Hardware is likely the first thing you lay your eyes on with electronic products. So, it’s no surprise that it’s a vital component in shaping both user experience and user interface. On the topic of UX design, usability, accessibility, and enjoyment aren’t limited to a product’s software. It’s hardware has just as big of a part to play.
Better Hardware, Better UX/UI
UX and UI are the parameters that gauge a product’s operational efficiency and aesthetic design. In this regard, simply functioning isn’t enough. A fully optimized product should also be easy and even enjoyable to use. And here are three ways good hardware design improves UX and UI
1. They’re easier to navigate
There’s a lot of thought that goes into creating a piece of hardware – from choosing materials to the measurements, all the way to button placement. They need to come together perfectly to work alongside the software and to make for an optimal user experience. The more these elements jive, the easier a product will be to operate.
2. They make their users feel good
But like we said, simply functioning isn’t enough. A product must also be enjoyable to use. Luckily, with meticulously crafted hardware components, this should be easy as well. Something as simple as a good quality speaker on a smartphone can lend to an enjoyable jam session for the user – and that’s an example of good UX.
3. They improve a brand’s client retention
Creating high-quality products is a great way to retain customers. You’re providing a unique and enjoyable experience to your clients, and that’s an incentive for them to buy from you again. So, it’s no exaggeration to say that UX is central to driving sales.
Let’s start with one of the most vital hardware components in modern technology: the PCB. But exactly what is a PCB? A printed circuit board is a mechanical structure that integrates components and conductors in an electrical circuit. Its elements are organized onto a virtual board where its dimensions are specified. The PCB is then printed and used as a fundamental element in a myriad of electronics, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops. See that tiny board that’s inside your phone? That’s its core component. PCBs are now much thinner to make way for sleeker, lighter gadgets and how they’re built is surely going to affect how a device feels in the palm of your hand. On top of any PCB, an integrated circuit is usually soldered and programmed to transfer data between various components of the PCB (if interested, know all about IC programming here). So, manufacturers must make use of quality PCBs, to ensure that their products are fully optimized for UX and UI.
But moving on to a more specific hardware specification, consider a device’s screen display. Phone screens, in particular, have been improving in recent years. Now, there are many different types of phone displays, all boasting super AMOLED screens and retina displays. Each has its own methods of projecting content onto the screen. Some have features that reduce the strain on the user’s eyes or make images much easier to see. But the rule of thumb is this: the better the screen quality, the better the UX and UI. The same goes for all other hardware specifications.
Given everything that’s been discussed, it’s clear that hardware is a vital consideration when optimizing UX and UI. Pairing that knowledge with your data on consumer expectations can give you insight into the kind of product your target market is looking for. Because by marketing a quality product that your customers want, the better you can drive sales up.