UX / UI: Key differences that every designer should be aware of

UX (User Experience) and UI (User Interface) are 2 completely different concepts, but even those involved in the design industry are confused about the terminology, using the terms alternatively. In this article, we will define UX and UI, their differences as well as the responsibilities of each professional.

In recent decades, UX and UI design have become increasingly popular within the technology industry. UX and UI combined help solve a key issue: how can we make it easier for users to use a product with maximum ease? Let’s take a look at how these 2 terms differ as well as shape a project together.

What is UX design?

User experience is defined as the total experience of a user with the products or services of a company. Designing a positive user experience is determined by how easy or difficult it is to interact with every element or aspect of a product or service.

Is the user flow smooth and seamless or is it complicated and inconvenient? Does the color and position of the call to action button encourage users to click? Can the improvement of the content within a page increase the conversion rate? UX design is responsible for answering all of these questions.

UX design mainly includes research on possible market gaps and competition analysis. In addition to focusing on a deep understanding of buying behavior, UX also takes into account business objectives in order to create products that align with the overall vision of the company. UX best practices improve user interactions with products and services, in a way that the company desires.

UX always follows the company’s audience. By understanding the goals of the target audience, UX designers can make the right decisions in order to guide the user in the moves/clicks they wish to make.

What is UI design?

UI design focuses primarily on the layout  – how each element of the product is presented, including buttons, text, images, checkboxes, and any visual contact elements that users interact with.

While UX design determines how the interface works and how users interact with it, UI design creates the look and feel of the interface. UX is directed on conceptual aspects while UI focuses on the aesthetic aspects of a product – color palettes, button styles, graphics, typography, diagrams, and more.

Typically, UX designers conduct market research and analysis to find out about customer needs and desires before designing a product’s functionality. The role of UI designers is to be constantly informed about the graphic design trends that are evolving as customer preferences and behavior change over time.

Finally, in the age of multitasking where mobile devices are a given, responsive design is an integral part of UI design. UI designers optimize the interfaces for different devices so that the products are aimed at both desktop and mobile users. In short, instead of creating different versions for different devices, UI designers create a version that adapts content and elements to fit any screen size.

Main differences

Although they serve the same business purposes, UX and UI require different thought processes. UX design is based on the wishes and needs of an audience, while UI design is based on the research, suggestions, and requirements of the UX designer.

UX deliverables include survey results, wireframes, and prototypes while UI deliverables include mockups, sketches, layouts, and graphics. UX designers tend to approach the project strategically, while UI designers specialize in the visual side of things.

>>Essentially UX is a science and UI is an art form. If you wish to follow the UX or UI industry, it is important to understand their subtle differences and which role best suits your strengths.

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