Let’s first understand the underlying difference between an UI and UX. These two terms are always used together which might cause some confusion. To explain the difference in simple words;
“UX is focused on the user’s journey to solve a problem, UI is focused on how a product’s surfaces look and function” – Ken Norton
UI is the design aspect which focuses on how the elements should appear on the screen like their size, color, alignment, etc. UX is how the user interacts with the interface and move from one screen to another.
The term UX has become extremely important for mobile app development in recent years. Most of the companies now understand the importance of UX and hire expert UX designers. UX is a science while UI is more of an art. UX is what defines how a user interacts with the app and the process flow. To understand it better, here is a small real life example
Imagine yourself placing an order in a normal restaurant and in a luxury 5-star hotel. Now think how the waiter will interact with you in a normal restaurant and in a 5-star hotel. This is defined by User experience. A Waiter in a 5-star hotel greets you with a pleasant smile and takes your order with a lot of patience and also answers any questions you might have. This is the reason why people who visit such places becomes loyal and prefers to visit again.
The waiter in a local restaurant who is not well paid and trained, will not greet you with a smile and might not even have the patience to list out the full menu. This bad experience will drive away customers.
Same applies to UX design; it is how your app interacts with the end user. If it’s pleasant, simple and direct, then the user will be satisfied, else they are most likely to uninstall the app.
A good UX should be simple and should not confuse the user. It should be intuitive in the sense; the user should navigate from one screen to another without thinking at all.
Slowly but steadily, it will be the quality of UX that will determine the competition. Just a few years back, it was the service and pricing which made a business stand out in the competition. With mobile apps, it is the app with the best UX will win more hearts than the one which offers the same in lesser price.
Let’s consider there are two hotel reservation apps that offer the same functionality. Let’s assume APP-A1 takes 20 minutes to book a hotel room and APP-B1 takes 5 minutes for the same, then users will prefer to use the second app.
A bad UX is one of the primary reasons why users uninstall the app these days.
In near future, UX will slowly overtake UI and will be the forefront of app development. With the growth IoT, VR, etc, UX becomes much more sophisticated and equally important. A company cannot launch an app with a perfect UX always, it is a continuous process. There will be instances where a company might launch an app update just for UX sake.