UI (user interface) and UX (User Experience) are key components in any Software Development project. This is often referred to as the “Front end” of the software or presentation layer. This is basically what elements of the software are visible by the end user and what their interactions with the system will be. Typically we want this to look good, be user friendly and be simple and quick to operate.
My brother is a chef and he once told me that when it comes to making food for other people “the first bite is with the eye”, if the meal looks good, nutritious and is well presented it’s much more likely to be well received because of the initial perception people make of the food. The same principle applies to Software, you could have built the best application in the world but if it doesn’t look good or is clunky /unintuitive to use people are not going to use it.
At the best of times there is resistance to change, especially when talking about systems, processes and software – lots of people are too used the ways things work and do not want to go through the learning experience of a new way of doing things. It’s important in these scenarios to understand the resistance to change and actively combat it, using good UI and UX is one of the best ways to do this, as having thought about this properly will enable you to build the application to show off the Software –especially relating to aspects such as how much easier and quicker it is to use than the old system and what it can do that the old system couldn’t. Utilising the UI & UX to achieve this aids the change process hugely, similarly if the UI & UX is poor then that is only going to re-inforce peoples scepticism about the new system and validate their reasons for not adopting to the change.
Also when considering UI & UX everyone likes familiarity – often when we are engaging with a client we hear things like “you know how on Amazon you can just…..” everyone wants their software to have a UI/ UX like Amazon – and who can blame them, Amazon offers a clean, easy, intuitive experience where after entering your email and password and clicking a few buttons your purchases are on their way to you – pretty remarkable when you consider the scale and complexity of Amazon’s logistical operation. This shows the power of a good UI, a hugely complex system is reduced to the user’s eye to clicking a couple of buttons in a system where everything is easy to find because it’s logically where it should be.
Testing is also an essential element of this process, once our developers finish a project either myself or someone else who wasn’t involved in the project build tests it, using it as an end user should. This is a useful test for adding, moving and amending small details, for example in an application we just built for a client when I was testing it I realised that once you got into some of the applications features there was no way to easily navigate back to the home screen, it could only be accessed by clicking the back button several times. This would get frustrating so we just added a small icon of a house that is available on every page and form enabling the user to go back to the main screen. Its simple things like this that go a long way to building a good UI & UX.
We’ve got to a point where we think we are pretty good at developing UI/UX that is good, simple, functional and intuitive so if you’ve got a software project in mind contact us to chat to one of our friendly team.