The Impact of UI/UX Design on Your Website Impression

When speaking of UI or UX design, most people jump to conclusions far too often. While it is true that UI and UX curation is prominent in mobile app development, it doesn’t even begin to explain the terminology. This is why many business owners or site administrators forgo professional UI or UX optimization for a more DIY approach.

However, these elements can have game-changing effects on your website’s perception and first impressions. Studies have shown that 79% of people are ready to pack up and leave a website if their initial impressions are poor. After all, no website is alone in any given niche. Let’s take a look at several ways in which both UI and UX design principles can affect your site’s performance and relevance on the market.


Clearing the proverbial air

Implementing UI and UX into your existing (or future) website is all about understanding the groundwork. With that in mind, let’s talk about what each of these acronyms stands for on their own since they shouldn’t be mixed up.

UI stands for User Interface, or as some would like to say user interface “design”. It covers the literal, technical design of different quality of life aspects of your website, mobile app or any other digital medium. The most prominent UI elements are the navigation bar and its subsequent drop down menus and buttons. This is the most basic and fundamental description of what UI is and how it can be viewed.

UX on the other hand stands for User Experience, or also as user experience design. This process revolves around understanding your core demographic, what their needs are and how you can fulfill them. It leans on psychology, customer profiling and testing above all else, forgoing the literal design process.

While visuals do have their appeal, the UX element of a website usually takes the cake when it comes to boosting sales and popularity. Mixing well thought-out UX principles and high-quality UI elements does sound appealing. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some pivotal reasons as to why you should care about UI and UX in your website starting today.


1. It adds up to your SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) represents the lifeline of online businesses. If you don’t optimize your content per Google’s regulations, your traffic and revenue will suffer because of it. While it may sound drastic at first, Forbes published a convincing argument for SEO in digital content. It highlights the importance of having a lightweight website with as much accessibility and responsiveness as possible.

If this sounds exactly like UI and UX design to you, you are on the right track. Implementing smart, user-friendly UX solutions to your website will ensure that SEO flags your site as positive and ranks it adequately with search engines. This will result in a higher click-through rate and more new visitors each day.


2. Higher conversion rates

Conversion rate represents the percentage of people who stuck around with your website after their initial visit. More importantly, it highlights how many people “converted” into customers, subscribers and active participants. Usually, you will want your conversion rates to be as high as possible to ensure organic growth of your business and website over time. There is no better way to do this than by adding new UX principles to an already well-rounded UI.

For example, one of the best ways to spread your site’s influence globally is to offer different UI languages. Platforms such as The Word Point feature numerous options in regards to translation and localization which can elevate your site above the competition. Remember that your conversion rates represent the end-all metric in regards to your growth – don’t skimp on UI and UX innovations in this regard.


3. It helps your word of mouth

When a product or a service is well-designed, word of mouth spreads like wildfire. People like to talk about the things they love with their acquaintances and family members. In today’s digital age, this translates to social media sharing and liking of good content. By offering a professional user interface solution with user experience features that cater to your audience, you will have achieved just that.

There is no greater pleasure than to see your website’s landing page spread around through blogs and social media platforms without direct marketing. By focusing on your website’s UI and UX instead of advertisement, you will effectively communicate your customer-centric business model to the public.


4. High return on investment (ROI)

It’s true that web design and UX cost money, time and manpower – but so does traditional marketing. Recently, UX Planet published an article which disputes the notion of UX and UI costs being too high to be worth the trouble. In their article, they explained the idea of paid marketing and how it is a one-and-done deal with recurring costs.

When it comes to website design, iteration and development, costs are set in stone and don’t bloat over time. This is great news for small firms and startups with limited budgets, especially for those in competitive industries. By turning your attention to UX and UI innovation, you can forgo traditional paid ads for organic SEO and search engine traffic.


5. Communication and feedback is a given

There is always room for improvement in quality of life features and UX design. In this regard, user feedback and communication play huge roles. Mopinion published a piece about the benefits of feedback in ongoing UX development, touching on the points of costs and brand loyalty.

Your customers are the biggest and most important providers of feedback about usability, ease-of-access and overall accessibility of your website. When all is said and done, you are implementing UI and UX principles to your website for the betterment of the end-users’ experience. Make sure to give them a voice through surveys and live chats, and listen to what they have to say.


In summary

As you can see, the implication of UX and UI principles can make a huge difference in the long run. People want instant access and user-friendly features without the hassle of long load times or mandatory requests.

Do a website audit and see how your site performs currently before making any drastic changes to the formula. First impressions matter more than anything, so make sure to do what is best for your customers and let go of impractical features and design choices.

The Best Ways to Become a UX or Graphic Designer

Until recent decades, a quality design education was available only if you went to an accredited Design college, and even if you wanted to teach yourself Design, you’d have been relegated exclusively to textbooks and other written literature. If you were incredibly lucky, you might have known someone in the design industry who could take you under their wing and mentor you directly. Luckily, it’s 2017 and there are a near infinite number of options for learning design, whether you’re just starting your career or have been working for decades.

But with so many options for learning Design, from bootcamps to online courses to mentorship programs, how do you decide which option is the best fit for your personality and the most likely to lead to your dream career? We’ve put together a list of some of the main ways to learn design in 2017. We’ll rank each option by Price, Flexibility, Job Placement, and Speed. Follow along and you’ll be on your way to finding your perfect creative education! And if you want to find a mentor to be with you as you learn Design, check out this article on finding a design mentor or schedule a session with a RookieUp mentor anytime!

Pro-tip: We recently launched the ultimate short-term (and super affordable) mentorship-driven bootcamp to help you build an amazing design portfolio that will land you a job. Read about it and sign up right here!

