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User Interface (UI)

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What is a user interface (UI)?

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Definition of a user interface (UI)

User interface (UI) is any method or means by which the end-user of a product interacts with, or controls, a product, software or hardware device. User interface is designed to allow humans to control machines effectively and efficiently, and good UI should make the interaction between the user and the product as smooth, effortless and enjoyable as possible.

These days, most software programs are controlled through a graphical interface, allowing users to virtually control visual representations on a screen, using a mouse or a keyboard. Hardware UI's tend to involve things like a remote control or a joystick. 

What does a user interface designer do?

A UI designer is responsible for ensuring that the interface looks and feels good, is simple and intuitive to use, and it does what it needs to do effectively.

A UI designer is different from a user experience (UX) designer, as UX design incorporates a far more holistic approach, covering every aspect of a user’s interaction with the product, software, or hardware (whether graphical or not).

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Things to consider for your UI

The main aim of a good UI is to be user-friendly. Ultimately, if you can’t make the thing work, your interface is not going to be any use. That’s why creating an interface that is intuitive and simple to use is the first challenge for any UI designer. 

Secondly, an interface needs to be attractive. The simplest interfaces might be a doddle to work, but these days apps and software live and die by their looks, so sleek, attractive design is also key for an engaging user interface.

General FAQ

What is a user interface design?
User interface design refers to the process of creating interfaces in software, applications, or hardware. It places an emphasis on achieving a high standard of presentation and functionality that users find accessible and aesthetically appealing.
What is the difference between a user interface and user experience?
User interface relates to the way in which a user interacts with a piece of software, a tool, an application, or an appliance. This includes graphical elements such as menus, buttons, and other controls essential for a product’s function. User experience is the experience a user has while using a product. This encompasses their emotional responses to the product, its ease of use, its efficiency, and the value they feel they receive for their money. Of course, the two are linked: a good user interface contributes to overall positive user experience.
What is a UI designer?
A UI designer is responsible for how a product’s design and graphical features are laid out, as well as how the user interacts with them. They decide which elements should be placed where, which functions serve the user’s purposes best, and how to implement cohesive visuals for consistency. UI designers typically work with Photoshop, Sketch, and similar tools.

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