We are back with another blog post on Discord vs. AirSend Design Edition. We recently wrote about Discord vs. AirSend Community Edition, which you can read about by clicking here. In this blog post, we are going to get a little bit technical on UI and UX capability on both community platforms. After all, when choosing the ideal chat/group software, two of the most important decision factors are UI and UX. 

Without further ado, let’s talk Discord vs. AirSend: Design Edition.

UI Design

UI is the design and visual appeal of a product, basically the user interface. Additionally, UI is used for branding, planning/creating product layouts (wireframes), typography, and visual design. You know when people say, “appearance is everything,” or “first impressions are the most important”? Well, it’s true. When deciding on a product to use, the first thing we notice is visual design. What and where are the layouts, the color chosen, the font, size, and color of texts, and even graphics.

More often than not, when a product does not catch our eye, we are less inclined to use it. Now that we have given an idea of what UI design is like, let’s take a look at Discord and AirSend.

Discord

Based on the first appearance, we can see that Discord’s UI is incredibly busy looking. On the right-hand panel, you can see a list of the members, moderators, patrons, and creators of the server, all in different colors.

Alternatively, on the far left side of the panel, there is a list of servers. Next to the panel of servers is another panel; which are the customized channels created for the specified server. There are also voice channels. In the middle is the conversation space. 

The great thing about Discord’s UI is that it is organized. However, having the layout super organized, leaves the product to feel and look a bit overwhelming to some users.

Additionally, servers that have a lot of channels with an amazing amount of notifications to them can appear exhausting to look at or even exhausting to check.

Finally, with servers that have over 200+ members, the conversation medium can appear daunting. This is especially true when you have multiple people chatting simultaneously on several channels. 

AirSend

With AirSend’s UI design, users can immediately see that it is a cleaner look. There is not so much clutter compared to Discord. Instead of showing members on the right-side panel like Discord, AirSend has built-in functions. These functions are Actions, Files, and Wiki. We will explain those features in the UX section of this blog. On the left side panel, are channels. In the center is the conversation space.

Remember that the basic layout of Discord is the server, channels, and conversation space. AirSend eliminates the complexity that Discord presents by creating a simplistic layout. Instead of having three steps to getting to the conversation space, AirSend has two. Channel to conversation space. Having a simplistic UI allows for increased focus. 

Think about it. With AirSend, users can easily shift their focus from one context to another. The context representing the channels. With Discord, most users have a harder time focusing because for one the UI is busy, and secondly, it takes quite a few clicks to get to the designated conversation space. 

While both platforms are arguably designed for productivity, it all really comes down to what design you look for that can guarantee maximized productivity. Let’s get into usability.

UX Capabilities

UX short for user experience is a person’s emotions and attitudes about using a particular product or service. A person’s emotions and attitudes are influenced by the functionalities and capabilities of a product or service. Hence a cycle of user experience. It is also important to note that there are some attributes that make UX a success. Those are:

  • Valuable
  • Usable
  • Useful
  • Findable
  • Credible
  • Desirable
  • Accessible 

Usually having a product that carries these attributes are what defines a product successful. Let’s get into the comparison

Discord

Let’s get to the bottom line of Discord’s UX.  With Discord, you can, 

  • Pin messages
  • Hide members list
  • Tagging 
  • Mute notifications
  • Create invites if the creator of the server gave permission
  • Assign roles to everyone in the channel 
  • Create bots

In summation, Discord has a lot of capabilities and functions. Discord is ideally targeted to the gaming community, so having a complex design with access to code, create bots, assign roles, etc, is really helpful. But sometimes not all features are findable. I use Discord quite often, and until recently, I had no idea you could organize your servers with other servers.

As far as the desirable aspect, there are some things I personally still desire. Like, read receipts. Discord has no read receipts, so you don’t know when a community member, or a coworker, reads your message. Discord is definitely useful to a certain extent. The gaming extent. As far as usability, Discord can appear overwhelming at times, and still finding out new features after three years of using the software can be surprising. 

AirSend

So the golden egg with AirSend is that everything is located in one space. AirSend lets you seamlessly switch between channels, with a ready mind to focus. You can assign tasks to anyone who is in the channel, easily switch to organizing files, and working with others to creating a collaborative shared workspace.

There is also a public link feature for creating intimate groups of shared interests. Finally, there are customizable features to AirSend, such as uploading a channel background (great for branding) and uploading a channel logo. 

Results

AirSend and Discord are both wonderful products. AirSend exceeds Discord in terms of productivity. Discord exceeds AirSend in terms of community.

But, the bottom line is that UI and UX go hand-in-hand. Yes, there are specific attributes that make UI and UX  succeed in their own way, but without having the other element, it will become difficult for the product to succeed.