UI and UX Design – What’s the Difference?

Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

More and more frequently, you can hear people talking about UX and UI. Do you ever wonder, are everybody sure what are they discussing about? Is it clear what exactly is UX, and what UI? And more important – what’s the difference between UI and UX Design?

Don't mix UI and UX design

Don’t mix pineapples and oranges.

UI and UX Revealed

UX stands for “User Experience Design,” while UI refers to the term “User Interface Design.” Both are crucial for any project and work together for product success. But, UX and UI are entirely different, referring to separate parts or the design process.

User Experience Design is a human-first approach to designing products. The definition goes: “UX is the process of enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty by improving the usability, ease of use, and pleasure provided in the interaction between the customer and the product.”

UX is a bit complex term. It includes every different kind of touchpoint a user has with a product. That includes the whole technical part, branding, customer service, communication, pricing, availability and so on.

User Interface is what people interact with directly – everything they see, hear and touch inside some piece of software. UI highlight ease of use and pleasurability for the user.

UX designers job will be to design the user flows step by step. But, how will users know that they’ve been successful following those steps? That part of the job is on UI designer who will work on those interactions to make clear clues for users to navigate through product successfully.

So, UX designer will help users to accomplish meaningful tasks, and UI designer will make aesthetically pleasing interfaces that connect with humans.

UI and UX always in service of users

UI and UX are always watching on users.

The Difference Between UI and UX Design

Useful vs. Beautiful Interface

Some product will be useful if no other product on the market meets some specific need. UX Design is the process where user need is identified. The rough prototype will be built and confirmed through testing.

Once user flows are tested, UI designers need to make user flows aesthetically pleasing. They will implement visual parts that will serve as a guide to users – giving them clues what to do and when to do it to accomplish their goals. Colours, typography, and all other details need to be beautiful, but simple to use. Designer, forget about your personal preferences. Research user’s preferences instead because behind every choice must be a valid reason.

The result must be the best possible version of some product combining its features and details. Because, features will attract people to your product, but details will keep them there. UX and UI Designer work closely together, but we can observe UX designers as builders of features, and UI designers dedicated to details.

There are differences between UI and UX but their goal is the same.

Many differences, but the same goal.

Accomplishing Goals or Emotional Connections

People will come to your site with a goal. UX designers observe people that come to the site and find out what’s important to them, what is that they need. Ask questions, find out what people need, do the necessary testing and give people what they want.

Once you perfect this side, what remains is the personality of your interface which will elicit loyalty in your users. This kind of personal connection will make people stay on your web. Giving people positive emotion will turn them into loyal visitors.

UI for Interfaces, UX Across Products, Interfaces And Services

User experience is a term that is becoming more and more widespread. Today, not only companies that are present on the web recognize the need for proper UX and implement it in their products.

On the other side, UI is reserved only for user interfaces. But, this doesn’t mean that it is limited to mobile devices only. Interfaces can be found in many other products like watches, car dashboards, ticket kiosks and so on.

There is only one rule – while designing, keep your users in the centre of that process.

UI and UX are essential for project success

UI and UX work closely for product success.

Final Word

UI and UX Design are both essential for some product to be successful. There is not one without other. Well, there is, but…

We all can remember several examples where UX exist and work efficiently with poor UI, or otherwise. Think of all the products you know that are very difficult to use, but have a stunning design. Or the ones that have poor design, but using them feels very intuitive.

Just one is not enough for a complete picture. Imagine how much more successful and quality your product could be if strong in both fields, instead of only one? To make an excellent product, learn the principles of both UI and UX Design.

And remember, while designing, the only thing you need to keep in mind is your users.


Ana Lozančić

Ana is a content Marketing specialist and blogger. She graduated in Faculty of humanities and social sciences. She enjoys learning and applying knowledge about marketing and social media, covering latest trends and topics about software development subjects.

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