UI vs. UX design can be confusing, and most people don’t know the difference between them. In this blog, we provide hands-on details about both UI and UX design, aiming to help readers understand their differences.
UI/UX are two interchangeable words referring to distinct aspects of design. UI means interactivity on the application or website and how users perceive its visual elements. Meanwhile, UX includes the overall user experience with the application or website.
What is User Interface( UI)?
The full form of UI is User Interface. It is a point of interaction between a human and a digital device or product, such as a screen, keyboard, mouse, and desktop appearance. UI design includes screens, buttons, toggles, icons, and other visual elements that users interact with when visiting or using a website or application on another electronic device.
What is User Experience( UX)?
The full form of UX is User Experience. It is an entire experience of using a product, system, or service, including one’s emotional response to the interaction. UX is a collective impression of how users navigate the product, how user-friendly it is, and how smoothly we display content on the screen.
Understanding the Key Differences Between UI and UX Design
UI and UX are commonly interchangeable terms, but they have subtle differences. Since they work closely together, people often need clarification from one another. We aim to provide a clear understanding of the key differences between UI and UX design.
1. Look vs. Feel
UI design involves the appearance of a product, including visual components and interactive elements that contribute to a strong user experience. It focuses on both how a product looks and functions on the surface. However, UX design concentrates on the overall feel of the product or service, simplifying the user journey to solve a problem. The design integrates all components that lead to a meaningful, relevant experience for the user.
2. Design vs. Prototyping
The roles and responsibilities of UI and UX designers are distinct, even though they collaborate on the same product. UI designers finalise products and designs to enhance user engagement, focusing on tangible elements rather than conceptual aspects of the design. In contrast, UX designers create wireframes and test prototypes, forming the foundation of a website or service’s user flow.
3. High-level vs. Details
UI designers focus on the functionality of the individual pages, buttons, and interactions. Meanwhile, UX designers take a top-level view of a product or service, ensuring the collective user flow of a site, service, or app is fully realised and consistent.
Tasks and Responsibilities of UI Designer
UI designers are responsible for choosing fonts, creating graphic elements, and ensuring that individual modules or pages are visually appealing and fit a product’s objectives.
Here, we outline four major responsibilities of a UI designer:
1. Creating and Maintaining Brand Style
Modern businesses have unique selling points and brand styling strategies. UI designers play a crucial role in creating a visual impact on customers. They help to create an overarching brand by making aesthetically consistent digital products.
- Creating brand style guides
- Maintaining accessible design standards
- Implementing a brand’s style consistently across a product or service
2. Visual Design
UI designers are the experts in building and optimising individual elements of a digital product, including typography, colour, button design, and other areas contributing to a strong interface.
- Designing buttons and other clickable elements
- Colouring sections and elements of a website or service
- Choosing appropriate fonts and typesetting
3. Interactive Design
Interactive website design enhances the user experience. UI designers integrate and implement interactive components into the website or service to provide an engaging user interface.
- Creating animations for elements on a page
- Developing interactive features that involve visuals like video or photos
- Managing how content moves as the user interacts with it
4. Responsive Design
According to 2021 data provided by Statista, there were 7.1 billion mobile users globally. The report predicts that this number will reach 7.49 billion by the end of 2025. Hence, building a responsive application for laptops, desktops, tablets, and smartphones is important. Responsive design means creating content that can be viewed and used on different devices, ranging from a 27-inch monitor to a 5-inch smartphone screen.
- Developing a flexible website or program layouts
- Creating easily resizable vector elements
- Managing responsive design style guides
Tasks and Responsibilities of UX Designer
UX designers have more working space than UI designers because they work closely in strategy development, testing, implementation, product/service analysis, and overall design. However, both are equally responsible for making intuitive designs.
Let’s discuss briefly about the tasks and responsibilities of a UX designer:
1. Content Strategy
UX designers have an executive role in planning, creating, and implementing content. The content strategy includes text, images, and multimedia components on a website or an application. However, designers are only sometimes responsible for the content strategy, but businesses emphasise content-driven design to provide a more effective experience.
- Customer analysis
- Audit and map content
- Competitor analysis
2. Testing and Prototyping
The designing process undergoes multiple iterations when clients don’t provide specific requirements. So, designers must back up the changes before finalising the design. Thus, A/B testing is a commonly used research methodology in UX design.
- A/B testing between button placements, text layouts, or other design elements
- Wireframing the basic structure of designs
- Prototyping designs to test for function
3. Coordination and Analysis
UX designers must collaborate with a diverse design team to create stylish business products and services. These processes involve planning, developing strategies, implementing, and analysing projects post-implementation. Designers act as future strategists, dedicating significant time to project planning, analysing existing designs, and tracking their design performance.
- Design planning
- Analysing design and updating as per requirement
- Tracking goals and KPIs
4. Consumer Research
Research-based designs are more productive than normal prototypes. Designers must be well informed about the problems of end users and must have proper solutions using a specific design for delivering an advanced user experience.
Research involves using questionnaires, surveys, focus groups, product testing, or other research methodologies.
- Designing research tools
- Conducting focus groups
- Extensively analysing data from questionnaires and surveys
Things to Consider When Designing UI
Besides the technical aspect, a good designer constantly collaborates and communicates with the developer and design team. We have described four key elements to create an engaging UI design:
When creating an intuitive design for a web application or mobile application screen, you have to make collective and well-considered decisions, such as header positioning and the amount of white space.
Color Scheme and Font Selection
You should always select a colour palette according to your business type. After making your selection, choose fonts for your digital product interface based on considerations of consistency, accessibility, and brand alignment.
You can add interactive design elements like button design and drop-down menus. These elements style the digital product screens to make more intact user flows.
Wireframe and Prototype Fidelity
UX designers build basic wireframes and prototypes, but you can help to transform higher fidelity, functional, and interactive products.
Things to Consider When Designing UX
UX directly depends on the overall experience with the app or product. So, it must fulfil the basic guidelines. There are some things to consider when designing UX:
Consumer and Competitor Research
To provide a splendid user experience, UX designers must understand their target audience, discover consumer pain points, and track online behaviour. They can perform competitor analysis using a SWOT analysis to define their product niche.
Once designers discover consumer’s needs and behaviours, they can create Information Architecture (IA) for their product or site. IA is a skeletal essential outlining navigation, content hierarchy features, and interactions.
Wireframes and Prototypes
After IA design, designers can turn ideas into tangible models, such as wireframes and prototypes. UX design team can test ideas, define requirements, and set feature priorities according to IA.
Testing and Troubleshooting
UX designers rigorously test in UX testing applications like Figma to find bugs and errors. The most common issues, such as navigation, menus, or forms, need clarification. The designer fixes these issues and starts troubleshooting before launch.
Clients usually change their requirements on a regular basis. UX designers must address the feedback and back-end analytics even after launching a product or service on the digital platform, which is an ongoing process.
How do UX and UI Design Work Together?
An interconnection exists between UX and UI designs. The UX designer initiates the product development process, with UI following later. UX is a blueprint for the user journey, while UI fills with visual and interactive elements.
While UI typically deals with the interaction between users and computer applications, UX involves a broad spectrum of users’ overall experiences with a brand, product, or service.
UI and UX collaborate to ensure the final user interface looks as good as possible. Both are user-centric and concerned about the end goal of creating products that are helpful, easy to use, and enjoyable.
FAQs on UI vs UX:
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