Many a time, you may have heard people use UI and UX interchangeably. However, there is a difference between the UX vs UI design. The two mean invariably different things. But, the point in matter is what the difference between UI and UX is?
Quite many of you may have been a part of the conversation or a technical discussion at some point in time or other where people discuss the website’s user interface or the experience they have with a product.
However, despite that, not many know the difference between the two. If you wish to understand it, this is the guide for you. In this guide, we will try to understand the UI and UX difference. So let us get started and address the two terms independently first.
Key Highlights: UI UX design differences
- Amongst UX vs UI design, the former makes the interface useful. On the other hand, the latter makes it appear visually appealing.
- UX focuses on the product’s overall feel and looks, whereas the UI focuses on the product’s user-friendliness.
- Another point in UI and UX difference is that the user interface implies the visual elements, letting users interact with a product. In contrast, user experience is about the emotions and feelings that users experience when interacting with a product.
- User Interface tries to add usability, responsiveness, and aesthetics, whereas user experience will make the product easy to use and efficient.
In This Article
- What Is UX?
- What Is UI?
- UX Vs UI Design Comparison Table
- UI And UX Differences In-Depth Analysis
- How Do UI And UX Work Together?
- Courses To Learn UX/UI
What Exactly Is UX?
The user experience depends on the product’s design. It covers all the aspects of the user’s interaction with the company and its products & services. It is indeed a broad definition and literally covers every probable interaction, not just the digital experience, but rather the understanding that a person tends to have with a product or a service.
However, a few UX experts regard this as customer experience, while others consider it as experience design.
Following the improvements in the user interface, the user experience evolved too. After the users found something to interact with, their experience changed depending on how they felt with this interaction. This experience could be anything – neutral, positive, or negative.
What Is the Main Importance of UX vs UI Design?
Before we elaborate on the UX design vs UI design, we would like to help you understand why UX is so important.
Firstly, the UX aims to fulfill the user’s needs and offer them a positive experience to ensure that the users remain loyal to the said brand or the product. Further, if the user experience is good, it makes it easier for you to define your customers’ journey on the website, which is quintessential for your business’ success.
In all honesty, there is no definite answer to why user experience is so important. It is a subjective term and is different for different people.
However, when designing the user and web interface, an influential thing to note is that you are not your user. So, never presume that you are aware of what they want or need. This brings us to an important question – how do you know if the user experience is good? How do you utilize the UI and UX difference to your advantage?
The only way to find this is by getting in proximity to the users. It would be best to communicate with them, get to know them by asking questions, and base your decisions around their replies. Please understand that your customers will teach, so pay close attention to what they say.
How Do You Make A Good UX Website?
There are some practices, which the UX designers ought to be careful about right in the development phase. Following these practices is vital for a good UX.
Never put it all on one screen
When you put all the features, menus, and buttons on one screen, the resultant is a bad user experience. However, unfortunately, this is one of the most prevalently adopted practices amongst website developers.
Therefore, regardless of the arguments in favor of this interface design, you must strictly avoid it.
So, when designing the interface, remember the difference between UI and UX, and then you must:
- Avoid an overwhelming design
- Focus on visual proximity
- Understand that users do not hate scrolling, so if need be, include options
Do not include everything in the drop-down menu.
People use a drop-down menu to avoid clutter and simplify things for the end-user. However, understand that balance is the key.
Think of it as your personal space. As you would organize everything in your personal space neatly, so should you on the website. The proper organization makes it easy for the users to find what they are looking for.
Also, if there are only a few buttons, you can even avoid the drop-down menus. Up until the five buttons, you can avoid the drop-down menu. So, over and above it, menus become a necessity.
Consistent design or not?
Now, there are two arguments around this. Firstly, if the design is consistent, it is easier for the user to scroll through the app.
Conversely, when all the pages in the app look the same, the user seems to feel lost. They are uncertain if they have seen the same page earlier or not. This can be perplexing for the user.
The idea is to make the app easy, even for the most distracted user. So, ensure that:
- Every page has a clear name and a header
- If a page has several steps to follow through, display the steps
Avoid small font text and long lines
When the text on the screen is too small, or you write long lines, you are bound to drive the users from your page. For a good UX, you must avoid writing more than nine words per line.
Also, white space is not a waste but an investment. Naturally, when there is only a small text in the area, people generally consider it necessary. Hence, they pay greater attention to it.
Say no to double up pop-ups
When pressing a button, a pop-up window opens, and on pressing it, if there is another pop-up that opens, then that could be disturbing for the user. When you do this, the end-user tends to lose the mental model of where they are in the flow of the process. It distracts them. Hence, it should be avoided.
Be careful with the forms
For a UX designer, a lot of contemplation goes into forms. Should you add a long list of input in the form? Should you divide the form into multiple steps? Again, it is not that your users hate scrolling, but the idea is to ensure that users have to spend minimum time dealing with the forms.
