Breaking Down UI/UX Design & Its Role in Increasing Business Revenue
We had a conversation with one of our resident UI/UX Designers about what UI/UX is, the misconceptions around it, and the benefits it brings to businesses. Kweku ‘Li’ Diaw, a Digital Marketing Executive conducted the interview.
- Emmanuel Baah: UI|UX Designer — QodeHub
What UI/UX Design is
Kweku Li: So first, UI/UX? UX/UI? UI? UX? I am sure people have some confusion about this entire field. I have heard the terms thrown around and Googled stuff out and so I have a bit of knowledge about it. But tell us, Emmanuel, what is UI, UX, and how are they connected? How can you make a layman understand simply what these twins are and how their powers combine?
Emmanuel Baah: UI is short for User Interface. Let’s assume we’re using the gear stick in a car to explain this. UI, would be how the gear stick looks, and UX, short for User Experience, is how you position the gears. UI informs the user, UX ensures there’s an understanding of that information — that is one analogy.
Kweku Li: So there are more analogies?
Emmanuel Baah: Yes, that’s what we mean by ‘‘everything is by design’’. Everybody does a bit of UI/UX in their daily lives. We, as product or UI/UX designers, do it for products.
Kweku Li: It’s very interesting when you put it in that context. When you say we all do a bit of UI/UX in our daily lives, is that from the perspective of a designer or user?
Emmanuel Baah: Designer. We are all users and designers at the same time. You put yourself in a person’s shoes when you are telling them something so they would get it. That’s you being a designer. When you are designing a product, you need to:
1. Think about how a user would use it, perform tasks with it, and you guide them through the process (UX).
2. Figure out the way you would present that information to them, how appealing you can make it (UI).
That’s how the twins UI/UX wholesomely work when their powers combine.
What I just did with this message and response is both UI and UX. First, I thought of how you would consume it. To avoid confusion, the UX I thought of was to keep the words simple and break it into sections. And the way I numbered them (could have used dashes) and spaces I left between the points is the UI I did with it.
Kweku Li: If I am getting this right, how I present a set of information to a person is UI, but how I navigate them through a story I am telling, is the UX?
Emmanuel Baah: Yes! There’s UX in every single UI decision you make. Your goal is to make them happy. Your goal is the User experience — UX. UI helps you convey that experience to them. The journey is the product, and your UX is the tact. The UI is everything you see on the journey. Think of UI as the physical part of everything and UX as the spiritual part of it.
Kweku Li: Ah! So UI refers to everything you see and witness during the journey. UX is how you maneuver your way through, and the product represents the journey.
Emmanuel Baah: Yes, yes, yes. The product is the plan. UX is the ‘how’ in executing, and UI is the execution.
Kweku Li: Along those lines, I understand how we use a bit of UI and UX in our everyday lives. We’re always presenting information to people. We’re always finding ways and means for them to understand the information. That is UI and UX in motion.
Emmanuel Baah: Yes!
Misconceptions about UI/UX Design
Kweku Li: From the interaction so far, I identify that UI is not independent of UX as many people have assumed. Why do you think this line of thought exists? That UI is enough or has always been enough, and it feels like UX is now coming into the frame?
Emmanuel Baah: Because businesses and organisations saw UI as another graphic design ‘thing’. “Make it beautiful and fancy”.
Even that perception of graphic design is wrong. The UI design was always an afterthought in the product cycle. They’ve always done some UX-ing, just not from the perspective of users. As users keep getting confused despite the fanciness and market use of the product declines, they realize their mistake. That you need to put the user first. Some designers took up the sole responsibility of capturing the users’ needs and preferences, and before we knew it, they’d carved a niche out of it. The result is UX coming into the frame. It has always been there just not existing as UX.
Kweku Li: I see. So businesses and organisations realized that. if the products aren’t helping the user achieve anything, it’s not working right? Which birthed UX full-blown to help the user?
Emmanuel Baah: Yeah, it’s now taking the center position because it takes care of what is most important — users’ needs. Products even change direction sometimes, after UX exposes it all.
Kweku Li: So a key takeaway here is to focus on understanding your customer and their needs, and then, creating a solution. Instead of just carrying on with whatever situation you come up with?
Emmanuel Baah:. Exactly. All while keeping your business goals in mind.
Kweku Li: All while keeping in mind your business goals. Right.
What are the major benefits UI/UX Design brings to Businesses?
Kweku Li: You mentioned business goals. What are the major things UI/UX design is bringing to anyone’s business, in your opinion?
Emmanuel Baah: A competitive advantage, product clarity, and increased product adoption. The ultimate thing here is sales conversion.
Kweku Li: Fantastic points there. Can you shed more light on that for us?
Emmanuel Baah: A competitive advantage — The same way companies have the edge over others in pricing, they can do the same with UX design. A mindset oriented around design helps you reimagine things differently. It sets you apart from the rest. A perfect example is Google. Google built its company culture around design at a time that Yahoo was faltering. That move put Google in a lane where they could execute ideas, with precision and speed. The adoption of design since then by other companies has been crazy. Bringing design to the core of almost every company’s service delivery. No business wants to miss out.
Product clarity — UI/UX design provides a better understanding of:
A: The problem you’re trying to solve.
B: Who you’re solving the problem for.
C: The product that your potential customer needs.
You wouldn’t waste time building something nobody needs or loves.
Increased product adoption — A lot more people will prefer using your app. Because it solves the problem they experience in a way that they enjoy.
All these trickles into money for the business.
Concluding words on UI/UX Design
Kweku Li: Any last words?
Emmanuel Baah: Design is a beautiful thing. A lot more companies should open up to the use of design to create change in Ghana and all overAfrica. As time goes on, they won’t have much of a choice. So they’re better off starting the journey today.
Kweku Li: Thanks for your time, Emmanuel. This was informative. Keep doing what you do best in design and spreading the gospel about UI/UX design.
Emmanuel Baah: The pleasure is all mine.
This interview is from a conversation in June 2020. We have edited it to be brief, informative, and clear.
Just in case you’ve read this and you want to give your business the advantage that comes with UI/UX Design, you’ve found the right partner. QodeHub builds customer-focused websites and apps for startups, SMEs & Enterprises. You can learn more about our UI/UX Design Services here or shoot us an email here to start a conversation about your project.
Compiled & edited by Kweku Li Diaw — Digital Marketing Specialist