The Difference Between UX Design and UI Design
UX design and UI design two terms that are often lumped together and used interchangeably. But what do they mean? What’s the difference between UX and UI? How are the two related? First things first, Let’s clear up this. myth once and for all UX and UI are not the same thing. yes, the two go hand-in-hand but they’re very different.
I’m going to explain, Why UX design stands for user experience design in very simple terms. UX design is a human-first way of designing products. it’s all about the user’s interaction or experience with a product or service. How straight for the ward is this experience? How easy is it for the user to complete their desired tasks? Is the experience smooth or clunky? UX can cover everything from physical product to digital experiences like online shopping or swiping through an app.
UI design stands for user interface design. UI is what you use to interact with the product and it focuses on the user’s visual experience. UI design covers all the screens and visual interactive touchpoints. That the user moves through, when navigating from A to B think tapping a button, scrolling down a page or swiping three images will go into both. UX and UI design in more detail later but first let’s look at how they’re related. Imagine a product is a human body the bowings would be the code. That gives the body its structure the organs represent the UX design measuring and optimizing against input for supporting life functions. UI design represents the cosmetics of the body, its presentation, its sensors and reactions.
Another great analogy to explain this relationship is horse riding as Dan Miller. Puts it UI is the saddle the stirrups and the reins while UX is the feeling you get being able to ride the horse. So UX is focused on the user’s journey to solve a particular problem. UI design is focused on how product surfaces or interfaces look and function. Now you can kind of see how UX and UI work together
to further distinguish between the two.
Let’s look at each in more detail UX refers to any interaction. A user has with the product or service. UX design considers each element that shapes this user experience. How does it make the user feel how easy is it for the user to accomplish their desired tasks. While using the product consider an e-commerce website. If the checkout the process is long-winded over-complicated and buggy. You’ll come away feeling like you’ve had a bad user experience. An experience you probably won’t be in a hurry to repeat. However, if the process is quick straight forward and hassle-free. You’re considered good user experience. So how do UX designers ensure good user experiences?
They combine market research product development strategy and design to find out what the user wants and needs in a particular context. Then use their findings to design a product that puts the user first. UX designers will start by conducting extensive research. who are their target users? What do they want and expect from the product or service? In question, the user research phase consists of conducting face-to-face interviews online questionnaires and surveys observing existing or potential users and building person as empathy is crucial.
As the UX designer needs to be able to put themselves in the user’s’ shoes the UX designer works out. What journey the user is trying to complete and maps out. User flows they then create wireframes and prototypes. Which are tested and iterated until the final design is ready? The UX design process centres on understanding, the user mapping at a logical journey and ensuring optimal functionality. UX design is also very heavily linked to a business considering not only the user speeds and goals. But also those of the company unlike UI design it has nothing to do with visuals or making things look good.
What is UI design and what does a UI designer do unlike UX design user interface design focuses. Specifically on the user’s visual interactive experience. How does the user interact with the product interface? How do they get from one screen to another and what happens when they click this button or tap that image. UI designers design every single screen an interactive touchpoint that the user encounters. They consider the layout of each page and the spacing between every element. They design buttons scroll bars and slides working with colour palettes and typography.
To ensure consistency and familiarity across the product, the UI designer will also establish a style guides just like UX designers. UI designers will create mock-ups and prototypes to see how the final product will look in a nutshell. UI design is all about the presentation, look and feel of the product.
Of course, The UI of a product has a huge impact on the user’s overall experience. But UI is much more closely related to visual communication and graphic design. Essentially the UI designer takes the bare-bones blueprint from the UX designer and turns it into something aesthetically pleasing and interactively seamless having explored both UX and UI. In more detail, we can see that they’re very different UX is highly analytically rooted in psychology and cognitive behaviour. It’s all about problem-solving and understanding how the user takes UI is much more focused on the visuals on whether or not the product is aesthetically and interactively pleasing.
UX is all about making a product functional and useful while UI is concerned with making it beautiful and interactive. UX ensures that the user can open an app or website and easily do what they weren’t there to do. Whether it’s ordering a pair of shoes checking their bank balance or tracking their calorie intake. UI, on the other hand, is a chance to make a real emotional connection with the user.
Ultimately UX is a huge concept that applies to everything. It’s the entire experience that the user has with a product or brand by definition. UI design is just about digital interfaces but they’re too very much go hand in hand. if you’re curious about the difference between UX and UI design. you might be wondering which route to take in your career. If you’re big on empathy putting others first and understanding how they tick.
UX design is probably more you’re seeing likewise if you enjoy problem-solving both creative and analytical thinking and have a good eye for detail you’ll take to UX like a duck to water. if you more into the visual side of things getting hands-on with colour palettes typography and animations. you’re probably better suited to UI design, it’s worth noting that many companies advertise for UX and UI designers as one single role. So if you are interested in both there is the possibility to combine.
However, each requires a different set of skills and methods. if you’re not sure which one is for you, try your hand at both here at Korea foundry we’ve got free short courses in both UX and UI design. They’ll give you a taster of what it’s like to work in each field and highlight the kinds of approaches and processes.