You have a product or service and now you need a website. But before you jump onto creating a great UI (user interface) first consider providing good quality UX (user experience).
The two of Us sometimes get mixed up, understandably as they interact and intersect throughout. However, it is important for your business to distinguish the two and put them into practice effectively.
While UI is a means to present your product or service, which is visual and more tangible, UX is far more subjective than that. It conveys customers’ experiences, feelings, and attitudes toward the company and its product. Furthermore, UX goes beyond the site, as it accounts for any and every interaction with your product including their experience of your UI. This is why building up your UX should be your first step before jumping onto UI.
UX comes before UI
Your first interaction with your client starts when they first visit your website. Wrong. Actually, their experience may start long before that. They may hear about it on social media, from their colleagues at work, or see a billboard on their way home. Every interaction with your product and brand provides your customer with a good or bad user experience.
You may argue that until they purchase your product the ones we call customers are not customers at all, or not customers yet, but actually that cannot be further from the truth. People form opinions, and at the moment of choosing their service provider, they will either sway your way or not. In the vast ocean of service providers, your customers-to-be need a push, a gentle one, to choose your product and not your competitors.
Good UX comes from good research
Providing a great product or service does not guarantee great UX. Before releasing your product and its website, you should do thorough UX research. Start with defining your product and your target audience. By doing surveys on your target audience, and not on the general public or your own hunch, you will receive more relevant feedback.
Information is power, so by understanding your target audience better, you will be better at approaching their affinities and their needs. This is especially important information to have before creating UI.
Research is a great way to receive new information and confirm old ones but also to provide you with your customer’s point of view. Perhaps making your website more mobile-friendly is all you have to do to ‘steal’ a few customers from your competitor.
Interact with your customers before they visit your site
Creating a great site is, well, great, but how will you steer the traffic toward it? Marketing. Marketing handles an important part of UX, it doesn’t only mention the name of your product, it builds up your brand. Marketers try to find the most efficient ways to interact with your target audience and influence their opinion of your product.
UX and marketing are a great match as they complement each other. UX provides marketing with a better understanding of the target group, while marketing can build on that information and choose the most appropriate channels for reaching the target audience. Promoting a product is expensive so you will probably have to choose between billboards and ads on TV, or on which social media you should focus.
Save time and money by doing UX first
No one can claim that a good UI is not important, however, web companies advise you to work on your UX first. A product is only as relevant as it is useful and useable, accessible, desirable, and credible. Creating solid UX research will give you information on what your target audience needs and how to present those needs.
Neglecting UX in order to focus on UI can and will backfire, sooner or later. This can result in poor UX, which can result in less traffic to your site and, consequently, less profit. It also means that you will have to, eventually, deal with the problem of UX. However, tackling your UX after the damage has already been done will result in spending more of your time and money than you should have if you have dealt with UX first.
Remember that your product is intended for your customers. Though they may appreciate a great UI, their overall UX is what will prove more relevant. In order to efficiently promote your product, ensure a better UX before you even begin working on your UI. Moreover, solid UX research will give you a good foundation for creating a target-relevant UI later on. By combining UX research with marketing you can get more applicable results and insights about your target audience. Don’t disregard the importance of UX so as to focus on your UI, as you will have to confront UX eventually.