UX vs. UI: what’s the difference?
UI design

Published on January 5, 2022

UX vs. UI: what’s the difference?

It's typical for people to confuse the terms user experience (UX) and user interface (UI). Many of us wonder what the distinction is between UX and UI. If you are one of those people, this article is for you. Today, we will help you grasp the differences and become more familiar with UX and UI.

There are a few well-known controversies in the world of design that never seem to be resolved. One of them is about the distinction between user experience and user interface. 

While there are various parallels that show how these two design aspects interact, finding a definitive answer has been difficult. But that’s what this article is about. So let’s get to it.

What is UX?

User experience (UX) is a human-centred approach to product design. In the late 1990s, the phrase “user experience” was coined by co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group Design Consultancy – Don Norman.

“User experience encompasses all aspects of the end-users interaction with the company, its services, and its products ” (Don Norman).

The user’s encounter with a product or service is known as the user experience. The ultimate goal of UX design is to give consumers experiences that are simple, efficient, relevant, and entertaining.

The process entails the creation, improvement, and maintenance of high-quality interactions between a user and all aspects of a firm. UX design improves a user’s overall impression of a company’s products or services.

The role of the UX designer

Many businesses have recently learned that good design may provide them with a competitive advantage, and they are ready to invest large resources in producing a positive user experience. As a result, the position of user experience designer has emerged, and it is now in high demand.

In simple words, UX design is the process of developing things with the user in mind. A user experience (UX) designer thinks what the user thinks and feels. UX design is a discipline in which designers can work on a variety of product development projects, including product research, ideation, prototyping, and testing. They also perform task analysis and observe users in order to see how they complete tasks in a user flow.

The following are typical responsibilities of a UX designer:

Understanding the users

The purpose of UX design is to understand the target audience, their wants and needs, therefore it usually begins with considerable research. Empathy is an important ability for UX designers to have. It assists them in comprehending and uncovering the hidden behavioral patterns and emotions of the people for whom they are designing.

Putting together a design approach 

Understanding the aim of a product and outlining a logical route is all part of the design approach.

Examining the interaction design

UX designers study how people interact with things, including their interaction habits, personal preferences, and UI shortcuts. All of the information is put to good use to come up with superior design solutions.

Prototyping and testing

To pitch their ideas to the team, and organize a more effective design cycle, the UX design process tends to include a prototype stage. But just creating one is not enough. A UX designer needs to make sure that their prototype is user-friendly and lacks usability issues before handing it out to the developers. 

Therefore, Prototype Testing is crucial. It allows you to not only create a visually pleasing product but also make it easy to use. 

UX design

What is UI?

User interface (UI) is the visual, aesthetic aspect of UX. The UI design method enhances the layout of each aspect of the product that customers interact with, such as buttons, text, images, and other visual interface elements. User interface design is the complement of user experience, which is a collection of tasks aimed at optimizing a product for successful and joyful usage. 

It includes the look and feel, presentation, and interactivity of a product. 

User interface design, unlike UX, is a fully digital concept. 

The role of the UI designer

The role of user interface designers is mainly focused on the visual display of data. To create interfaces that have a good appearance and feel. UI designers need to have graphic design, visual design, and branding design skills. 

The user flow and wireframes for individual screens/pages generated by UX designers (skeleton of design) are usually turned into something aesthetically pleasant by UI designers (dressing-up the skeleton).

The following are typical responsibilities of a UI designer:

Analysis of the competition

They must be able to study and undertake competitive analyses of products and visual design decisions.

Taking care of the details

A UI designer adds visual and interactive aspects to a design.

Ul designers work on the product’s appearance and feel, which includes colors, texture, shape, and form.

Communication 

UI designers usually collaborate closely with UX designers and engineering teams. Technical feasibility necessitates communication skills (whether the team can implement the design).

So, what is the difference between UX and UI?

Imagine the human body. The bones reflect the coding that gives a product structure. The organs symbolize UX design: assessing and optimizing input for life support tasks. And UI design embodies the body’s cosmetics, including its display, senses, and reactions. 

Do you get the point? 

If not, here’s another excellent way to describe the difference: The visual components via which people interact with a product are referred to as UI, whilst the user’s experience with the product or service is referred to as UX. As a result, whereas UI is concerned with visual interface components like fonts, colors, and menu bars, UX is concerned with the user and their journey through the product.

What now?

Well, by now, you should be aware of the subtle variations between UI and UX design. At least we hope you are after reading this article. Yes, UX and UI complement one another, but they are very distinct as you could see so far. If you are interested in UX, we are here to help. Check out our blog for other interesting articles related to the topic. Or get right into it and try UXtweak and all of our UX research tools for free.

Tereza Stehlíková
January 5, 2022
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Marketing & Sales Assistant at UXtweak who likes to discover the charm of UX and travel around the world.

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