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Are You Happy With Your Front-End?

UX or UI? User Experience or User Interface. Is there a difference? Ask any designer this and they will roll their eyes. Of course there’s a difference because there is – or there should be – design processes happening.

When building “the front-end”, the developer often looks around for inspiration. Finding things that they like, they then copy them; “I’ll use that for my dashboard, this for my login screen, and the other one for my administration screen”. Developers tend to be magpies when it comes to borrowing design ideas from all over the place. And then we place them together in an app and wonder why it looks a bit confused.

Designers take a step back from the instant gratification of the user interface (UI) to design a user experience (UX). In order to do that they can adopt a pose of Design Thinking which will put them in the ideal user’s shoes and walk them through how the user interactions flow through the systems. This approach goes way beyond the simple idea of UI or ‘front end’. UX fundamentally shapes the way that we interact with the software and it has certain requirements that can shape our architecture and the technology we use. Choices in technology and architecture will then have to feed back into the design.

Therefore this isn’t a one way (waterfall) process of “design pops out, developer implements” but rather an iterative (agile approach). In some ways this is the most Agile of approaches because this is the customer facing part of your software.

So in essence, all developers also have to think like UX designers, and vice versa. Alternatively they must work together closely and very effectively.

Having trouble working out what technology is the best fit for your customer’s requirements as well as for your team? Let me know if I can help.