UI vs UX design: a case study

I played more than 1 year with my favourite iPad game, nonograms, when suddenly they changed it. I guess they improved the overall speed, it works with the apple score/game system (aka game center) and they took off a way to choose the game number to play.
It means I cannot go on, solving each and every puzzle, starting from #1 up to…

Just a little bit annoyed, I looked at the apple store to see if they had mentioned it, and while searching I found a similar titled game, nonogramix.

The freemium model was: 1)lite app with few levels, 2)pro app with all levels. Nice way, to try it, and then buy it.

The game mechanics, is basicly the same. Let’s say, EXACTLY the same.
But I felt in love with it immediately, and do you know why? Because design, User Interface (aka UI). I suggest you to try it, and see by yourself (disclosure: I am NOT selling it, I don’t know the game producers).

When I realized what was the reason, I felt once again, the POWER OF DESIGN, the unknown concept that these days became so important; did you notice that everyone put it on its own Cv (before was Problem Solving, now User Design/Experience)?

Book tips

I’m reading a very interesting book about Design for Dummies (like me, originally a coder), and I want to share the very first concept:

User Experience is just common sense; iterated

Let’s see than what is UI and UX for a copy similar game.

Check all my doodles...new 365 days project
Do you like these colors? Thanks to a new awesome app for iPad, that I’m trying on my new project: a journey of a guy who doesn’t know a fruck of painting

Comparison of UI aka User Interface

  • Old app, Nonograms: nice controls, simple, clean, few buttons, it does what you need. No more, no less.
  • New app, Nonogramix: very cute vintage icons, simple enough, clean enough, not so few buttons, it does what you need, and something more, an Automatic Smart feature that decides what kind of piece you need at the moment.

Comparison of UX aka User Experience

  • Old app, Nonograms: flawless, clear, simple. I start a game, play it, win it. No fuss, no excesses.
  • New app, Nonogramix: clear, looks-so-smart auto-feature, simple. I start a game, play it. And then I win it? Sometime I don’t know where is the issue, where I should take care, what to solve

Final considerations

I payed some money for the new app, but now I feel stupid. Why?
Let’s see all my the consumer steps:

  1. Happy customer of the Old App
  2. UX flaw after update – Unhappy customer of the Old App
  3. Look for a New App – Excited customer
  4. UX big mistake in the New App – Customer feels cheated, because all the UX features of the previous App are considered as given
  5. Unhappy customer because the Old App doesn’t have anymore a feature (choosing the level number to play), and because the New App doesn’t have a feature considered necessary (checking if the row/column is filled correctly)

At the end of the day, who can save or destroy your awesome app / idea / business is just the UX, the User Experience. How to improve it? Build a forum, ask customers’ feedback, play it by yourself.

I’m happy that now I know who’s making my days happier.
And you?

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