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11 April 2023 - 6 minutes

The Role of UX/UI in Web Development

How does UX/UI design complement web development in project creation?

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Creating websites and apps is an elaborate process for web developers, but it’s not a solo job: designers are also needed to create user-friendly interfaces that help the user find what they’re looking for. 

What is Web Development?

Web development is as simple as it sounds: using and writing code to develop a website; however, when you break it down further, the intricacies are very complex and can be broken down into three types of development: front-end, back-end, and full stack development.

Front end development

Front end is the part of the website with which the user directly interacts, also referred to as the client side. It includes several types of coding: HTML, CSS, Java, and Bootstrap.

Back end development

Although users don’t see or interact with the back end of a website, it’s still extremely important; this server side is where data is stored and arranged. Some important coding languages for this type include PHP, Java, and Python.

Full stack development

Combining both front end and back end development, full stack development requires the programmer to be fluent in front end and back end languages, allowing them to work with multiple frameworks.

What is UX/UI Design?

UX/UI design are two very important yet separate parts of a whole when it comes time to create both websites and applications. 

UX design

UX design is all about the user’s experience and focuses on conducting research and surveys on user satisfaction and optimizing accessibility and functionality. UX designers also develop wireframes and prototypes that provide a framework and form so that the app or website flows and is easy to use and intuitive.

UI design

UI design, or user interface design, zeroes in on the design aspect in terms of what visually appeals to the user; the color scheme, page layout, fonts, and interactive elements like buttons are all key aspects that the UI designer creates. 

What Responsibilities do UX/UI Designers Have?

Both UX and UI designers are responsible for a large portion of the final product since they oversee the complete user experience of the app or website. What do these include? Let’s see:

  • Conducting user research 

  • Creating user personas and user journey maps

  • Building wireframes and prototypes for the final product

  • Deciding and designing the overall page layout, color schemes, fonts, and interactive elements

  • Coordinating with the other designers and web developers

How do UX/UI Design and Web Development Differ?

Here’s how they differ: web developers need to know how to write usable and practical code for their projects; UX/UI designers focus on providing the user with the best experience possible. UX designers create the essence of what the user will experience and UI designers focus on all the design elements, guiding and supporting each other. 

How do Web Developers and UX/UI Designers Work Together?

The process that they use to carry out a project from beginning to end looks like this:

  1. The initial stages: when a new product comes out and the team begins their coordination, UX/UI designers are responsible for brainstorming and introducing their ideas and approaches. While letting their creative and analytic juices flow, web developers have a much more technical job; they must determine the feasibility of the project, depending on UX designers’ proposed specifications and the project’s development process. Realism and idealism come together to create the final product. 

  2. Conducting user research: strong communication between web developers and UX designers is key for creating a functional and user-friendly project. 

UX designers:

  • Collect data concerned with what users think, want, and need

  • Conduct surveys, questionnaires, focus groups, and in-person interviews

Web developers:

  • Assist in coming up with questions they deem important

  • Suggest certain questions for research since they know what features will appear

3. Sharing and editing (then editing again!): once the UX design team has completed their research, they share it with the web development team, and together collaborate to hone in on the requirements for their MVP, or Minimum Viable Product. Once that is established, they take on the following: 

  • UX/UI designers sketching the wireframe and making design choices

  • Web developers evaluating the feasibility of the proposed designs

To move forward, the web development team: 

  • Corrects and goes through several trials with the wireframes in order to ensure that they are feasible from a technical standpoint

  • Provides any feedback on the designs that are practical and maintain a high-quality experience for the user

After further development and communication, basic wireframes become prototypes that lead to a final design.

4. More testing: now that the project has taken shape, it’s time for the UX designers to collect more data and coordinate with users again.

This phase of research:

  • Leverages user testing to inform the UX design team of any required changes 

  • Helps UX designers determine what web developers need to do to improve the code based on user experience testing feedback

Meanwhile, web developers:

  • Stay up to date on the project

  • Use feedback to improve 

  • Determine the technical viability of any necessary adjustments from the UX/UI design team

This loop of feedback guarantees the continued success of the project.

5. The final design: We are almost ready to deliver a finalized design! The UI designer is now responsible for designing the final version of the app or website given that the user experience flow is almost ready. In the meantime, the web development team will wait for the UI designers to submit and hand off their fully updated and finalized design. We’re not done yet: some important questions come into play:

  • Are both the UI designers and the web developers using the same software?

  • Would a collaborative tool be helpful for the design to development handoff?

  • Is there a definitive description of the different elements of the overall design to which the developers can refer?

  • Are all designs feasible for the final product?

To finish off the handoff process, they both have to be up to speed and ensure that they’re on the same page; web developers have to communicate their requirements for finalizing the project and UI designers should hand off their designs, meeting the web developers’ requirements.

6. Implementation: It’s implementation time and although the project has entered its final phase, there are still some problems that may arise and all teams need to be ready to tackle them. It’s possible that some of the UX/UI designers’ proposed creations may not function properly and could need tweaking after users interact with the project and provide feedback. Web developers will need to modify sections and depend on the design team’s assistance to ensure that the user’s experience remains excellent. 

Coordination and communication between these two teams are essential to delivering a high-quality finalized product; trusting and prioritizing the input of the other team is crucial. Web development takes the role of writing the code and maintaining a grounded perspective of the project; UX/UI design creates and leverages research to continuously build an improved, user-friendly, and intuitive final product. 

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