There are a multitude of different screen sizes across phones, “phablets”, tablets, desktops, game consoles, TVs, even wearables. Screen sizes will always be changing, so it’s important that your site can adapt to any screen size, today or in the future. Responsive web design responds to the needs of the users and the devices they’re using in that the layout changes based on the size and capabilities of the device. This requires a different approach to how content is laid out on screen. If your existing website is not responsive – run, don’t walk to your friendly neighborhood web expert (there happens to be lots of them here at Envative).
User Interface (UI)
The goal of user interface design is to produce a user interface which makes it easy, efficient, and enjoyable to operate an app in the way which produces the desired result. This generally means that the user should be able to take minimal action to achieve the desired result. You will frequently see User Interface and User Experience lumped together (UI/UX) leading some people to believe they are one in the same. Not true at all.
User Experience (UX)
User experience (UX) focuses on having a deep understanding of users, what they need, what they value, their abilities, and also their limitations. It’s almost like taking User interface and adding Psychology to it. (“…and how did that make you feel?”) UX best practices will improve the quality of the user’s interaction with and perceptions of your product and any related services.
In simpler terms, UI is the saddle, the stirrups, and the reigns.
UX is the feeling you get being able to ride the horse, and rope your cattle.
When you commission the build of a new house, you would expect the architect to show you his plans. These initial plans will tell you how big each room is going to be, and how you would get from one room to the next. Forgoing this step could lead to real problems. Say you went ahead and built the house anyway, without any real plans. To call it a challenge would be an understatement. Imagine you were in the kitchen and simply can’t find the door to the living room! You know it should be here somewhere…
The pitfalls of any decision or rationale become reasonably clear as soon as a wireframe starts taking any real shape. This allows any rethinking, updates and fundamental structural changes to be made quickly and efficiently without having to undo any major design or programming work, saving time and expense during the “build” phase.