article The Difference Between UX and UI Design

The Difference Between UX and UI Design

In today’s creative and technical environment, the terms “UI” (User Interface) and “UX” (User Experience) are being used more than ever. UI is the saddle, the stirrups, and the reigns. UX is the feeling you get being able to ride the horse, and rope your cattle.

Understanding UX (User Experience) Design

“UX” stands for “User experience”. This is a much broader and higher-level discipline than UI, because it includes not just the interface, but also all the systems and interactions that support it. For example, the UX designer should care about what happens when a frustrated user calls the help desk as well as how pixels appear on the screen.

Knowing the Responsibilities of a UX Designer

Popular as “Designing for Emotion” UX (User Experience) is something that cannot be ignored. It isn’t surprising to know that people tend to get emotional about a particular design. Thus, the user experience designer would be concerned with understanding the site’s users (and potential users), creating personas, determining user stories, developing prototypes and carrying out user testing.
The job description of a UX designer basically includes the process of exploring multiple approaches that must be followed for solving a specific problem faced by a majority of targeted users. As a further elaboration, the UX designer needs to ensure that there is a logical flow for the product. One popular method that a UX designer uses for this is conducting face-to-face tests to observe how the users behave for the product that the client is intending to offer via his/her website. The UX designer refines and iteartes both, verbal as well as non-verbal blocks in order to create a truly amazing user experience. Apart from this, the UX designer is also engaged in developing and maintaining mockups, wireframes and specifications that can result into creation of the desired website.
The designer is one of the most important people on your team, and should be treated as such. As a related example, Mark Zuckerburg keeps the desks of the Facebook lead designers multiple feet from his desk when he is at work. Engineers are important, but they are what the users don’t see. Their effects are implicit, like site speed and database architecture, but a designer is very much expressing himself all over your product — and there is something to be said for that.

Now, let’s get to know about User Interface Design

User interface is one of the most powerful tools at our disposal in the quest for great user experience. Why? Simply, the interface is the most tactile, visceral and visible method with which our users interact with us. UI is the front line. This is possibly the best explanation for why the two terms are so often used interchangeably or combined into one.
Despite being considered as a ‘conventional’ web design practice, User Interface design has witnessed numerous misinterpretations. Well, User Interface design basically focuses on improving the overall presentation, look, feel and interactivity of the product. Thus, the term ‘User Interface’ (abbreviated as UI) refers to the means by which a user and a product (for example a website) interact with one another (but do not confuse it with Human Computer Interaction, with which UI simply overlaps).
UI implementation in production code is typically carried out by a front-end developer. There are people like me who are HTML/CSS slingers, I am often happy to build working prototypes. But when there is complex interaction with real backend code and frontend javascript, that is best left to professionals.

User interface design is omitted because it is the crossover between visual design (look and feel) and the interaction design (how the look and feel work). Combine those two and you have an interface. The interface is the result of the “solution design” that came before it.

Knowing the Responsibilities of a UI (User Interface) Designer

As a UI designer, your role is primarily related to graphic / visual front-end design. Your main attention is on improving the overall feel of the product and the way it is being laid out over the website / web application. 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. In addition to this, you would also be in charge of ensuring that the created UI is competent in visually communicating the path that has been designed to guide the visitors.

This as simply as I can describe the different skills required for each role:

User Experience (UX) Designer = Research + Design
UI Developer = Design + HTML/CSS/JS

“UI refers to the aggregation of approaches and elements that allow the user to interact with a system.”

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