So I thought I’d start a new mini-series kind of thing where I write about bad UI/UX. Part of this is because I’ve now been working as a UI/UX designer for 6 months now, and I realize the more I use things, I more I notice things that are designed poorly, or at the very least, could be designed better. The more people understand why things are designed the way they are, the better we can use and understand how to use something. Plus, I need somewhere I can rant about bad UI/UX and this is a good place to start. Let’s start really basic though, and talk about what UI and UX is.
UI – User Interface
User interface is the actual interface that you see and touch and play with when you’re using something. Most people use UI in reference to computer or technology (for example, the way Gmail looks, or how the new iOS 7 looks). However, user interface isn’t only just ‘screens’. The interface of something can be physical – how the buttons on a phone are placed, where the buttons are located on a monitor, things like that. Anything you touch or use has an interface. It’s basically where you, as a user, meets the object.
UX – User Experience
User experience is what happens and how the experience feels when you interact with the user interface. This ‘experience’ is usually based off on the emotion you feel when using the product – is it frustrating to use? Can you figure out how things work? Does it feel simple and intuitive?
Why does this even matter? Because as users, we should be able to understand when something works, and why. When we get frustrated with using something, we should take a step back and figure out why. Is it designed incorrectly because we can’t figure out what do, or is it the things that are happening is not what we expected? For this mini series, I’ll go over some UI/UX, maybe mockup some of my own, and hopefully, figure out what really good UI and UX is.