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User interface (UI) | Definition

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What is user interface (UI)?

User interface (UI) is the visual system that users interact with when they use a product.

A UI is the touchpoint through which users use your product.

UI is often confused with UX (user experience). UI is, in fact, part of UX.

Here’s why: UX encompasses the whole experience of a product. How a user interface looks like influences that experience.

It’s the job of a UI designer to make sure that the user interface looks attractive and is visually stimulating.

Why is UI important?

An aesthetically pleasing UI can stimulate users to start using a product. It can also increase the enjoyment that a user feels when using a product.

This helps to increase important product KPIs, for example retention or session length.

Good UI designers design a clear, consistent and streamlined user interface. This makes sure that users can recognize and learn new features easier.

UI designers also create responsive interfaces and micro-interactions. Responsive interfaces adjust to the device of the user. Micro-interactions are small responses that happen when the user interacts with a product.

This could be the change of a button color when the user hovers over it with their mouse. Or it could be a little animation that plays when the user clicks on a button. These little interactions can help to guide the user, which ultimately translates to higher conversion rates and therefore better business results.

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