interaction design, while others have a few different roles.

Our team includes a number of T-shaped people which Tom Kelly described in his book “The Ten Faces of Innovation.” These people are experts in one area but also have a broad knowledge in many other topics. We have the advantage of having specialists who are able to support more broadly and work across many different disciplines. So we can be flexible and effective as well as knowledgeable and experienced in a specific field.


Why CAF Design?

This talented team practices user centered design in which our users are at the core of the product and process. We always ask why and challenge ourselves as well as our clients. Nothing’s taken for granted. Our priorities lie in understanding users and studying the context of their environment.

The CAF approach focuses on users throughout the whole design process, which is constantly iterated so that the final product gets closest to the real user’s needs.

Great design increases trust in your product and good user experience is essential for business growth. UX, done correctly, creates customer loyalty, better customer service and greatly improves conversion rates. A number of industry studies have shown that every dollar a company invests in design can yield a return of up to $100 (this first surfaced in Tom Gilb’s 1988 book, Principles of Software Engineering Management.) That’s an ROI of a mighty 99%.

We have been working with Ladbrokes since 2013. Initially focused on the mobile sportsbook product, CAF helped drive 160% YOY growth in mobile turnover through our user centric design approach: ideate, experiment, measure, learn and repeat. It is a natural consequence that we are now working on their entire multichannel programme.

User experience is a tremendous part of how people connect with a system and a product in our lives. If you are considering the next steps for your business and its products or services, the importance of design cannot be understated. Great design is great business. At CAF we make sure that we deliver top-notch design service to our clients so they can make our users happy with a seamless experience.