UI vs UX Design: Know the Top Tools and Resources
Table of Contents
- How to create a user flow diagram? A 5-Step Guide
- Free Top Tools and Resources for UI/UX Designers - Oh, we got your attention!
- Few Important Concepts in understanding UX/UI Design
- How Can You Make a User-Engaging UX/UI Design?
- The Role of Storytelling in UX/UX Design: Know the Story-Mountain Template
- Designing for scalability in UI/UX
- The Role and Impact of Color on User Experience
- The importance of user feedback in UI/UX design
- Creating wireframes and prototypes for UI/UX design
- What are the common challenges in UI/UX design? How to overcome them?
- The Future of UI/UX Design: A Bright One!
- Wrapping Up
The transition of the design to the actual functionality and operability entails the technical aspects of the UX/UI design. Speaking of it, the technical aspects of UX/UI design are key elements for branding, business growth, and user experience.
In the previous guide, ‘What’s UX/UI Design, ’ we discussed the general and key concepts of user interface and user experience design.
However, in this technical guide, we aim to elucidate with you about the technical workflows, UX/UI processes, top tools, UX/UI design strategy, UX/UI design optimization, and its role in brand scalability.
Let’s dig into it.
How to create a user flow diagram? A 5-Step Guide
As the name suggests, a user flow diagram represents the path taken by the user to complete an action while interacting with a website or an application. UX designers utilize the designer flow diagram to make a holistic interface design and blueprint that make navigation easier for the user.
To create a user flow diagram, here are the five simple steps that you can follow:
- Identify Your Target Audience and Their Goals
- Universalize the Design Elements
- Know the User Entry Points
- Map out the Ideal User Path for Easy Navigation
- Observe and Analyze User actions to Optimize the User Flow
Let’s take a look at them one by one.
Identify Your Target Audience and Their Goals
Make sure you have strong product knowledge for developing a user-friendly user flow. Understanding the target audience entails knowing why a user visits the website and what the user wants to achieve.
On every page, there could be different goals of the users, and this would directly change a user flow. Let’s take an example of two users, one is on the checkout page, and the other is on the products listing page; the user flow of both would be entirely different. In light of that, the designer has to ensure a smooth path to navigate through it easily.
Once the UX designer has completed it, it’s time to implement the information into design elements.
Universalize the Design Elements
In the user flow for the UX/UI design, the flow chart is designed using some shapes (aka elements). These shapes are standardized for certain actions that a user will take.
Different shapes, such as rectangles, arrows, ovals, diamonds, etc., represent decision points, entry points, completing a goal, and so on.
With the help of these shapes or universal design elements, UX designers can easily represent the user journey in the user flow.
Here are some of the common shapes that are used for user flow:
Know the User Entry Points
You should use the user entry points when a user accesses a website or an application. Knowing the user entry points help in making a user flow would help you with the information required at every path or step.
The common entry points for a user would be a login page, landing page, pricing page, or homepage. For every entry point, the content will vary as users would require relevant information to complete the path.
Map out the Ideal User Path for Easy Navigation
For mapping out the ideal user path, you will require the standard design elements to show the navigational points while creating user flow.
When designing the user flow, you can show the beginning and end points of the process with an oval. The diamond shape will represent the user's decision, whereas arrows will point toward the course of action from one point to another.
For mapping out the user flow, multiple tools can be used seamlessly. One of the best user flow diagram tools in Figma.
After mapping out the user flow, the user interface design will be on its way to development. After completing the development phase and launching it for the users, you still need to analyze the user interactions to further reiterate and optimize the flow.
Observe and Analyze User Actions to Optimize the User Flow
User experience and data can help you understand the effectiveness of the user flow. As user flow helps identify barriers and make paths easier for the users, user actions can help you optimize the user flow in case the users get stuck at some point.
Therefore, it is essential to observe and analyze the actions. If users leave mid-way and do not achieve the goal, there are chances of complications in the user flow. By observing the actions, you can amend the user flow to make it better than fulfilling the user requirements.
Free Top Tools and Resources for UI/UX Designers - Oh, we got your attention!
For any UX/UI designer to kickstart their user interface design and make its blueprints, the essential element is UX/UI design tools.
Speaking of the tools and resources, here are the best UI/UX Design Tools for 2023 that you can use:
- Origami Studio
Free Tools for Creating UX/UI Designs
If you have just started your UX/UI designing and looking to practice it for free, here are the free mockup tools to use:
Few Important Concepts in understanding UX/UI Design
Before you start developing UX/UI design, here are some key technical aspects from the user point of view that will help you in making an intuitive and user-friendly design.
The Role of User Testing in UI/UX Design
User testing is the core element in developing an optimized interface and its design as it fetches real-time data from the users.
Here are the two utmost benefits of usability testing in UX/UI Design:
- You get to know and explore the target audience, leading to in-depth analysis and understanding of UX/UI design development and optimization.
