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The Difference Between UX and UI Design


Zara Corner - 9th October 2019 - 0 comments

Defining UX and UI Design

UI design and UX are two of the most often mistook and conflated terms in app and web design as they both work closely. They are mostly placed together in a single term, UI/UX design, and regarded from the surface they appear defining the same thing.

By the end of this blog post, you will have a good understanding of what makes them different and how they relate to each other. So, let’s dive in!

Defining UX

“UX” stands for “User eXperience”. It refers to a user’s interaction or experience with an application, product or operating system. So, creating or designing a UX means defining the way a product works and how it fulfils a user’s needs.

User experience UX is determined by how easy or smooth it is to interact with the user interface factors created by the UI designers.

Does interacting with the app make people feel they are accomplishing the task they plan to achieve, or does it feel like a struggle when using the app?

Does navigating through the app feel compelling, or does it feel illogical?

Is the experience intuitive and smooth or confusing and clunky?

UX should be clear, user-friendly and comfortable. A fantastic UX is thoughtful and rich.

UI designers are work on determining how the user interface will look, whereas UX designers are responsible for shaping how the user interface works.

They decide the overall structure of the interface and the functionality. The way it’s planned and how all the elements connect with one another.

To be brief, they decide and design how the interface works. If it operates well and feels smooth, the user will have an outstanding experience. But if navigation is complex or obtuse, then horrible user experience is expected. UX designers work to evade the second situation.

ux and ui

Defining UI

“UI” Design stands for “User Interface”. It is the graphical layout of an application and consists of all the buttons, controls, blocks and elements of an application with which the user interacts.

UI consists of all the visual aspects which create a product’s feel and its exceptional image. Designing a UI involves defining brand identity, choosing colours, and following the cutting-edge design principles.

This includes screen layout, interface animations, transitions, and every single micro-interaction. Any type of visual element, animation, or interaction should all be designed.

When working on User Interface, designers focus on designing the character of a product, enriching its look and deciding what the app will look like. Because an interface is the first key thing that grasps a user’s attention when visiting a website. Also, it plays a vital role in a user’s decision whether to stay on a website or quit it straightaway.

UI designers are graphic designers and are focused on aesthetics. They ensure that the app’s interface is eye-catching, visually-exciting and themed properly to meet the purpose and/or character of the app.

What’s the Difference Between UX and UI Design?

UI design and UX design always crisscross. UI design refers to the user interface design, and UX design refers to user experience design. They have a close link in product design but serve up different roles.

In terms of functionality, UI is about how things look, and UX is all about how things operate. User experience is a procedure, whereas User interface is a deliverable. An outstanding product experience starts with UX, followed by UI. Both are important for the product’s success.

So, the recognizable differences between UX design and UI design result in different roles.

UX Is Not UI

User experience or UX design is the process by which a pain point or user requirement and demand is identified.

You can assume user interface or UI design like this—

UI Design = Visual Design + Interaction Design.

Design

Visual design is the overall look and feel of the app or website, the character if you will; the brand. Whereas, Interaction design is how the user interacts with your app or website.?

Although both UI and UX designers design interactions, you can consider UX designers as the developers of macro-interactions while UI designers, as the creators of micro-interactions, attend to the details.

A User Experience designer will probably create the user flows, the stages that a user would go in for signing up for your newsletter, for instance. The design is then handed out to the User Interface designer. The UI designer will enhance those interactions improving colour and accent to the previous design providing users with the hints they need to navigate the newsletter sign up procedure positively.

UX Makes Interfaces Practical, UI Makes Interfaces Pleasing

A practical product fulfils a need that’s not already being seen in the market. The research process of a UX designer contains performing a competitive analysis, creating personas, and then designing a least viable product or more appropriate, minimum beneficial product; a product that will be useful to your targeted customer market. This is then supported through testing throughout the product’s life-cycle.

UI designers execute a visual hierarchy that serves as a funnel to users, letting them understand what to do and when to do it, to fulfil their objectives.