So, the ideal practice in form designing is to put all the input fields in one column. It will simplify the process for the end-user. Also, if there are just two to five fields in the form, it is not ideal putting them in a drop-down list.
You may find this visually pleasing, but it is not worth forcing the user into making these many clicks. Instead, you can opt for radio buttons.
Ensure that every button serves a clear purpose
In button design, consistency is quintessential. It will make it easier for the user to browse through the app.
What Is UI (User Interface)?
Now that we have discussed every aspect of UX with you, we are a step closer to discussing UX vs UI design. However, before we enlist the difference between UI and UX, you must understand what UI is.
Because of the vivid misinterpretations around it, most people still have no clarity on the user interface. Broadly, you can understand it as the cluster of tasks directed towards product optimization for more seamless use.
A UI is the point of interaction between a digital product or device and a user like a touchscreen on the touchpad or smartphone to pick the kind of snack you need from the vending machine.
So, in the context of the applications or websites, the User Interface will regard the product’s feel, look, and interactivity. Hence, it is about ensuring that the UI is as intuitive as possible. Thus, it is vital to consider every interactive element or visual that the user is likely to encounter.
Overall, the role of the UI designer is to take into consideration the color scheme, typography, buttons, icons, imagery, spacing, and responsive design. Hence, similar to UX, even UI is a multi-dimensional aspect. Now, let us finally move to the difference between UI and UX.
However, before we get to the UX design vs UI design, we would also like to discuss the vital properties of a well-designed UI.
What Is The Importance of UI?
The UI aims to bridge the gap between the website and the visitors, as it has in it the primary design elements, which enable the users to navigate through the website and make vital decisions.
So, before you comprehend what is the difference between UI and UX design, you must also know the significance of the UI. Here, we will enlist three critical reasons for investing in UI design.
Building a brand identity
Amongst the UX vs UI design, in the latter, you can pick the color of your choice, typography, and button style. Hence, if the UI is good, it will boost the brand’s image. More so, the UI should convey the values, culture, and tone of the company.
UI helps convert visitors to customers.
As already discussed from UX vs UI design, the latter is responsible for setting the tone for your brand. If the UI is not good, it can prevent potential conversion. On the other hand, if the UI is good, it will encourage people to convert – buy from you, download your content, share their details, or make contact.
A surge in the retention
Further, if the UI is good, it also helps the brand retain the customers. A good UI will have vital elements, which invoke a positive emotional reaction, encouraging them to give you repeat visits.
What Are The Key Elements Of A Well-Designed UI?
Now, we are closer to the UX vs UI design point of differences, but before that, what are the vital properties of a well-designed UI?
The interface must be straightforward, requiring only minimum keystrokes and clicks to materialize the task. The new features should be added only if they are needed, and they add value to the app.
Further, the interface must be consistent, as consistency helps you keep instability, chaos, and ambiguity at bay.
It is one of the most vital qualities of an exemplary user interface. When the user interface is intuitive, learning is easy, and browsing through it is easier and faster. Labels and icons must be cogent and concise for an intuitive user interface.
If the interface is good, it will not let the user perform an in-apt task. You can do this by deactivating or greying out some elements.
It allows the users to utilize the software up to its full strength. Designers must provide the users with an escape if they end up in the place they should not be.
What’s The Difference Between UI and UX Design?
|User Interface||User Experience|
|The first UI and UX difference is that UI includes the visual elements, which enable the users to interact with the product.||This dictates the feelings the user experiences when interacting with the product.|
|It is focused on the product’s feel and look and involves aspects, such as images, colors, typography, and others.||It is focused on the user-friendliness of the product.|
|It aims to make the product more useful, aesthetically appealing, and responsive for different screen sizes.||It is aimed at delighting the customers with an efficient and easy-to-use product. Further, solving the concerns of the users is also a key concern in offering a good user experience.|
|Apart from UI UX design differences, it is vital to know that UI comes after UX||UX is the first step in the product development process.|
|UI applies only to the digital experiences and products.||UX applies to all experiences, products, and services.|
What Is The Difference Between UI and UX Design – With Examples In Detail!
Now, we will take a look at the difference in UX vs UI design. Broadly, both User Experience and User Interface are vital for a product and collaborate with each other.
However, despite the professional relationship between the two, the two have different roles. Let us understand this with an example.
- You can think of the product or the service as the human body. Amidst this, the bones will be the code, which offers it the structure to the body, the organs in the body, support life, and optimize against input can be the User Experience design. The design is the body’s cosmetics, its presentation, reaction, and senses.
- When understanding UX design vs UI design, you must know that both are interdependent and cannot work without the other. However, to be a UI designer, you do not necessarily have to have UX design skills, and the converse is also true.
- The primary UI UX design difference is that the former is about the product’s interface functioning and visual appearance, whereas the latter is about the overall feel and experience.
- The UI and UX difference is also seen in the responsibility of the designer.
