The UX/UI design guide: definition, professions, software
UI/UX design, short for "User Interface" and "User Experience", is an essential area of digital product design. It encompasses all the visual and functional elements that make up the interface of an application, website or other interactive product.
Find out what these two terms mean in depth, as well as the related professions and software used.
UX design (User Experience Design) can be defined as a design approach focused on the user experience. Its primary objective is to create a user experience that is fluid, intuitive and rewarding. This notion is applied to all the interactions a user has with a product, be it a website, mobile application, software or any other interactive system.
Its main role is to anticipate, understand and respond to user needs. Rather than focusing solely on the visual appearance or functionality of a product, UX Design aims to create an optimal overall experience. This involves a proactive approach that looks upstream at the user, their typical journey, expectations and goals when interacting with the product.
Imagine the frustration of navigating a poorly designed website. Precious minutes wasted desperately searching for pages or categories because of an unclear menu, call-to-actions that don’t stand out sufficiently as clickable buttons, or images that load very slowly. All these unpleasant experiences can quickly discourage users, leading them to leave the site and seek an alternative elsewhere.
UX design intervenes to prevent these problems by adopting a strategic approach from the earliest stages of design. Rather than simply creating the product, it focuses on the user experience, identifying the obstacles that could prevent the user from achieving his or her goals.
One of the keys to UX design lies in translating user needs into concrete, visible and intuitive functionalities. The actions the user needs to take to achieve his goals should be obvious, without requiring excessive thought or effort. A purchase button, for example, must be clearly identifiable and invite the user to make a purchase without ambiguity.
The term UX design is often confused with UI design. Although complementary, they are quite different. The image below will help you better understand how they differ.
UI design (User Interface Design) focuses on visual appearance, the layout of elements and the user’s interaction with the interface. It therefore encompasses everything related to graphics.
There are several aspects to UI design:
The layout grid: the arrangement of visual elements such as buttons, menus, icons and content on the screen. An effective layout must be easy to understand and use.
Typography: the choice of fonts, their size, spacing and color is essential to ensure text legibility.
Colors: the choice of interface colors can have an emotional and functional impact on users. Colors must be consistent and appropriate to the context. If you already have a graphic charter, your interface should follow it.
Icons and images: these are often used to represent actions or information. They need to be recognizable and meaningful.
Interactive elements: buttons, forms, links and other interactive elements must be designed for ease of use. This means thinking about the size, placement and responsiveness of these elements.
Its central role is to design a visually appealing and functional user interface.
Above is an example of the prototype we produced for one of our customers. For this project, we developed their website in such a way as to create a coherent, fluid user experience and interface, while opting for a futuristic design in keeping with the brand’s universe.
UX/UI design professions
UX/UI design is an interdisciplinary field that encompasses a variety of professions, each playing a specific role in the design and enhancement of user experiences.
Here are the 5 main ones:
UX Designer: involved throughout the entire interface design process, both upstream and downstream, testing at every stage. They focus on ergonomics, usability and quality of experience in all its dimensions. They also create user paths and interactive prototypes, ensuring that the interface is intuitive, efficient and focused on the user’s needs. In short, the UX Designer takes the user’s needs into account and translates them into the interface.
UI Designer: responsible for creating the visual aspect of the user interface. They choose fonts, colors, icons and interactive elements to ensure that the interface is attractive, coherent and user-friendly.
Information architect: focuses on the organization of information and content structure within the interface. They create navigation schemes, site maps and ensure that users can easily find what they’re looking for.
UX Researcher: conducts studies to understand user needs, behaviors and expectations. They use methods such as interviews, user testing and data analysis to gather valuable information.
Front-end developer: transforms mock-ups into code, ensuring that the interface is faithful to the design.
At Sigmagency, we take care of UX/UI design for you. Based on your digital strategy and graphic charter, we create the graphical interfaces for your websites and web applications. Throughout the design process of your solution, you’ll have access to an interactive prototype to visualize your software, website or web application in real time.
To carry out their tasks, UI/UX design professionals use a variety of tools and software, such as :
Figma: a web application that enables several people to work together to prototype graphical interfaces.
Axure: advanced prototyping software for complex projects.
Sketch: a popular vector design tool for interface creation.
Adobe XD: a desktop application that competes with Sketch for interface design and prototyping.
inVision: a software application that makes interactive models and creations created in Photoshop or Sketch, and enables stakeholders to meet remotely (designers, developers, collaborators, etc.).
Principle: a tool that animates models and presents them to customers.
There are many other solutions, both free and paid, to facilitate the creation of a simple and intuitive user interface. At Sigmagency, we use Figma to create wireframes and interactive prototypes, which we share directly with our customers.
In conclusion, UX/UI design plays an essential role in creating effective digital products that are a pleasure to use. UX Design focuses on user satisfaction and needs, designing experiences that are fluid and intuitive. It anticipates potential obstacles from the earliest stages of design, translating user needs into concrete functionality. In parallel, UI design focuses on visual appearance and interaction, creating attractive and functional interfaces.
At the heart of these disciplines are professionals who work closely together to deliver quality digital products. Advanced tools and software enable them to collaborate effectively, create interactive prototypes and bring their designs to life.
Together, these practices, skills and tools contribute to the continuous improvement of the user experience on websites, mobile applications, software and other interactive products. They help reduce user frustration, increase retention and promote the success of user objectives. As a result, UX/UI design remains at the heart of innovation and the creation of quality digital products in our ever-changing digital world.
If you’d like to improve the user experience of your interface, don’t hesitate to contact us.