Editor’s note: Hey, hey! Our team at Blackwood has launched a podcast called The Big Brand Theory! In this episode, our host, Kyle Johnson, spoke with Erica Boyle from Opendorse about UX and UI and what both mean in terms of your web design and strategy. If you’d prefer to listen to the episode, you can do so at this link. Enjoy!!
When it comes to web design and marketing in general, there are acronyms literally everywhere. To the outside ear, it probably sounds like gibberish. However, UX and UI are both vital aspects of your marketing strategy as a whole. They are part of the foundation of how people view your business – which means that in many instances, they can make or break you. Let’s dive deeper into the world of UX and UI and how they impact your marketing strategy.
What are UX and UI?
At their most basic levels, UX is “user experience” and UI is “user interface.” As Erica Boyle of Opendorse says, “Oftentimes, what you really think of in web design is more of the user interface things. User interface is the things that you’re seeing on screen. It’s the menu bar at the top, it’s the splash image that comes in first with a heading of text that’s leading you to scroll down the page; but that user experience is really how all those elements interact together.”
In other words, user interface is more tangible, whereas user experience is more…well, experiential. User experience encompasses the feelings, thoughts, and emotions a visitor goes through on your site, and it actually extends even further than just your website into your brand as a whole. Every part of your branding affects your UX, because every time your audience interacts with your brand anywhere, they are having their opinions of you influenced. As such, you want to make sure you’re making a great first impression.
“User experience is sometimes the most forgotten piece of web design: building and creating an experience online.”
– Erica Boyle, “UX And UI In Your Audience’s Eyes,” 2021
5 Cardinal Rules of Great UX and UI
1. Stop trying to “reinvent the wheel.”
Websites are so cool. Seriously! There are so many different things you can do with them, and there are literally endless possibilities for how you can tailor your UX and UI to your specific audience. However, as with most things, cool web design elements are best in moderation. All too often in marketing and business as a whole, we get caught up trying to “reinvent the wheel.” In other words, we as marketers are really great at over-complicating things.
When you’re creating a website for your business, this is the last thing you want to do! You may not realize it, but when you start adding in all of these crazy cool elements to “wow” your audience, you start to take away from why they’re on your website in the first place: your business. At the end of the day, it’s not about what cool thing you can make your visitor’s cursor do when they go to your website, it’s about the product or service you can wow them with!
2. Make sure that your overall navigation is top-notch.
Going right along with the last bullet point, one of the main places people try to “wow” their audience is in their navigation. As we mentioned, this really isn’t ideal – you want your visitors to know where to find the information they’re looking for! If you add too many exciting elements, you may detract attention from what really matters.
3. Take a side-by-side look at current trends and your own UX and UI expectations.
How many times have you tried to visit a website on your phone that just didn’t look right? Maybe it opened as a desktop page, or maybe it was zoomed in so far that you could only see the top right corner of the web page. Mobile optimization is one of the biggest indicators nowadays as to whether or not a business knows what they are doing. Because technology has gotten so advanced, it has become an expectation for all businesses to basically catch up or get left behind. The same is true for mobile optimization. To ensure that you have the most effective UX and UI possible, you must make sure your website (and all of your other platforms, too) is optimized to be viewed on a mobile device.
4. Test, test, test.
Trial and error is a very effective strategy to find what works, but it isn’t always the most convenient. Luckily, we have the option to run A/B tests, and when it comes to UX and UI, these are an absolute gold mine of information. When you run an A/B test to determine, for example, which one of your landing pages performs better, you are able to track multiple different points of visitor activity and target very specific results. So, if you want more people to click the “About Us” tab on your website, create a couple of different landing pages with slightly different layouts; then, run an A/B test to see which one performs better with your audience. What you find may surprise you – this is why it’s always a good idea to test frequently.
5. Above all else, ask yourself this: “are we delivering UX and UI that truly conveys what our business stands for?”
If you’ve been to the blog before, you’ve heard us say on multiple occasions that consistency is key. It’s true! The same idea can be applied to UX and UI: if someone were to visit your website, then visit your brick-and-mortar location, would it look like the same business? What if they visited your Instagram or Facebook profile, what would they find? If your appearance is not consistent across all channels, online and otherwise, your audience is going to have a more difficult time establishing the trust they need with your brand. Make sure that you’re keeping everything consistent across all channels to avoid confusion. If it helps to vocally ask yourself this question, do that!
If your current marketing strategy just isn’t cutting it anymore, you’ve come to the right place. Our team of experts here at Blackwood Creative would be more than happy to work with you and help you meet and exceed your business goals. We’re in the business of building remarkable brands – yours could be next. Reach out to us today!
Interested in listening to this episode and more of The Big Brand Theory Podcast? Visit this web page for streaming options!