A well-made hierarchy will focus on one key objective per page so that the users understand where they are on the app and what they can perform in any given moment.

UX Helps Users Achieve Goals, UI Builds Emotional Connections

People come to your website or app with a goal in mind. The UX side of things might look at people and try to understand what’s important to them.

Once you have the fundamental usability right, it’s actually the persona of your interface that will provoke loyalty in your users. People may be attracted to your site because of its outstanding design. However, once they build a personal connection, then they are captivated.

UX Design Is Made First, UI Design Is Executed Second…(Sometimes)

How do UX and UI designers work together within the designing process?

Usually, great UX design and research is the first crucial step when determining whether to build an application or product. UX designers deal with the majority of the research that will certify or invalidate early product ideas and lead the product development.

Once the prototype has undergone numerous restatements and is essentially confirmed (for now), the UI designer gets involved and starts to work on the graphic design and micro-interactions.

UX Is Used Across Products, Services and Interfaces, UI Only Relates to Interfaces

UX design is a comprehensive field and becoming more popular nowadays. Today, not only businesses with an online presence but also many others that offer products and services are grasping the value of understanding their target audience and endorsing their theories before they build.

Whereas, UI design is meant for user interfaces. UI today is not just limited to the graphical user interfaces of mobile devices, computers and tablets. These days there are several other products using interfaces such as car dashboards, smart watches, mobile apps, digital products, ticket kiosks, washing machines, vending machines, and much more.

Whether designing for experiences or interfaces, we should always keep users at the core of the design process.

A Deeper Look into UI Design and UX Design

Let us look into some of the apparent differences between the UX and UI design

Focus— A UX interactive designer is more focused on logic as the goal is to build a product which deals with a particular requirement of the customer and makes their journey comfortable and smooth. Thus, in User experience design, the conceptual parts of the product design are tackled. On the other hand, a UI designer is more related to the front end.

Scale— UX designing is an extensive field which is gaining popularity with time. Businesses who are into product development or services are increasingly adopting it. UI, on the other hand, is only adapted to the interfaces which consist of graphical user interfaces of several devices.

Colour Schemes— As UI is more oriented to the front-end and aesthetics interface, the UI designers create their prototypes in a wide range of colours in entirely contrast to User experience designers who only use three colours namely— black, white and grey.

Design Tools— Because of the difference in roles of UX and UI designers, it is clear that there is also a variance in the tools which they use. User Experience designers use wireframes because it is highly efficient and saves time. There are several prototyping tools with amazing features such as Balsamiq, Mockplus, Axure, etc. Tools for User Interface designers and design teams are different as they are chiefly used for designing visuals. They make use of tools such as Figma, Sketch, Flinto etc.

Basic Goals— UX is planned at enhancing user’s experience by upgrading in terms of ease of use, usability, and all the user’s interaction with your business, its offered products, and services via prototyping, wireframing, testing, and improvement. All this is achieved after meticulous competitor analysis.

Whereas, UI is meant for the look and performance of the product. It uses UI prototyping, interactivity, animation, and also the fine-tuning of the look to suit all screen sizes. All this makes User Interface important for every digital interface.

ux and ui design

Get Perfect UI Design and UX Design for Your Apps and Sites at Cfactory

Both UI and UX are crucial for holistic product development. UX design is involved in accomplishing expressive tasks across different platforms, whereas UI is involved in designing highly appealing and aesthetically functional interfaces to connect with users efficiently.

At Cfactory, we see UX as a global term that defines the user’s comfort and feelings when working with an app. UI is the part of UX that allows users to interact with a product efficiently and makes a first good impression.

It’s essential to remember that designing an attractive app is not enough to promise high conversion rates and low bounce rates; UX and UI address these concerns equally, aside from other factors that affect user loyalty.

We have several years of experience and expertise when it comes to web development. We can offer everything from Web design, SEO services to branding.

Need help you grow your business? Check out our design services!

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