And actually useful for your eCommerce customers.
UX and UI; perhaps you’ve heard these terms bandied about by marketing and tech professionals. But what do they really mean? And perhaps more importantly, what does each mean for your eCommerce business? Let’s take a look:
UX: User Experience
User experience design is the process of optimizing a product (in this case, a web page) for effective and enjoyable use. This usually refers to the internal experience that a person has as they interact with a product, webpage, or design.
Keys to an excellent user interface include meeting the exact needs of the customer, simplicity, elegance, and even something computer scientist Don Norman (who invented the term) calls “joy of use.” This basically means that if a consumer has fun using a service or product, it’s usually a sure sign of a good user experience.
User experience design can pull from a variety of different fields and areas of expertise, including engineering, marketing, graphic and industrial design, and interface design – so it’s often a good idea to have multiple team members with different professional backgrounds if you want to create a truly effective (and enjoyable) user experience.
UI: User Interface
User interface design is focused on improving the look, feel, presentation, and interactivity of a product. In terms of web strategy and design, this usually means the series of screens, pages, and visual elements, like buttons and icons, that make up a website, webpage, or app. Before the PC became popular, computer users had to write code simply to operate a computer. But in the early 1980s, the graphical user interface (GUI) was developed, which allowed users to operate a computer with a mouse, multiple windows, and drag and drop files, programs, and folders.
A similar revolution occurred in the 1990s with the internet, transforming it from a secretive hangout for computer scientists and nerdy college students to an international forum for communication, commerce, education, and entertainment. It’s important to understand the history of UI, because it changes as technology changes, and you want to make sure you’re abreast of the latest developments.
UI designers often have a background in some type of graphic design, as each element of a product or webpage has a specific stylistic and emotional impact on the user. Different types of brands may want to use different fonts, font sizes, webpage layouts, photographs, and color schemes, depending on the type of industry, the corporate culture, and the company’s individual marketing goals.
CYA: Cover Your … (*rear end)
This maxim has a simple application for eCommerce web strategy and design: Simply put, if your UX and UI aren’t up to par, your business will probably stall. For today’s online consumers, an effective and convenient user interface and experience are almost as important as the quality and price of the product or service you are offering.
And if your eCommerce site has any kind of online forms that accept a customer’s personal information like credit cards and social security numbers, digital security is especially important to fulfill your CYA requirements. Even the IRS has been sued after hackers got their hands on the personal financial information of more than 300,000 individuals – so don’t think it can’t happen to you.
If you want a web presence that takes your customers into consideration, make sure your UX and UI are up to par and aligned with your strategic goals – it’s basic eCommerce CYA.
For more information and advice about your company’s web presence and eCommerce goals, contact the online strategy experts at Creative Technology Partners for a free consultation.