User Interface Design is the look and feel. It is the interaction layer between the user and the application, and in many cases, it concerns the interaction of a variety of users.
Working on the user interface early on in the product development life cycle is vital because as far as the customer is concerned, the interface is the product.
The user sees and interacts with the user interface, not the underlying back-end architecture of your application.
Start by designing the interface first and then code the back-end that powers it, rather than building the back-end first and placing a wrapper over the top.
User Centered Design is the discipline of collecting and analysing User Requirements.
User Requirements are the functions that the application should be able to perform from the perspective of the user.
Early Focus on Users and Tasks, A/B Testing to Refine the Application and Iterate, Iterate, Iterate.
Understand the Product Domain, Profiles / Personas and Scenarios.
It is important to recruit participants that are similar to the profiles discovered from earlier field studies.
This way you will be testing the correct type of user.
A prioritised list of user requirements to be acted upon and discussed.
UX = UI +UCD
These methods should be employed at every stage of the application life cycle...
- Card Sorting
- Group Task Analysis
- Wants and Needs
- Focus Groups
- Field Studies
Only when you combine both UI and UCD do you achieve good results in the UX.