If you want a formal education

A formal education at an accredited university is undeniably effective. Most Design schools have been building their curriculum, alumni networks, and job placement opportunities for decades. And since the creative world is in a constant state of flux, many of the top schools are great at updating their curriculum accordingly. You’ll also spend a ton time learning the fundamentals, which is more valuable than you might think.

That’s where a formal education really stands apart – unlike in bootcamps where you might spend a couple of weeks learning design fundamentals before jumping into applied skills, a formal Design education means you’ll spend years learning the fundamentals, which can really help to set you apart and ensure that you have a strong foundation by the time you start actually mastering the technical skills most modern designers have.

However, a formal education also has its downsides, particularly the cost and time investment required. If you’re trying to become a Designer on a budget and quickly, this likely isn’t the best option for you. Check out a list of the best design schools in the world here and the best schools in the US here.

Price: The most expensive option. If you go to a 4-year school, you’ll likely spend well over $100k before you graduate.

Flexibility: Fairly flexible. These schools have specific curriculums to ensure you learn the fundamentals, but once you start diving into your concentration, classes are more flexible.

Job Placement: Generally very strong. Huge alumni networks mean you’ll have access to a ton of accomplished professionals in the field even if you don’t have a job as soon as you graduate.

Speed: Slow! 4 years on average although some schools offer condensed programs


If you want to learn as quickly as possible and land a job ASAP

If you’re looking to make a big career move and you want to do so as quickly as possible, an intensive bootcamp might be the best bet for you. Bootcamps have surged in popularity in recent years and for good reason. They’re structured specifically for people who want to forgo a traditional education in favor of a condensed crash course in Design (amongst a number of other topics like Coding and Data Science) with the end goal of landing a job as soon as possible.

Bootcamps come in many shapes and sizes, but they generally last around 3-4 months and include 40+ hours of weekly instruction (either in-person or online), group assignments, weekly 1-on-1 mentor sessions, and great job placement programs. In fact, many bootcamps allow you to either pay upfront or take the course for free if you agree to give them a fixed % of your salary when you land your next job. This aligns the incentives of student and school so that they only get paid if you get a job.

If you live in a major city, an in-person bootcamp might be the best bet for you. Some of the larger schools are General Assembly and Shillington. If you prefer to learn online, there are also a ton of great options like Bloc and Springboard. Check out CourseReport for a full list of bootcamps available.

Pro-tip: One of the absolute best ways to quickly start building a UX bootcamp is the Interaction Design Get a UX Job Bootcamp, which is one of the most affordable and flexible on the market today!

Price: Most bootcamps will run you around $10-15k, condensed into 3 months

Flexibility: Not flexible. Bootcamps are designed to give you the basics of design concepts + exposure to technical design tools as quickly as possible. This means the curriculum is set and generally not flexible at all

Job Placement: Very strong. These programs pride themselves on amazing employer relations.

Speed: 3-4 months, with many people finding entry level Design jobs within a few months of graduating.


If you want a structured curriculum but don’t want to quit your job

Quitting your job to attend a bootcamp or full-time college isn’t realistic for most people, so it’s lucky there are so many other options out there at a fraction of the cost. These lighter-weight bootcamps and structured courses generally cost between $20-300 per month and provide you a set of lessons, videos, and projects, while also potentially giving you access to chat with mentors as you go.

General Assembly is one of the best options for those looking to learn design part-time on their own schedule. They pair you with a mentor periodically but you can take the courses at your own pace. Thinkful is another example that has a great Design program for people looking to learn at their own pace. Treehouse also offers a fantastic self-guided curriculum for aspiring designers at a very affordable price. Finally, Skillcrush offers fantastic Design career courses that help you quickly learn the skills you’ll need to become a designer.

Price: Very affordable, with most ranging from $20-300 per month

Flexibility: The curriculums are set, but you can work at your own pace. Since the courses are not too time intensive, you’ll also have plenty of time to supplement your learnings from other sources

Job Placement: N/A. At this level, you generally won’t have access to job placement programs so it’s up to you.

Speed: Several months, or however long you want to take with it!


If you want to learn at your own pace without a curriculum

Finally, if you prefer to learn at your own pace and totally by yourself, we’ve got good news — you can definitely become a designer without anyone holding your hand! It’s 2017 and there are thousands upon thousands of amazing resources online (either for free or for very cheap) to help you learn pretty much any creative skill you want to learn. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Coursera is one of the original MOOCs (or ‘massive open online course’), which take actual university courses and rebuild them in an online environment. Coursera and other MOOCs like EdX have a massive number of Design courses that are literally the same courses taught at major universities.
  • Skillshare and Udemy are two of our favorite e-learning marketplaces. Both offer thousands of design courses covering every possible topic taught by some of the most impressive designers in the field
  • YouTube is perhaps the deepest trove of resources available anywhere, and it’s all free! There are thousands of amazing teachers who produce millions videos designed for new and experienced designers. Check out this list for some suggestions on great design channels to follow.

If you’re going at your own pace, you likely won’t have much access to mentors, so it might be helpful to chat with an experienced designer at various stages of your education. We built RookieUp to be a flexible tool that you can use to chat with amazing Design mentors anytime you have questions Google can’t answer or want some feedback on your work!

Price: The most affordable option, from free to $20/month

Flexibility: 100% flexible based on whatever you want to learn

Job Placement: N/A. Again, you’ll have to do this part yourself

Speed: Totally up to you!


Hopefully now you have a good idea for the type of Design education that’s right for you! There are a near infinite number of options at your disposal to learn Design so the only limit is your imagination. So get out there and turn your dreams into a reality! If you’re looking to chat with a mentor at any point, either when you’re trying to decide which educational path is best for you or throughout your education, check out the community of mentors on RookieUp, where you can set up quick chats with creative professionals who can help you accomplish your goals, whatever they may be!