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Understanding UX and UI: Learning from Big Names like Apple, Google, and Airbnb

2 min read

User Experience (UX) is about how we interact with digital products like websites or apps. It focuses on making these products easy and enjoyable to use. On the other hand, User Interface (UI) is about how these products look—the colours, the shapes of buttons, the layout of elements on the screen. It aims to make the visual aspect of products appealing and coherent with the brand’s identity.

What are UX and UI?

    • UX (User Experience) is all about how we feel when we use a digital product like a website or app. UX designers work to make sure using the product is easy, makes sense, and is enjoyable.
    • UI (User Interface) is about how the product looks—the buttons, icons, colors, and layouts. UI designers focus on making the product look good and match the company’s style.

Learning from the Big Brands

Apple’s Approach to UX: Apple takes user experience seriously. They spend a lot of time understanding their users’ needs through research and feedback. For instance, before releasing major updates for its operating systems, Apple often conducts rigorous testing with real users to identify and fix any issues. This helps ensure that the updates will be well-received and that the user experience will be a positive one.

Google’s Focus on UI: Google, on the other hand, is known for its clean and simple design. They have a design language called Material Design, which guides how buttons, icons, and other elements should look and behave across their products. This helps create a consistent look and feel, which makes Google’s products instantly recognisable and easy to use, even if you’re switching between them.

Airbnb’s Blend of UI & UX: Airbnb does a good job of blending both good UI and UX. Their platform is known for its clean, beautiful design, and also for being user-friendly. The easy navigation and visually appealing layout make users feel comfortable while browsing properties. Airbnb’s designers pay attention to both how the platform looks and how it works, ensuring that users can easily complete their bookings while enjoying the visual presentation.

Finding the right balance

These industry giants show that a good balance between UX and UI is essential. Apple shows that a strong focus on user experience leads to products that people find easy and enjoyable to use. Google demonstrates that a coherent and simple user interface can also significantly enhance the user experience. Airbnb, blending both, creates a platform that not only looks good but also works well, making the process of finding and booking accommodations enjoyable and straightforward.

All three companies also highlight the importance of collaboration. Teams of designers, developers, and other experts work together to ensure that the final product looks good and works well. By combining different skills and expertise, they can tackle the challenges from both the UX and UI perspectives, leading to well-designed, user-friendly digital products.

By understanding the approaches and methods used by leaders like Apple, Google, and Airbnb in UX and UI design, other organisations can gain insights into how to improve their own digital products. The balance between an intuitive user experience and an appealing user interface is crucial in creating digital products that are not only visually pleasing but also user-friendly and effective in meeting users’ needs.