2016: Website Design vs. UI/UX

After looking into Google Trends for some search terms, there have been some interesting results regarding Web Design and Development. Here is what we found…

Here are the Google Trends results for the search term “website design” from 2004 – present:

https://ssl.gstatic.com/trends_nrtr/1845_RC03/embed_loader.js trends.embed.renderExploreWidget("TIMESERIES", {"comparisonItem":[{"keyword":"website design","geo":"US","time":"2004-01-01 2019-07-18"}],"category":0,"property":""}, {"exploreQuery":"date=all&geo=US&q=website%20design","guestPath":"https://trends.google.com:443/trends/embed/"});

You can clearly see the steady decline in how often the search term “website design” is being used.

UI/UX is a “trendy” phrase among the web development community, in the last 10 years, or so. UI means “User Interface” and UX means “User Experience”. Now, let’s look at the Google Trends search history for the search term “user experience“:

https://ssl.gstatic.com/trends_nrtr/1845_RC03/embed_loader.js trends.embed.renderExploreWidget("TIMESERIES", {"comparisonItem":[{"keyword":"user experience","geo":"US","time":"2004-01-01 2019-07-18"}],"category":0,"property":""}, {"exploreQuery":"date=all&geo=US&q=user%20experience","guestPath":"https://trends.google.com:443/trends/embed/"});

Well, the difference between these two searches is quite clear, in how often they are used. Why is this? Isn’t “website design” and “user experience” essentially the same thing? Yes, and no.

Personally, I see the term “website design” as more directed towards the person doing the work. The designer. Your typical client doesn’t care that you know how to do “website design” using PHP and HTML5 with Node.js. Your potential client cares about the “user experience“. Is the site easy to navigate? Are the products they are selling easy to find? Is the type readable?

John Morris on YouTube, explains some of things you find when developing websites, as well as freelancing:

So, what does this all mean?

From a web developer stand-point, we think this highlights the difference of how to market your skills to your potential future clients and/or employer(s). As the web has been evolving, and getting into the hands of less technologically-inclined people, the terminology to describe things has become more focused on the end-user, rather than on the tech-savvy developer. With great platforms, boiler-plates, and frameworks that exist to build from; clients care less about “web design” and are more focused with the “user experience“.

This article doesn’t cover anything about developing for mobile apps or anything other than web development techniques. That’s for a whole other article. Which is another reason why the terms “web design” is declining and “user experience” is on a sharp and steady rise.

Stay tuned for more articles on #Technology and #Design on our Blog or on Twitter @RogerAbleDog.