- Another big difference is that the designers from either field employ different prototyping. So, a user-interface designer will use a high-end model, whereas a user experience designer will focus more on logic. For them, fidelity is typically an afterthought.
- Further, to understand the difference, you must also know what you convey to the programmers and the customers from both areas. So, if you interact with the customers, you will show them the UI designer’s work.
- However, if you collaborate with the programmers, you will show them the UX designer’s prototype. What’s the difference between UI and UX designers? The former is more focused on the frontend, whereas the latter stresses more on the backend.
- If you carefully observe the UX design vs UI design, you will also see a difference in the colors. In UX vs UI design, the former’s designers create the prototypes in full color, whereas the latter’s designers will employ only three colors in their prototype design – gray, white, and black.
- Another differenceis seen in the tools used. Since the UX design vs UI design and the designer’s role is different, so will be the tools utilized. So, what is the difference between UI and UX tools?
- In UX and UI,you will see that the former’s designers will use the wireframe to make designing more efficient and also help save time. Tools like Mockplus are of good use in this case. On the other hand, UI designers are more focused on designing images. So, they widely use tools, such as Principle, Flinto, and InVision.
Now, we will quickly summarize the UI and UX difference for better clarity.
- There is a noticeable difference between the two, but the two cannot be without each other.
- Among the UX vs UI design, the former will make the interface useful, while the latter, visually appealing.
- In UX design vs UI design, the former precedes the latter.
- The UX design is seen across interfaces, products, and services, whereas the UI is only curtailed to the interfaces.
- UI creates an emotional connection with the users, whereas the UX helps in materializing the goals.
Why and How UI and UX Work Together?
Now that you know the UI UX design difference, you must also know how UX vs UI design work together.
Despite the UI and UX differences, they are both developed and designed with a shared objective, that is, to pave the way for a fantastic product.
So, irrespective of their differences,the two are vital components of a web design and are incomplete without one another. So, a UI designer will ensure that the created designs are engaging, intuitive, and enjoyable.
In contrast, the UX designer will ensure that the designs are created to produce the most incredible outcome. This holds, regardless of the job role you are involved in.
Now, the question is, how do they work together? In the discussion stage, whenever a new product or a feature is launched, the discussion should have the CTO sit down with the UX and the UI designers.
A UX designer will work around the idea’s feasibility to check what’s feasible and what’s not. In contrast, the UI designer will perform the research work and discuss with the team if the users will like the product or the feature created or not. This discussion is primary to ensure that the effort and resources are not wasted.
Further, the difference between UI and UX designers is that the latter will communicate about the project’s scope and then plan how they will work around the task in the coming week.
In contrast, comparing the UX vs UI design, the UI designer will perform more extensive research to find about the customer’s problems, behavior, demands, and responses. Once the research is completed, the results have to be presented to the design team.
Herein, the customer’s specific requirements, the suggestions of the UX design team, and the findings from the UI design team will be taken into consideration. A strategy is then formulated to create a unified design using the data, keeping in mind both UX design vs UI design.
Following this, the team should work aggressively to find out how the users feel about the project. So, the product is initially available for a limited set of people, and feedback is taken from them. Then, based on their opinions and feedback, changes are made keeping in mind UI and UX differences to make it closer to the customer’s preferences.
Once the testing is done, and the final prototype is ready, the final version is created and presented to the developers.
Finally, the designers (both UX and UI) will ensure that the design is in accordance with the developer’s feedback. After this, the product is made available to the public. At all times, the team should work with the UI and the UX designer to ensure that timely updates are carried out.
12 Best UI UX Courses, Classes, and Certifications
- UI/UX Design Specialization by CaLARTS- (Coursera)
- User Experience Design Essentials – Adobe XD UI UX design – (Udemy)
- Google UX Design Professional Certificate by Google- (Coursera)
- The Complete App Design Course – UX, UI and Design Thinking – (Udemy)
- UX and Web Design Master Course: Strategy, Design and Development -(Udemy)
- MicroMasters Program in UX Design and Evaluation – (edX)
- Become a UX Designer: Nanodegree program – (Udacity)
- Become a UX Designer from Scratch (Interaction Design Foundation)
- Complete Web & Mobile Designer in 2023: UI/UX, Figma, +More – (Udemy)
- UX Design & Strategy for Emerging Technologies by NYU Tandon School of Engineering – (Emeritus)
- UX Prototyping by HEC Montreal – (edX)
- Introduction to User Experience Design by Georgia Tech – (Coursera)
Related: Best UX Books
Bottom Line: What’s The Difference Between UI and UX?
Hopefully, our UX vs UI design guide will help you overcome all your doubts around these vital aspects of web design. However, you must know that this is only the tip of the iceberg, and there’s more to learn about both UI and UX.
So, feel free to read more in detail about these factors from other resources, too, for a more intensive understanding. However, the two should be treated as interdependent rather than compared as to which is better between UX design vs UI design.