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Rabbit Rhetoric – Experience Design vs. Interface Design

Jackrabbit Design October 11, 2015 Web Design & Development

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Welcome to the inaugural Rabbit Rhetoric post, a monthly feature that will help decode the language we use every day here at Jackrabbit.

This month, we’re talking about two separate elements that contribute to the discovery and design phases of a website project: experience design vs. interface design.

User Experience (UX) Design

A UX Designer is concerned with the people who will be visiting the site, and focuses primarily on the ways in which these people will seek to interact with the site.

Site visitors for a catering company (like The Catered Affair!), for instance, would likely be seeking the menus or the available venues, among other things. A UX designer would create profiles, or “personas”, based on the various kinds of site visitors, envision where their priorities would lie, and maybe even conduct interviews with prospects to define and determine the various priorities. In the case of The Catered Affair, the UX elements at play include (but are not limited to) the primary navigation items, the specific callouts that fall below the fold, and the location of key features such as contact information and social media icons.

In short, a UX Designer is in charge of:

  • Determining user priorities and hierarchy of content
  • Establishing a logical flow for visitors
  • Making the site intuitive
  • Getting rid of superfluous clutter
  • Making the site useful, engaging, and evocative
User Interface (UI) Design

Where UX is concerned with a site visitor’s interactions and priorities, UI is primarily focused on layout and aesthetic design. In effect, UI is the visual packaging and details that support good UX work. A UI Designer will take the information generated by the UX Designer and use it to determine how best to layout the visuals on a page.

Let’s again use The Catered Affair as an example: the UX designer has determined the site navigation and user priorities on the homepage. Let’s also say, hypothetically, that in-depth research has shown that client testimonials and available venues are of primary importance to a number of personas. With this information, the UI Designer would organize the homepage so that trust and confidence are established through language placed strategically in places where they will catch the visitor’s attention, and large, high-res images showcase the many beautiful venues available to prospective clients. Client testimonials and services, as the twin priorities, can be front-loaded at the top of the page or called out in content modules. The UI designer would also ensure that brand standards and overall brand look are maintained throughout the site.

In short, a UI Designer is in charge of:

  • Visual layout
  • Aesthetic appeal
  • Maintaining brand standards
  • Establishing a cohesive look

Keep an eye out for next month’s Rabbit Rhetoric post, where we’ll be addressing more terminology used in web design.


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