The letters UX and UI are front and center of the modern technology landscape.
But these four letters can be quite confusing – particularly for those who are newly acquainted with the world of UX and UI.
So what is the difference between them and how can a strong content management system benefit both of them?
The user experience (UX) is, simply put, the entire experience that a user has when they interact with an interface. Although the majority of the UX is primarily centered on the interface, it’s also key to point out that the UX encompasses the whole journey that a user has with the website.
Believe it or not, the term ‘user experience’ was actually invented by researcher and author Don Norman, who said that UX “encompasses all aspects of end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.”
Put simply, a positive or negative user experience directly impacts the image of the organization’s brand and the experience that the user has with it.
When a website doesn’t load properly, or takes too long to load, or frustrates a user when it comes to navigation, it is obvious that they are going to connect their experience with your brand.
The user interface (UI) is more specifically the visual format that the user interacts with. And this includes areas such as the layout of a website, buttons, and icons.
Consider the placement of important pieces of a website. The menu functionality is usually located either running along the top of the homepage or in the top left position. Meanwhile, the calls to action are placed front and center.
When it comes to the user interface, it decides the difficulty of the user’s ability to complete their intended tasks on a website. At the same time, the UI must also attempt to be eye catching or aid the digital journey through easy-to-use mobile functionality.
Functionalities like gear icons to signal settings, a letter to represent email, a phone to represent calls, make it possible for the organization to develop a sense of intuition for building similar user interfaces.
The UX and UI relationship
As we have seen, both the UX and UI are independently important. And the most successful user interface tends to have a solid user experience at the core.
Good UX designers research and understand what the end user is going to look for and what they want and expect a website to do in order to achieve what they want to do in the best possible way. Good UI designers (which could also be the same person) then pick up the baton and take that roadmap and create a smooth and effective interface that fits the target user.
It is the UI designers that decide things like colors and graphics based on info that UX designers provide – info like how much time the user is likely to spend per session as well as what feeling the user is looking for when they interact with the brand.
When all is said and done, a well-structured user interface is still going to frustrate and confuse users without considering the user experience. Conversely… well… without a user interface we wouldn’t have anything to interact with in the first place.
Enter the content management system
The reason content management systems exist is to help people organize, showcase, publish, edit, and manage content. Essentially, a CMS helps structure the user interface and ultimately improve the user experience.
With a good CMS, an organization is able to add content and customize its website. And it should bring you greater peace of mind when it comes to the effectiveness of the UI and UX.
That’s because much of the hard work of designing user interfaces is already built into the system. And this means more time dedicated to crafting quality content.
But which content management system should an organization implement? When it comes to searching for the preferred CMS, there is a handful of key features to keep in mind.
A strong CMS has a centralized dashboard where you can access customization features, and particularly clear SEO functionality. This makes sure your website utilizes keywords that are capable of making pages surge in search engine rankings and drive traffic.
Finally, a content management system must provide mobile responsiveness features. When it comes to searching on the internet, we do the majority of our browsing on our phones – despite still preferring to make the purchase on the laptop.
The universe of UX and UI is a complex and delicate one. It is stuffed full of detail and requires plenty of work. With a CMS that facilitates good user experience and user interface, it will go hand in hand with the ambitions of the organization.