Differences between UX and UI: The Impact on Software Development for BIM

The difference between UX Design (User Experience) and UI Design (User Interface) depends on the type of software company in which a designer works. And what priority the company has found for itself at this moment - for example, a simple, intuitive guide through a complex software solution.

Macro and Micro Perspective in Software Design

To explain the difference between UX Design and UI Design, it is best to think about the point of view of each area: a UX Designer outlines the general concept of how users' expectations of a system are met: Screen sequences, content structure, wireframes, user tasks, etc. The UI Designer, on the other hand, defines the surface details that are transformed from UX sketches into high fidelity designs: design systems, fonts, branding, micro-interactions, symbols, etc.

In general, the UX Professional solves a macrovision in design - while the UI Professional solves a microvision through detail to completion.

According to www.writingfordesigners.com

When UX and UI designers are required

The most important thing in differentiating roles in design is the alignment of the end result. In other words, what specific competencies are required for the design of a digital product. For example, in a design agency where several designers are working on a project, it makes sense to share roles and form teams with UX and UI designers.

On corporate websites and e-commerce sites that are built with predefined CMS templates - UX is already predefined here - UI Designers are ideal. They can help to improve conversion rates and brand awareness and create a clear mood in the interface.

In software development companies that have to continuously define a coherent product, it makes sense to commission a UX Designer right from the start of the project. Later, a UI designer can be commissioned to refine the appearance. Not all IT companies are yet aware of the importance of UX. They then expect designers to embellish a surface. First the UX concept and design should be worked out.

In start-ups, both roles are ideally assumed by the same person. This could be a UX designer who also has UI experience. Consequently, a scalable product interface is prepared. This will be refined later. For example, when business growth allows you to hire a specialized design team.

According to www.ngroup.com

Innovative approach to UX and UI within BIMsystems

At BIMsystems, we are committed to making digital products agile and user-centric. This means that we work with our customers and users to design solutions and present experiments that are tested and validated at an early stage. We can reuse or extend our interaction principles of the user interface to efficiently and precisely build a consistent user experience.

These are the common steps, the BIMsystems, when we start into a product cooperation:

  1. Workshop as a tool for designing future software solutions with the customer: When a new topic appears on our agenda, we first organize a workshop with our customers. In this way, we can identify their needs and expectations in a lean way. The aim is to describe a current problem. The problem describes difficulties in current work processes of process participants at BIM. The problem is then used to formulate a task to be solved by the software. This first step does not yet focus on the solution.

  2. Contextual research as a tool for understanding users: Once we have described a current problem with a customer, we interview the user - the final target group. This helps us to verify our customers' assumptions and understand first hand what the users' real needs are.

  3. The iteration of the prototype test: As soon as we have clearly defined problems - also known as requirements - to solve, we define priorities. In addition, we suggest ways to solve these problems in a minimal way. UX designers, product managers and development managers work together to develop low-fidelity prototypes. We use them to test our hypotheses in experiments with our users. By working in an interdisciplinary team, we guarantee approval from a technical, commercial and application-oriented point of view. In addition, we reduce the amount of documentation required to communicate design decisions for later development.

  4. Efficiency in high fidelity through the use of a design system: Successful usability experiments are quickly translated into development by presenting the most important decisions and some exemplary high fidelity screens. It is not necessary for us to already produce highly detailed prototypes because we use a common language of UI components between design and development: a design system.

Process in UX and UI at BIMsystems

Our conclusion? A good concept at project start is worthwhile!

For us at BIMsystems it is important to react quickly and adequately to market expectations. In the video "The ROI of User Experience" Susan Weinschenk explains why many development projects fail. 3 out of 12 reasons for failure are poorly defined requirements that are directly introduced into development and then fail as a product.

Through an agile concept and development process, in which UX and UI play important roles, BIMsystems continuously develops our system solutions further. In the complex project structure of the construction industry, one thing is most important: an intuitive tool that provides an overview and control over the project.

The idea is to invest in UX's efforts and make sure that we define well what we are going to develop before implementation begins. We also need to determine the right speed and frequency for implementation. Because the goal is to disrupt the market with the best solution - with happy customers!

We disrupt the disrupters!







Eliana Corredor | Senior UX/UI Designer at BIMsystems


Eliana Corredor

Senior UX/UI Designer at BIMsystems

Simply said, she makes our BIM solutions intuitive to use - and gives the software solution an attractive design. To achieve this, she works closely with our customers. It conducts user research tests. Together with customers and partners, she develops new concepts in workshops. From this, Eliana draws approaches for new functions and applications in the BMS.

Eliana gives everything for the ideal user guidance in the BMS.

BIMsystems GmbH
Am Fruchtkasten 3
D-70173 Stuttgart

T +49 711 400 460 00
F +49 711 400 460 59

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© BIMsystems GmbH, 2019