An interface is where two things meet. When we talk about user interface design as it relates to the web or mobile apps, we’re talking about the design of things that people interact with to complete their desired task.
Whether it’s finding a business address, entering a status update, or uploading a picture to Instagram—it’s the user interface that people interact with directly, and a good user interface design makes accomplishing these kinds of things as frictionless as possible.
Web design is a type of user interface design. When we navigate to a website via the URL bar (an interface to the web) and then are able to view and manipulate data displayed in our web browser. And while it’s true that all web designers are interface designers, the inverse doesn’t hold true—all interface designers are not web designers. However, many professionals that hold the title of ‘interface designer’ or ‘interface engineer’ work in the software industry.
Our philosophy on interface design as it applies to the web is that it should be shaped to meet user goals and objectives. We take a classical user experience-driven approach to ensure the user interfaces we create do what they’re intended to while creating as little friction for the user as possible.
To ensure the interfaces we create for the web are easy to use and help people accomplish their tasks or find information, we first define the problems we’re trying to solve and set goals that we think people using the service will want to achieve. Next we identify characteristics about the kind of people that are most likely to be using our web or software interface. These characteristics are based on assumptions like age, education, and why they might be using the software — and we use these to create personas to test our assumptions against.
Many projects we take on are actually website redesigns — not greenfield apps (though we do those too). In these cases we evaluate the current website or application and test against our goals using personas as well as live user testing to help us determine what is currently working well and identify areas which need improvement. After we begin creating or redesigning an software interface or web design, we make design decisions and iterations based on user testing.
If you’re in need of a responsive web or mobile interface we’d love to discuss how we could be of assistance.