- Secondly, it facilitates prototype testing in which you can record the user’s responses and leverage them to reiterate the design of the interface.
While user testing, different types of UX/UI usability testing can help you determine the effectiveness and efficiency of the design. Here are some of the types of usability testing in UX/UI design:
- Unmoderated Testing
- Moderated Testing
- Guerilla Testing
- Lab Usability Testing
- Card Sorting
- A/B Testing
- Eye Tracking
- Screen Recording
Therefore, to understand and develop a design that fulfills the user requirements, the role of user testing is vital.
The importance of user-centred design in UI/UX
Developing a user-centered is essential to create an intuitive and user-optimized design. A user-centered design focuses on the user requirements that boost satisfaction and reduce a website's bounce rate. It is more of a proactive approach that can help you stay safe from facing the music of a noisy and unoptimized design.
Designing for accessibility in UI/UX
Accessibility in the design entails the concert of inclusivity. To be precise, it must be 'made for all.'
In UX design, the first step to design for accessibility means to have an empathetic mentality for the users and be able to put in the design. With technological advancements, it has been easier than ever to design and develop smooth user interfaces.
It is of utmost importance to consider the accessibility issues a user can face. Doing so would benefit every user, irrespective of age and gender, as they would have a smooth flow of information.
I once read that 'information should be available to all.' The core concept of designing for accessibility in the UX is that the designer needs to understand the audience and the accessibility issues.
If you are wondering about the types of accessibility issues one can have, here is what you need to know:
Principles for UX Accessibility Design
Some certain standards and principles can help you make a design accessible to all. Following those guidelines, you will be able to develop a website, product, or application that serves a user-friendly design, interface, and experience.
Here are the six principles for UX accessibility design:
- Font size for an optimal readability score
- Contrasting colors for clickable buttons and entry points
- Enable discoverability by use of contrasting and starking colors for a smooth decision-making process
- Maintain Consistency in design for memorability and easy navigation
- Scale the elements to set the proximity of the design elements
- Hierarchy with typography and headings
In the end, encourage testing the design from all types of users to get feedback and iterate the design if necessary.
The Role of Psychology in UI/UX Design
It’s all about the perception of the user and interaction with the user using UX/UI design.
The role of psychology in UX/UI design is how a user interacts with the design and perception in the user’s mind. Emotions, cognitive responses, and feelings are linked with user interface design. Therefore, one cannot overlook the significance of psychology in user design and interface.
5 Principles of UX Design Psychology
Knowing the principles of UX design w.r.t psychology will help you make a design that puts forward how a user usually interacts with the design.
- Make a design that requires the least effort from the user: The principle of Least Effort
- Ask users to interact using social media platforms: Principle of Socialization.
- Keep the design consistent, knowing the users have a perpetual habit for every course of action: The Principle of Perpetual Habit.
- Relate with the users’ emotions with relevant pictures, symbols, and interface: The Principle of Emotional Contagion
- Keep the aesthetics maintained of the interface as users love to interact with colorful and aesthetically pleasing designs: The Principle of Beauty.
Designing for user engagement in UI/UX
Did you know that you have only 3 seconds to tell the visitors that they are at the right place? Well, now you know it is all about UX/UI design.
The purpose of any business is to generate effective leads that can boost revenue, and if the UX/Ui design is not effective enough, then we might not be getting anywhere.
The stress on the TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU can never be enough since an engaging design can either make the user experience good or bad. It will decide if they will stay on the page or just swipe back.
Therefore, while you create blueprints and wireframes and design the visual elements, ensure that the need for a ‘user-engaging’ design is fulfilled.
Here are some factors on the basis of which you can measure engagement:
- Daily, weekly, and monthly active users
- The bounce rate of the page or website
- Pages per session
- Repeat visitors on a page
- Conversions or CTA
How Can You Make a User-Engaging UX/UI Design?
While you are in the process of designing for the user engagement UX/UI, make sure that the following factors are being fulfilled:
- Instructional design
- Keep the design consistent for a better understanding of the design and actions
- Creating effective call-to-action buttons in UI/UX design
- Designing for user onboarding and first-time use
- Reduce the visual clutter of the design
- Work with white spaces
The Role of Storytelling in UX/UX Design: Know the Story-Mountain Template
Storytelling has always been an interesting part of conversations, human psychology, and even design. You might be surprised about the part of storytelling in UX/UI design. But don’t worry; we have got you!
In the previous article, we discussed the fundamentals of UX design, one of which was Empathy. For a UX/UI designer, it is extremely important to understand user pain points by putting themselves in their shoes. Hence, we need a pain point (the story's start) and a resolution (the story's climax) in the UX Design.
Two Simple Tips for Effective Storytelling in UX/UI Design
Well, yes! Only two tips would take you to next-level effective storytelling in our next UX/UI design, which are as follows:
- Give an active role to your target audience in the story
- Use a story template (Such as a story-mountain template)
Empathizing with Your Target Audience
Before you go on storytelling in your UX/UI design, know and understand your target audience. This would help you in optimizing the story template around the user's pain points and making solutions for them.
