The Differences Between User Experience and Visual Design

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The Differences Between User Experience and Visual Design

May 07, 2013 · Posted by Lee F.

So many entrepreneurs and executives, including those in the healthcare industry, mistakenly view user experience (UX) and visual design as one and the same. They’re not. It’s a common theme we run into often when developing web and mobile app for our clients.

I authored an article for Healthcare IT News on this topic to help shed some light on the differences, and why they’re important.

An attractively designed user interface alone does not automatically lead to end user adoption. End users who find an application cumbersome to use or information too difficult to find, for instance, simply will not use it, no matter how pretty it is. Before deploying technology, it’s important for executives understand the fundamental differences between these two components of design.

UX and visual design each play a different, but meaningful, role in healthcare technology development. Visual design drives the end user’s initial impression of a technology with components such as color, font, photography and graphical styling. Visual design also conveys the organization’s brand identity and—when executed well—creates a consistent image. UX design, on the other hand, encompasses interaction design, layout of elements, choice of design patterns, and flow through the application. Although an application’s visual appeal contributes a great deal to overall user perception, it is important to recognize that both visual design and UX design are necessary components of high-quality technology development.

In order to protect technology investments, healthcare executives should understand the difference between UX design and visual design. Then, to ensure adoption, deploy technologies that incorporate elements of the both.

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