UI design vs UX design: what do they mean?

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So, I hear you asking yourself what is UI and UX, do they mean the same thing? Or are they to totally different things? While, they are very similar, and both are needed in some way and work together to create a product, application, website, or service. There are some differences. So, read on to see which is more suited to you. 

What is UI design?

UI design, or User Interface design, is the look and feel of the site. Consisting of the graphical elements, buttons, text, images, sliders, forms and pretty much anything that user interacts with. UI focuses more on any visual element, which could include animations which must be designed. They also will choose the color palettes, the styles of typefaces that will be used, and the weight of the fonts. UI designers are more concerned about the aesthetics, they make sure the application or website is visually appealing and make sure every element is consistent.

What is UX design?

UX design, or User Experience design, while similar to UI design, it takes a more human-centred approach to creating a product or service. What does this mean? It means that UX designers, while still caring about how the product looks, they are more focused on how users interact with it. They ask questions like: Is the experience smooth? Or is the application easy to use, or are users struggling to find where they want to go? UX design is all about how users interact with the product or service, and how it operates.

ui design vs ux design

How do they work together?

UI and UX, like most disciplines in the digital industry, rely on each other to help complete projects. The graphic above is a great example of the different tasks that each designer would take care of. The feedback received from the user research completed by the UX designer helps influence the UI designer’s decisions. This means that UI and UX are closely linked and complement each other well.

Why did I choose UX design over UI?

One of the main reasons behind me choosing UX design is the fact that I enjoy the iteration process. I enjoy creating better products through small constant improvements, from creating a paper prototype from initial user interviews, and going back to users to see how they behave and react to the new product. Then using data gathered from the next round of usability testing to make further improvements, The constant cycle of improvement means that users receive the best product at all times.

This isn’t to say that I don’t think UI is important or that I don’t implement UI designs into my work, in fact, a lot of my designs incorporate UI, as it should. The product still has to at least look appealing to users. If you want to see some of my processes for UX design, check out my projects page.

Conclusion

While UX and UI design are similar, you can see that they are still quite different. Think of it like this, the UI of a product or service is similar to the type of wheels on a car, the paint job, the shape of the panels, the lights, the dash. All of the visual elements. UX, on the other hand, is the feel of driving the car, how fast can it go around tight bends, is the suspension stiff, can I turn on the AC easily.

I hope this quick intro into the world of UI and UX design gives you a bit more knowledge on the two, if you would like me to cover more, I would be more than happy to. Want more information on UI design? Check out my articles on typography and color palettes. Or you might like to see what web design mistakes could be making user bounce.

Carlos

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