Magento 2 has completely overhauled the UI and UX. According to preliminary tests, Magento 2 is about 25% faster than 1.x versions. In version 2, approximately two thirds of the page loading time is taken up due to waiting for website assets to download and render the page and one thirds of the time is spent on forming the web page by the php server code.
Some of the Major changes to UI and UX include
The default theme “Luma” is responsive out of the box. Luma has also moved on from the traditional banner sliders to tiles to showcase featured offerings. Traditional banner sliders, though attractive at first glance, has negligible user interaction beyond the first couple of slides. Tiles on the other hand display features offerings in a tiled pattern, increasing user interaction.
It has introduced a new feature called “Visual Design Editor” meant to be a replacement for writing XML codes to design layouts. Using this Visual Design Editor, text blocks or image blocks can be dragged and dropped on pages, making designing layouts much easier and faster than using XML codes.
The visual design editor also a new feature called “Containers”. Developers, using the Visual Design Editor, can add Containers to Page layouts, which can contain other containers or groups of image or text blocks. Containers make moving groups of blocks simpler.
It has moved on from prototype.js to jQuery, keeping up with industry standards.
It has removed the “skin” folder and the files are now under “themes” folder. This type of system makes it easier for developers to understand the file system and enables them to control the themes better.
Emails templates are now responsive out of the box, enabling easier access to email notification on mobile devices.
The Checkout process is streamlined by eliminating the often confusing Checkout as Guest / Login / Create Account options.
Checkout is further simplified for registered users as the email id entered is checked against available customers and a password option appears for them to login and prefill the fields. This also reduces the number of JS calls required to calculate shipping rates.