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Why does it matter? – User Interface (UI) and Interface Design (UX)

Article Contribution by A/Prof Zhao Shengdong

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A/Prof Zhao Shengdong
Instructor
Advanced Computing for Executives
NUS School of Computing

What is UI and interaction design?

Interaction design is a fascinating field. It is where designers put customers at centre stage, and ask: How do I give my users a great experience while using a product or service?

Let’s use the example of a mobile app. The app and user are in constant dialogue; the user may click on a button and expect the app to provide immediate feedback for their action. When the app provides the right type of feedback, one that meets the user’s needs, the user believes she has a smooth experience.

An effective exchange of information is the feedback loop we want to create for our users when designing interfaces.

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Source: https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2013/02/designing-great-feedback-loops/

The questions commonly asked during the design process include:

  • What ‘journey’ would we like to take our users on?
  • How do we anticipate their needs and meet or surpass expectations?
  • How do we make the interaction process as natural and human-like for them?

User interface (UI) and interaction designers answer these questions by brainstorming scenarios, sketching, storyboarding, and prototyping. Qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods are then used for rigorous testing at a later stage.

Why does design matter?

Imagine for a second that your laptop shuts down just when you need to use it. When our products fail us, they tend to cause inconvenience and elicit negative emotional responses. It is vital to preemptively design solutions for our users, so as to minimise frustrations and serve their primary goals. Thoughtfully designed products are also well-placed to retain current users and attract many more.

Master the fundamentals of user interface (UI) and interaction design (UX) by signing up for the Professional Certificate in User Interface and Interaction Design today!

For course information: https://ace.nus.edu.sg/professional-certificate-in-user-interface-and-interaction-design/