“What do you do?”
“I’m a designer”
“UI or UX?”
Guessed it? Yeah you probably have because our title… duh. Well the UI-vs-UX is one of the greatest tech debates. Fresh designers often get confused between them because the term “Designer” is very broad and vague and doesn’t giveaway much. Learning the difference between these two will be beneficial for you if you are planning to become a web designer. Starting with the acronyms, UX means User-Experience while UI stands for User-Interface. The abbreviations tell us a lot about the differences between UI and UX but we’ll explain them to you anyway. Imagine you have a bowl of noodles and a spoon on your table. The touch feel and accessibility of that spoon while you eat is UX and the looks of it is the UI. Let’s decode them one by one.
Usually being considered as the “conventional” web design practice, User Interface often gets misinterpreted. UI basically focuses on enhancing the presentation, outlook and interactivity of a product. It is often confused by the industries that employ UX Designers. Unlike UX, UI is strictly for the digital media. If you are a UI designer you will be dealing with all sorts of graphic designs, themes, layouts and sometimes branding design and front-end development. Interactive styling and elements like drop down menus, form fields, clickable elements, animations, button styling and more are all critical tools for UI designers around the world. The more your product is interactive, the more it will sell. UI is an essential part of any product, especially websites and applications.
UI becomes one of the primary driving forces for any product if done right. As a UI designer, your job is primarily related to graphic or visual front-end design. Your main goal is to achieve ultimate success in creating such an interface that is interactive yet easy to use. Talking about the job description, you are mainly involved in designing the pages which will be used by the end user for interacting with the product.
UX means User-Experience but it is also known as UXD and UED. User Experience Design deals with the touch, feel and accessibility of a product. It is the process of increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty. By focusing on the ease of use as well as improving the overall pleasure in the interaction, a UX designer creates a relation between the customer and the product. UX is that area of the design department where the professionals work to enhance the whole experience that a user has with the product or company. For websites, the job description of a UX designer is to place the content on the right side, maintain its structure, design and improve the usability as per the feedback. This implies that regardless of its medium, UX Design encloses any and all interactions between a potential or active customer and a product. As a design process, you can apply it to anything — soft-drinks, SaaS, web development and so on.
Popular as the “Designing for Emotions” UX is something that cannot be ignored. It isn’t surprising to know that people tend to get emotional about a particular design. A confusing UX can lead your potential customer to fly away from your website. Thus, the user experience designer should be concerned with understanding the mentality of the site’s audience (and potential users), creating personas, developing prototypes and carrying out user testing. Here is a great example of a good UX.
Usually, a UX designer is the chief designer in any mobile app or website project because there can be a website without UI but not without a UX. A UX designer would brief the UI designer to create an easy to use design that wouldn’t confuse the user. To begin any project, the UX designer should be there from inception to completion. They are critical in the project’s life cycle. Without a UX designer in your team you wouldn’t be able to understand the user behavior and create your design accordingly. You can create the design from your perspective but for the navigation of that design, you will need a UX designer. Thus, both UI and UX designers are important for any product and company!