IncrediTools has vetted the best services in these industries, click to view:

UX vs. UI: What To Know

If you need a new website for your business or you’re redesigning your current site to be more modern and effective, you’re likely going to hear two key terms: user experience and user interface.

User experience is abbreviated as UX, and the user interface is UI. The two concepts are both critical to good website design, and they’re something a website developer can help you understand in more detail.

Even before you start a web project, however, it’s a good idea to at least generally know what each term refers to. 

What Is UX?

User experience or UX is how people interact with something. The term is used in product design as well as website design. If someone is turning on a light in a room, for example, they’re interacting with it. The way the light switch is designed can affect how someone feels about this interaction. 

User experience broadly refers to what a user thinks and feels. It depends on the context that a product is used within, and the user experience can change over time. 

When you improve the UX of your website, you’re improving its efficiency, usability, and accessibility as far as how a user interacts with it. You want to make a website or app that’s easy for someone to use and doesn’t confuse them. 

If you’re working with a UX designer specifically, they are going to try and make something functional that’s enjoyable to use. Someone who’s a UX designer might need to do research that will help them understand the behaviors, goals, and needs that come with interacting with a product or website. 

UX designers can develop user personas that are based on targeted customers and create user journey maps. They also might create wireframes and prototypes, perform user testing, and collaborate with stakeholders, developers, and UI designers. 

A UX designer might observe site users and then assess how users are actually completing tasks in a user flow. 

What Is UI?

User interface or UI is a specialized area of web design focusing on the controls that people are using to interact with a website. This might include gesture controls and button displays. 

nubelson fernandes 6rrIT4YcqoI unsplash

UI designers create the graphical elements of an app or site, meaning they’re in charge of the elements your users are directly interacting with. 

One key distinction to make here is that UX can refer to nearly any product or service, while UI is exclusive to digital products. Someone who works in UI design wants apps and sites that are easy to navigate and visually appealing. 

The tasks involved in UI include organizing the page layouts of a site, choosing fonts and colors, and designing interactive elements. Interactive elements can include drop-down menus, text fields, scrollers, buttons, and toggles. 

A UI designer will make wireframes and layouts to showcase what the final design is going to look like, and then they’ll work closely with developers, transforming their designs into products that work

Comparing UX And UI

The following are some ways to compare UX and UI.

  • UX is not something that’s physically tangible since it’s more about how someone feels when they’re interacting with a website. UI, on the other hand, does refer to specific visual and interactive features that someone interacts with. 

  • UX design is a detailed process of planning and creating the user experience and all that it involves. It looks first at creating something to solve a particular problem, and from there, the emphasis is on making sure the proposed solution is simple and easy to use. 

  • UI design is how an interface looks and acts, and it includes all the visual and interactive properties of the site. 

  • Just like UX as a whole isn’t tangible, nor is good UX vs. bad UX. 

  • UX is very much research-driven. There has to be a deep level of analysis to discover the needs of a user. 

  • UX is much broader, while UI is more narrow and refers, again, just to digital products and services. 

The Role Of A UX Designer

If someone hires a UX designer to work on their website, some of the things that person  might do include:

  • Conducting deep dives into the needs of users and their behaviors. 

  • Conducting and analyzing user research and also facilitating usability tests. These tests can help make sure the designs are going to meet the needs of not only the users but also the business. 

  • Evaluate the user journey based on data and key insights. 

  • Create design deliverables that serve to illustrate the user experience. These can include wireframes and prototypes as well as user flows and storyboards. 

  • Work with partner teams to come up with collaborative design solutions. 

  • Stay updated with industry trends and competitor products. 

  • A UX designer needs to be a problem-solver, and they need to have strong communication and presentation skills because they are going to be working with different stakeholders along the way in any given project. 
alizee baudez npJkoTc0P8s unsplash

The Role Of A UI Designer

A UI designer might do the following or need the skills below:

  • UI designers are part of helping brands express themselves creatively. 

  • A UI designer might gather and evaluate the requirements of users, often through collaboration with UX designers, as well as engineers, and, if relevant, product managers. 

  • These designers will create the components making up the graphic user interface. 

  • UI designers can build page navigation buttons and search fields, create original graphics, and illustrate design ideas with process flows, storyboards, and sitemaps. 

  • When you’re working with a UI designer, they might develop mockups and prototypes so that you have a full illustration conveying what your site might look like and how it could function. 

  • The UI designer should be comfortable making adjustments to the presented layout based on feedback. 

  • Skills a UI designer needs include attention to detail and an understanding of the principles of visual design, like color theory and typography. 
Related >  6 Tools That Can Help You Do A Geospatial Analysis

When you’re beginning a website design or redesign, your UX and UI are equally important but are distinct from one another. By learning more about the technical elements of website design, you can make sure that you’re partnering with the right professionals for your project.