There are many terms being bandied about in the web/interactive design industry and they could be “UI” or “UX” but, really, it has always been there since web designing first came about. In the 90s, it was common to see websites with sidebars…
To us, the sidebar always robbed us of screen real estate to present information using the full panoramic width of the user’s browser. The same philosophy still applies to today’s websites, where unless a sidebar had a different layer of navigation; such as detailed product information on a product detail page, it will not add value to the visitor.
Since we started, Realisma always tried to start with the function of the website and then added layers of bells and whistles and aesthetic modifications to any site so that core function was always the foundation of the website experience and not the fancy floating navigation bar. (I hated those flash sites where navigation was a cryptic experience and a race against time in finding the information I needed before my laptop battery ran out!) It’s still the same today in 2014, we still start with what the business/marketing objectives are, be it to communicate business information or to attract a potential new customer, everything has to be designed around that core objective.
A UX designer aims to strike a balance between business needs and how the user interacts with each click. There is a logic to it as well as an art to it as core objectives vary from client for client. If there’s one thing we hope to see less of as we get more creative with our website designs is to use the constraints we have and to really take new perspectives in how users interact with the information we are trying to convey. Personally, it’s almost like developing a new syntax for a language that uses visual elements as well as user interaction and flow and like people, I believe every site should be unique in their representation but should not depart too far from established contemporary browsing standards.
True UX design understands business interactions and business representations that’s what clients are truly paying for to true design professionals. In the world of $5 DIY websites, only the savvy customers know when they experience something special and they do understand that there is a premium to be paid for true talent!