When it comes to designing a website, digital product, interface, or app, it’s important focus on the UX design as well as the UI design. Often the UI gets more attention because it’s clearly visible to the designer. However, the UI is only one part of the overall user experience (UX) design process. So how do you go about making sure that both designs work together as one? 

Begin the Design with UI but Understand the Greater Goal 

At the end of the day the user experience is what gets the user to get value out of the product and continue using it. While designing the product often starts with the UI, it has to be aligned with the greater goal of meeting the UX objective. This may feel like a hindrance to the design of the UI but that’s not true. 

You have to approach the UI project as a reiterative process. The designer should feel free to create a UI suitable for the product. But at every major checkpoint, he should step back and question if the design supports the greater goal. Does any aspect of the UI hurt the user experience? For example, can the design be improved so that user journeys are more easily realized? 

Even after the UI is completed, the designer should try to look at the UI from a bird’s eye perspective. The designer needs to look for potential problems, design inconsistencies, and improvements that can be made in relation to the greater goal. 

Start the Project with Wireframe Layout and Mockup 

Everything becomes easier when some kind of consistency is established, and the best time to do it is in the beginning. Creating a layout and mockup that both designers/teams can agree with is essential to a productive project. It serves as a skeletal framework that both disciplines will be made to design on and around. 

Sure, things will change down the line. The layout and mockup may need to be changed to fit the purpose of the product. However, you need to establish this framework so that everyone starts at the same page. Again, UI/UX design is often a process that requires constant revisiting anyway. 

Create a Style Guideline to Stay Focused 

If there are two designers or teams (one for UX, one for UI) working on a project, both of them should create a style guideline to abide by. This should include everything from the colors, typography, templates, graphics, logos, shapes, branding, and any other design elements that should be associated with the project. There should also be set rules, guidelines, and goals set for the design. 

There will be a lot of problems and arguments that will arise if everybody isn’t on the same page. Imagine the UI team creating a design that is inconsistent with the design the UX team has created. This would hinder the progression of the project resulting in time and money wasted all across the board. And it’s all because nobody bothered to come together to establish strong and clean guidelines. 

Create a Collaborative Atmosphere 

The key to making UI and UX work together is to create a collaborative atmosphere. Create channels of communication where designers from both disciples can check in with each other at any moment. It starts by establishing roles for each designer on the team as well as providing both teams a list of contacts and their respective roles. 

Collaboration platforms like Basecamp are great for creating this atmosphere. They offer user pathways that allow users to be work and connect with each other on a single platform. These platforms also enhance productivity because of the alert systems, instant chat, messaging systems, file storage options, to-do lists, and other features. Everybody stays connected and is on page with what needs to be done. 

To sum up, it’s hard for UI and UX design to work together without a strong effort made to bring it together. If a single designer is to work on both aspects, it would be a far simpler project. But in many cases, companies may have to work with different designers and teams. If that fits your situation, you’ll find immense value out of following the tips laid out in this article.