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Brand Thinking Blog
Posted on June 4, 2012 at 1:21 pm
We all know how to use a spoon; likewise, we all (well, most of us) know how to use a browser to find what we need on the web. How we get there is what the “user interface” (UI) and “user experience” (UX) are about. However, non-techies are apt to confuse or conflate the two terms. For the tech jargon challenged amongst us, check out this clever visual from designer Ed Lea, which uses the elements of breakfast to explain the differences between the two interrelated web design terms.
In the field of UI and UX, web designers make certain assumptions. So, when a designer creates an interface, there are certain basic things users are expected to know, such as pointing and clicking in Windows. A UI is the user’s initial interaction with a browser or application (e.g., clicking on a link; entering text in a window, etc.). The UX is what happens when users start to interact with a site, such as opening a link or navigating a page. You can’t have one without the other, and a seamless user experience is generally achieved through a well-conceived user interface.
The breakfast metaphor likewise assumes the viewer understands how to put breakfast together: you need a spoon (the tool for the interface) and the components of the meal (assembling the various points of data) to get to the product itself—a delicious, crunchy bowl of cereal. Put them together, and you have the user experience.
And did I mention the cereal provides your daily vitamins and minerals? Check out the Nutrition Facts on the side of the box…
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