Web design: It is a process where the designer uses different front end technologies to design the visuals of a website.
UX Design: UX is an acronym for User Experience design. UX is a practice where the designer works on both functional and visual aspects of the website or application to ensure an optimized experience for its users.
Technology-focused vs User-centric
Web designers focus on the technologies used to design a website. They make sure that all the elements of the design are created using the best technologies available in the market for front end development. The web designers have a fixed idea of the website design as a standard practice. Whereas, UX designers are more focused on the users of the website. They create designs according to the ease of use for the users. They might go out of line for web design standard exercises to make sure the user experience is optimized to the fullest. They tend to ignore the technical complexity of the design and rather focus on usability.
Standard Practices vs Extensive Research
Web designers follow standard design practices for navigation of the website, information architecture (IA) for almost every website they work with. This makes the design process quick, but the design doesn’t stand out. Whereas, the UX designers would do extensive research on end-user behavior, habits, and psychologies. They will research how they will like to interact with the website or the app and what can optimize this interaction. They will address the challenges of the end-user group and work on resolving those issues in the design. This research helps them create something unique to a particular business, which will make them stand out from their competitors.
UX is Not limited to Web
Where a web designer is limited to designing websites, the UX designer is more likely to be involved in other aspects of designs like Graphic, illustration, Information Architecture designs, product designs and UX design for mobile apps as well. A UX designer wears different hats to make sure that the client gets the most out of their website and the users are satisfied with their experience.
Only Visual vs Usability
Web design is process-oriented. Web designers know how to make great visuals for a website and they are capable of making anything possible in terms of designs on websites. But the UX designers will not only work on great visuals but they make sure these visuals are put to good use as well. They will remove any unnecessary graphics and add elements that will enhance the experience for the user. They take an intuitive approach for the designs and 99.9% of the time they predict their user’s behavior correctly, which makes them rockstars of the usability of the design.
UX Creates The Brand Image
The big brands are very customer-oriented, and that’s why they are big brands! When the customer is the center of everything you do, you are building a brand for yourself. The UX design process is user-centric, to make sure the user has the most comfortable and flexible journey on your websites. In the digital world, your website is your shop front or your office or your headquarter. Making sure that the user has a great impression of your brand when he visits your website is a job for UX designers. Clumsy, unpredictable and tactless websites can ruin the image for your brand.
Design Principles vs User’s Journey
The web design process is based on some principles called design principles. These are standard guidelines for web designers to be followed throughout the process of designing websites. These principles are:
- Alignment of Elements
- Color Contrast
- White Space
Whereas the UX design process is mostly centered around the user’s journey on the website. UX designers will not be much concerned about the design principles if their users can make sense of the website and its elements. Some UX designers make sure the design principles are followed to make sure of the optimistic experience for the user. Some UX designers will completely think out of the box, ignoring all the design principals to get the user’s attention. Such in the case of design of the cover page of the book ‘ The Bed Moved’. That was one of the most complimented books covers of 2016.
Why Should Choose UX Design
Maximum User Engagement
UX design process involves practices such as end-user research, usability testing, and intuitive designs. Which is to ensure the website gets the maximum engagement from its ideal audience.
Decreased Bounce Rates
The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave the site after visiting the first page of the website. A successful UX design will show a visible fall in the bounce rate on the website. For the eCommerce websites decreasing the bounce rate is very important.
Increased Conversion Rates
The conversion rate is, ‘The number of visitors who reach the pre-defined goal of the website’. For example, making a purchase or subscribing to the newsletter. The UX design plays a huge role in increasing conversion rates on the website.
Trendy and Appealing
UX designers give attention to the details of the design aspects and marketing perspective, keeping the trends in their minds. They have identified the target audience they put efforts in the design to appeal to that particular section of visitors. Which results in popularity and loyalty for the brand and its products.
Although it may seem unnecessary at first, UX has a direct impact on business goals like sales and lead generation. Because much of human decision is a result of trust, gut feelings, and emotions. A UX designer peaks into the mind of the user and understand the psychology, then incorporates the design ideas for UX accordingly, by using the right texts, pop-ups, colors and placing CTA at the right places to encourage certain actions from the visitor of the website.
If you are on a quest to find the right kind of design partner for your next project or product, you should get familiar with different fields and practices of the design. A strong focus on UX would be a good fit for websites of some complexity, with multiple user types, multiple lines of products, and the size of the user base. Web Design and UX Design are not necessarily mutually exclusive and in fact, many website experiences feature elements of both. To help you with narrowing down your search, as a prospective client looking at different agencies to work with, you can define which emphasis is most important to you. You can check the language used by agencies on their websites to emphasize where they are strongest, you just may need to read between the lines.