written by: Kwong Hiu Ching, Esther
In e-commerce era, user-interface (UI) and user-experience (UX) are of crucial importance in customer engagement. UI refers to visual design and layout on an app or website, while UX includes all aspects of user’s interaction on the app or website. It is found that a well-designed UI can double the website conversion rate, i.e. the percentage of leads collected over the total traffic to the website.  The implication that quality websites and apps can attract more customers and lead to sales growth in long term.
Navigation: Guiding customers with well-planned journey
UI design guides customers to navigate through the app/website. Customer will be satisfied if the site is quick, clear and easy to use. A pleasant browsing experience can make the purchase of product or service faster and easier.
Recent research found that over 60% of user-time is spent below the fold.  Most of the customers scroll down the page when they browse the app/website. UI designers can make use of this trend to design scrolling journey and improve navigation design in order to enhance customer engagement
Desirability: Grabbing customers’ attention in 0.05s
Customers judge an app or website in just 0.05s.  They form their first impression towards the site by its loading time, color, structure, spacing…etc. So UI design is of fundamental importance to appeal and retain customers by visual elements.
The typography trend for homepage is big, bold and stylish fonts. Customers can recognize the brand easily. Besides, a nice color scheme can cope with the brand impression and products. In color psychology, green is compelling for both women and men. Taking The Body Shop as an example, they are using this brand color as the website’s theme. This creates an organic, fresh impression which is coherent to their brand identity. It is proved that colors can sway over customers’ attitudes and emotions towards brands. 
UX Design: Encouraging customers interaction
Innovative experience design can ensure customer loyalty. The rise of Chatbots in mobile apps enable customer to communicate anytime, anywhere. This kind of conversational experience is reflective thus brands can cater for customers’ needs.
Another technology trend is augmented reality(AI). BMW launched its AR experience on their website to visualize different models and details. This gives an enticing user experience to their potential buyers.
How UI/ UX design optimizes customer engagement
Once the customers opened the app or website, the user interface is navigating them to discover desirable products/ services. With fine UX design behind pleasant UI layout, the interactions between customers and brand products are magnificently enhanced. And the impressions that customers take away from the interaction strengthened the engagement. Through better customer engagement, the website conversion rate will go up as well.
Yet UI/ UX design are the tools and tactics to present the products in the most user-friendly, pleasant way, they should never overtake the importance of the product per se.
All in all, UI/ UX design that blend well with a brand’s marketing mandates can boost customer engagement by making it easier for customers to get what they want.
 Why UI & UX Matter: A 2017 Guide
 3 Things UI/UX Designers Need to Know About Conversion Rate Optimization
 How quickly do you judge a website
 How to Use the Psychology of Color to Increase Website Conversions