You must have heard about UX and UI if you have a business or work in the digital space. However, most don’t even know what a UX or UI designer does and whether they are the same.
UI or user interface refers to screens, buttons, toggles, icons, and other visual elements that people use to interact with apps and websites.
In contrast, UX or user experience defines the entire user interaction with the app, site, or device. While UX UI is interrelated, both sets of designers require unique skill sets that set them apart. Hi, I am Shovon Joarder.
I am a digital marketing consultant who has been working in the digital space for almost a decade. My specialty is providing high-end digital solutions to companies and agencies who need them.
While working with businesses new to the digital landscape, I often ask, “are UX and UI the same thing?” Well, the simple answer is no.
But there’s more to it, so I decided to address these questions and write about what they are, their similarities, and the differences between UX and UI. So, without any further delay, let’s check them out!
What Is UI?
The user interface is anything a user interacts with when using an app, a site, or a digital device. So everything from screens and touchscreens, keyboards, sounds, and lights to anything people interact with.
When computers first came into the world, there was no graphical interface like today. In the 1970s, people used computers through the command line interface.
That meant people needed to know programming languages and seemingly write several lines of code for simple commands. Then in the 1980s, Xerox PARC developed the first graphical user interface or GUI.
GUIs were a breakthrough discovery in the world of computers as they allowed users to put in commands using icons, buttons, menus, and checkboxes.
It kickstarted the personal computer revolution. Since then, the world has seen the user interface sector grow increasingly into one of the cornerstones of the digital landscape you see today.
As time passed, the role of a user interface designer changed with systems, preferences, expectations, and accessibility to devices increased.
Nowadays, you will find UI designers working on everything from computer interfaces, mobile phones, and augmented and virtual reality to screenless interfaces like voice, gesture, and light.
As long as we depend on computers daily, UI designers will play a vital role in how we experience devices, digital products, and services.
What Is UX?
Cognitive scientist Don Norman coined the term user experience in the 1990s when he worked with Apple. He described it as “encompassing all aspects of the end-users interaction with the company, its services, and its products.” The definition is an umbrella term that covers every possible interaction a user has with any product or service.
It isn’t limited to digital products and services. Some UX professionals even go as far as to call the sector customer service, while some call it experience design.
Whatever you call it, Don Norman’s original definition is valid for all. It is the experience of the human being that it’s interacting with.
Peter Morville of Semantic Studios created a honeycomb visual with elements that make for a great user experience. According to him, a great user experience design is:
These traits have become the foundation for best practices for UX professionals worldwide. UX designers use these points to answer questions and measure their efforts across multiple design touchpoints:
- How will users discover the product?
- The series of actions the user will take when interacting with the interface.
- The user might think and feel when interacting with the interface to achieve their goal.
- What the user takeaway is when interacting with the interface?
The job of a UX designer is to ensure a seamless journey for users to their desired outcomes. They work closely with UI designers, UX researchers, marketers, and product teams to ensure they understand the company, the product, and the users through research and experimentation.
User experience designers continuously look to improve the overall experience using quantitative and qualitative user research insights.
What Do UX And UI Designers Do?
A UX designer and a UI designer are involved in the product development lifecycle. They are an essential cog in the business representation machine. Let’s check out what they both do and their skills to better understand their work and what sets them apart!
What Does A UX Designer Do?
A UX designer sets out on their task to make a product functional, accessible, and enjoyable. They have a wide range of functions and responsibilities to achieve their goals. Here are some of the most common things that a UX designer does daily:
- They are responsible for conducting user research to determine the target audience’s goals, needs, behaviors, and pain points regarding specific product interactions.
- They are the ones who identify and create user personas based on target audience data.
- They create user journey maps using data on how users interact with products and services.
- They are responsible for creating wireframes and prototypes to flesh out what the final product will look like.
- They will conduct user tests to identify problems and validate design decisions.
- Their work involves collaborating with stakeholders, UI designers, and developers.
What Does A UI Designer Do?
UI designers work on the graphical side of things. They work on creating visual elements for mobile apps, websites, and devices in that people interact. Unlike UX designers who are a part of any product or service, UI designers are strictly for digital products.
Their job is to ensure that the digital platform for a product or service is visually interactive, engaging, and easy to navigate. Here is a list of tasks and responsibilities of UI designers:
- They organize page layouts.
- They are responsible for choosing color palettes and fonts.
- They are responsible for designing and creating visual elements like scrollers, buttons, toggles, drop-down menus, and text fields.
- They create high-fidelity wireframes and layouts to ensure the validity of the product design.
- They work closely with web developers who bring the design into a working product.
What Skills Do UX And UI Designers Have?
UX and UI designers have similarities in roles and skill sets, but there are also differences. They are two different jobs with varied responsibilities. Here is a table of skills that UX and UI designers have:
|UX Designer Skills||UI Designer Skills||UX & UI Designer Skills|
|Product Strategy||Color Theory||Empathy|
|Information Architecture||Design Patterns||Design Thinking|
|Testing & Iteration||Interactivity & Animation||Prototyping|
Who Are UX/UI Designers?
When you look up hiring sites and service providers, you will see people offering UX/UI design and not just one of them. So what are UX/UI design services? Well, it’s nothing special, just a bit of advertising.
However, UX/UI designers are usually UI designers. So instead of looking at the title, check out what they can do and cross-check them with your requirements to determine if they are the right option for your project.
What’s The Difference Between UX And UI?
When developing a product to make it good, you will need both good UI and good UX. For example, for creating an app, you will need intuitive navigation, which is UI but making it load fast and ensuring users can reach the end goal with minimum clicks is part of UX.
Ensuring both UX and UI elements is the only way to guarantee set your product up for success. Here is a table detailing what UX and UI designers are responsible for and how they differ:
UX VS. UI: The Key Differences
|UX Designer||UI Designer|
|Designs interactions||Visual designer|
|Creates user pathways||Chooses colors and fonts|
|Plans the information architecture||Plans for visual aesthetics|
|Experts in wireframes, prototypes, and research||Experts in creating mockups, graphics, and layouts|
UX Ui Is Vital To Making Your Business A Success
So there you go, those are the differences between a UX and UI designer. As you can see, both jobs are essential in making a product successful. You should achieve your goals as long as your UX UI user flow is up to standard.
You can check out my guide on choosing the right web designer and developer in my blog if you are having trouble finding a designer. Also, if you have any other questions about UX Ui, you can reach out to me or hit me on my socials.
You can drop your questions in the comments below, and I will answer them all for you. And with that being said, that’s about all I have on the differences between UX UI. I will come back with something new about the ever-changing internet and how it works soon. Until then, see ya!