UX before UI


In this short blog we’ll be talking about the importance of UX, and why UX before UI is important.

So many people in design are rapidly driven towards UI, with little or no thought being put into the UX; in many cases the UX is an afterthought, which is compromised by the initial UI decisions.

Sure, it is important to make the UI look modern and good-looking to attract customers, but often it’s far more important to think of the user journey and how to best provide an experience for your users, otherwise you could be simply “putting makeup on a pig”.

Making something look pretty is pretty easy, it’s a simple process, focus on the harder part – working out how your users are going to use your system/website (or how you want them to use your system/website), from here you can work out the best user experience for the particular use case you are trying to achive.

Believe it or not UX can actually make UI development much easier, as it actually starts to form a structure, on which to build your UI upon.

So… UX is important, but what is the difference between UI and UX?

Well whenever I describe something, I like to attach an analogy to it – In this case I am going to compare it to a car, so you’ve just won the lottery, and you’re going to buy a car, suddenly you see this beautiful, shiny red sports car with all the bells and whistles – This is the UI.

Now lets take it for a test drive… Oh dear it only goes 40MPH, the seats are un-comfy and it smells funny – This is the UX.

In this case the UI is brilliant, but the UX is rubbish – the UI attracts your attention and brings you in, but the UX fails to keep you there.

So this is the very reason UX should take priority when designing a website there is no point designing something to attract people’s attention if the user experience puts people off.

In conclusion, you must consider your user’s journey, this will help you work out the UX of your site, and this will naturally lead to the visualizing stage with the UI.

One last analogy to leave you with: ‘Designing UI before the UX, is like an estate agent choosing a house for a client before they’ve even met them’.