There are many components to successful Data Analytics products: data science, business analytics, software development, product management, design and marketing. They all come together with a goal of creating a product that meets customer’s requirements and allows for a pleasant experience while using it. But perhaps it is the role of a designer that takes centre stage in shaping customer experience. After all, at the core of the UX (User Experience) und UI (User Interface) Design, which are two main design disciplines employed in data analytics solutions, lies the User. In this blog post we’ll focus on understanding exactly what these two disciplines, UX and UI Design do, how they differ and sometimes overlap, and how quintessential they are to outstanding data analytics products.
User Experience Design
UX Design is a discipline that covers the overarching experience a user has with a given product. Its main focus is to help the user navigate through the product effortlessly, intuitively and efficiently. Whereas this is quite a broad focus, below are a few of the common UX practices that make up for that role:
User Interface Design
You can think of UI as the continuation or elaboration of the product design skeleton laid out by the UX. Whereas UX focuses on Information Architecture and Usability, UI shifts gears towards the visual aesthetics of the product. The UI discipline breathes life, so to speak, into usually plain UX wireframes. Let’s take a look at some of the areas of the UI:
Regardless, prototypes are crucial for early user feedback validation, to make sure the proposed solution is synced up to user’s expectations and is easy to work with.
The list could go on about different roles and responsibilities of UX and UI, which often overlap. But if there is one thing I would like you to take away from this post, it is that UX and UI Design work in unison with each other to ensure for the optimal user experience. Together and in collaboration with the rest of the team they provide shape and form to the product, defining its aesthetic qualities and interactive habits. If done successfully, complex information flow becomes effortless, intuitive and perhaps even fun to use. In a nicely designed software a user feels cared for – almost as if the product says “look, I know it’s a lot of information to grasp, so allow me to take care of you and present it to you in such a way that you feel smart, empowered and respected.” In the end, a satisfied user turns into a customer, and if the experience continuously delights, into a loyal customer.
It’s no secret that top brands with a loyal customer base place the highest value on UX, UI and branding. What are some of your favourite digital products and what role do you think design plays in them?