Connect the story with your audience, keep them first, know their emotions, and see how the design would help them complete a goal.
After you understand your user personas and journey, the next step is to utilize the information in developing a full-fledged UX/UI design.
The most interesting thing about the story-mountain template is that it is written by a novelist and playwriter, making it a perfect match for story-telling in UX/UI design.
Just like the rise and fall of the mountain, in your UX/UI design, there will be five components listed below:
- Rising Action
- Falling Action
Let's talk about them to see what role they would play in designing user interfaces and experiences.
It is the cornerstone to start interacting with the user by building the story. Always remember that the user is the protagonist in your story; therefore, it is important to build all the details of the character.
That said, the user will acquaint themselves with the interface. Make sure it is easy to understand and navigate so the user can complete the goals they want to achieve. Furthermore, the details of the user to give them exposure to the interface would vary from product to product.
At this point, the user interface should understand what the user is looking for. To resolve the user's query or problem, the user interface must be able to make a call to action through the interface by stating the problem statement to the user.
The climax is always the most important part of the story since it shows how the problems affect the users. It is a kind of pinnacle for the user where they need to take action. At this point, the UX/UI must be user-friendly so that users can move forward to solve the problem.
This point will determine whether the user is towards success or not in completing their set of actions.
At this point, the user starts to see the actions falling in their places that lead to success. The compilation of the above four steps will help you achieve this step. Therefore, the user interface should be friendly and problem-solving enough to lead the user through it.
After the actions have been completed of design and the user has reached the goal, it's resolved. Not having an optimized user interface would never be able to lead the user through the path, and the user surely doesn't want to wade through.
These five points together become a single force in designing and developing a successful user interface that gives a smooth user experience.
Designing for scalability in UI/UX
Design is an ever-evolving thing and process that changes with the user's needs. Scalability in UX/UI design entails the evolution of design without affecting the UI's total outlook and user experience.
It is an important part of the UX designer's job to develop a design that can easily adjust the changes if there are to be any. Furthermore, design scalability also discusses creating a repository of visual elements that can be used time and again when needed. For this, the dimensions and criteria of the design need to be the same throughout.
Benefits of designing for scalability in UI/UX
Here are the benefits of designing for scalability in UI/UX:
- Understanding the visual outlook of the design elements on different screens
- Making the screen responsive for future changes in the design
- A scalable design for your website or an application will save time for testing on different screens as one part makes the screen responsive for all types of screens.
The Role and Impact of Color on User Experience
The impact of color on user experience is huge as it affects how users interact with the application or website. As color boosts emotions, they also provoke actions and can lead users to complete the goal.
Colors can take your user interface and design to the next level. The question is, do you want to take your design from ‘good’ to ‘great’? If yes, then the color palette is the real king.
To emphasize the importance of color experience for user experience, here is why the color selection is important:
- Tells about user experiences and preferences based on gender or age
- Starking or contrasting colors can lead to an increase in CTR and conversion rates
- It must provide ease of accessibility to the user so that they can easily read the content
Colors are of utmost importance to make UX design more interactive and friendly. However, the XU designer must keep in view some important points, such as cultural impacts, psychological implications, and overall effect on the human psyche.
Here is a quick guide to understand what colors represent and how to use them for your application, product, or website.
The importance of user feedback in UI/UX design
User feedback helps gather more insights into the UI design's functionality, operability, and overall user experience. From scratch till the development of the design, user feedback will help you navigate the users' preferences and psyche for the design.
Therefore, to reduce friction in the user experience and bridge the gap between user and product, the feedback seems to be the food and water for it.
In a nutshell, user feedback in the UX/UI design has two main reasons:
- To gain insights from the users for design optimization.
- To understand users and make them feel valued.
Creating wireframes and prototypes for UI/UX design
In UX/UI design, the work starts with creating blueprints and converting them into testable prototypes. In this section, we will discuss wireframes and prototypes step-by-step to understand their role in the user interface design and experience.
Wireframes can start with paper and a pen, as it is a low-fidelity design that sets the foundation. Even though it has a limited expansion of the design elements, it is used to create all the ‘essential’ elements in the design.
The role of wireframes in UX/UI design is extremely important as it is the cornerstone for developing and designing UI. Wireframing is usually done at the early stages of designing to ensure that all the elements are included and can be reiterated (if needed).
What Methods Can I Choose for Wireframing?
To start wireframing for the UI/UX design, here are the most effective methods that can use:
- Hand-drawn sketches
- Graphic designing software such as Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator
- Specialized UX design software like Figma, AdobeXD, etc.
They are created in the final stages of the design process. They are used for real-time interaction with the design and its elements by the users. Testable prototypes are high-fidelity types of design simulations that help understand the design's real look and feel.
Speaking of the types of prototypes in UX/UI design, there are two types of prototypes:
- Low-fidelity Prototype
- High-fidelity Prototype