Branding is important to businesses because it leaves a lasting impression on customers. Instead of confusing the customer about what exactly you can offer them, a consistent look and feel to your website and applications better tell your story and make you memorable. Think of Nike: Stories of successful athletes and their famous slogan “Just Do It” come to mind almost immediately. Customers equate the Nike brand with being victorious, driven, and athletic – without the company expressly saying that at all. Just like Nike, the design around your website and applications defines your overall brand.
With only one letter difference between the two of them, it can be confusing for people to distinguish what makes UI and UX unique from each other. They’re often used together, making it even more difficult. UI (user interface) design is the layout of a type of application – for example, the layout of text, images, buttons, etc. that people can use. UI also includes the transitions and animations (basically all the visual elements) that complete the design. On the other hand, UX (user experience) is all about how a person interacts with those elements. UX designers think in the mindset of a user: does navigation feel right? Is it hard to find certain things? While UI and UX design go hand in hand, the focus is on different things.
Developing guidelines for design across multiple platforms does not have to be difficult – but it can take skill and time to think in an overarching manner to connect all of them. One of the first things that must be done is proper research into the end-user: Figuring out what users want to use the website/application for and exactly how it is used is the most important step. Keeping the end-user in mind is how businesses can account for everything their customer will need and want out of their applications.
Another important element is not to reinvent the wheel. Being able to use common UI elements is a great way to build familiarity easily with an application for users (however, putting in a couple of unique branding elements is how you tailor the function to your company). UI design patterns should be reused to show consistency across platforms for customers – whether that’s templates, layouts of text, or specific images. Logos and fonts should be the same throughout any application and website. Once you have figured out the UI design and proper UX flow in a website or application, you can attempt to use that as a guideline in every other application that is designed down the road.
Here at Charter Global, we understand the necessity of integrating your brand into your UI and UX design elements across your applications. When it is time for you to think about an overarching plan of consistency in your application development, give us a call to guide you!