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4 января  2021 г. 17:30, Австралия Смотреть на карте

UX vs. UI Design – Everything You Need to Know

Oftentimes, people use the terms UX and UI interchangeably, but in reality, these two have very different meanings.

At one point in time or another, we all must have overheard discussions regarding the excellent UX of a product and the lousy UI of a site. But what exactly are these two terms? What are their actual meanings? Is it some secret language that we’ll never know? Or do people just use these terms to sound cool?

Well, perhaps yes to the last question but a big NO to the rest of them. In this blog, we will discuss the difference between UX and UI. Keep reading this blog till the end to know everything about it.

UNDERSTANDING UX VS. UI

Before we start talking about anything, we must make sure that we are clear on the basics. So what are UX and UI? Let’s see.

UX design stands for “User Experience Design,” and UI designs stands for “User Interface Design.”

Both of them are crucial components of a product, and they work closely together. However, notwithstanding their connection, they play very different roles and deal with entirely different facets of the product development process and the design discipline.

Prior to diving into the difference between the two elements, first, let’s go through what the terms UX and UI individually mean.

WHAT IS USER EXPERIENCE (UX) DESIGN?

UX Design can be understood as a ‘human-first’ process that teams use to design digital and physical products.

Donald Norman, a cognitive scientist who coined the term “User Experience,” defines it as a term that circumscribes each and every facet of the interaction between the end-user and the brand and its products and services.

Sounds pretty much clear, isn’t it?

But you might have noticed that unlike what we discussed earlier, this definition does not tell much about what a UX designer does. But then again, similar to any other profession in this world, this too cannot be explained in just a line or two.

Nevertheless, this definition does imply that no matter what the medium, User Experience Design circumscribes all interactions that take place between an active or potential consumer and a business. Being a scientific method, this can be applied to anything ranging from street lamps to vehicles. But, despite being a scientific process, ever since its rise, it has been almost entirely used within the digital fields. One of the primary reasons behind this is the fact that the tech industry began exploding around the period of this term’s inception. UX Design has a fascinating history, and in case you want to know all about its origin and rise, you can always look it up on Google.

Virtually, UX applies to everything that can be experienced – whether it is a website or a coffee/tea maker or even a visit to the mall. As stated earlier, user experience is nothing but all the user interactions with a company, its product, or service. Therefore, UX design refers to all the various components that shape this user experience. A UX designer considers the feelings that the experience evokes in the user and how easily users can accomplish their desired tasks. For instance, in the case of an eCommerce website, the designer may think how easy it is for the users to complete the checkout process while shopping online? Or how easily customers can grasp that vegetable peeler? Or does our company’s mobile banking app allow the users to manage their money well? The end goal of UX design is to build easy, streamlined, coherent, and overall delightful experiences for the users.

Now we will talk about what precisely a UX designer does later in this blog. For now, let’s take a quick peek into everything you should know about UX design in short.

  • UX design is the way to develop and enhance the quality of all aspects of user interactions with a brand and its products or services.
  • Even though, in theory, UX design is a non-digital (cognitive science) process, it has been used and defined for the most part by digital fields.
  • One of the most widespread misconceptions about UX design is that it is about “visuals.” User experience design focuses on the overall feel of the experience.
WHAT IS A USER INTERFACE (UI) DESIGN?

Regardless of the fact that user interface design is an older and more practiced discipline, answering the question “What is UI design” seems like a bit of a challenge due to the wide range of misconceptions surrounding this field.

While the UX design is a cluster of tasks focusing on optimizing a product to make it more efficient and enjoyable for the users, UI design complements or adds the finishing touch to the product. User Interface design focuses on the look and feel as well as demonstration and interactivity of a product.

However, just like in the case of UX, here, too, the company hiring UI designers often and most commonly confuse it with other professions. This misinterpretation is to the extent that entirely different job posts will usually refer to the profession.

Take a look at the job openings for UI designers and go through their descriptions. You will most likely observe interpretations of the profession similar to graphic designing, and sometimes even front end development and branding design.

Meanwhile, if you go through the ‘expert’ definitions of UI design, you’ll predominantly spot descriptions that are partially akin to UX design.

Perhaps you are now wondering which one of them is actually right? – Sadly, none.

First things first, let’s clear this up for good. To begin with, unlike user experience design, UI design is purely a digital practice. A User Interface is a POI (point of interaction) between a user and a digital product or device. For example, your smartphone’s touchscreen, the trackpad you tap on to choose the type of beverage you want from the hot drinks vending machine, or the fingerprint sensor on your devices, all are points of interaction. In regards to websites and applications, user interface design focuses on the look and feel, and interactivity of the product. This process is all about ensuring that the UI of the given product is as intuitive as possible. This means cautiously taking all visual, interactive components into account that the users may come across. A UI designer will consider everything – from imagery, spacing, icons, and buttons to responsive design, color schemes, and typography.

Similar to UX design, UI design is a many-sided and challenging task. It accounts for the transformation of a product’s research, development, layout, and content into an appealing, navigating, and responsive experience for the users.

We will be discussing the whole UI design process and particular tasks that UI designers can expect later in this blog. For now, before proceeding forward, let’s take a quick recap on UI design.

  • UI design is strictly a digital process that thinks about each and every visual, interactive component of a product interface, such as color scheme, imagery, typography, icons, buttons, responsive design, and spacing.
  • The ultimate purpose of user interface design is to navigate the users visually through the interface of a product. UI design is all about developing an intuitive experience that does not make the users think a lot.
  • User interface design transfers the strengths and visual assets of a company to the interface of its products, ensuring that the design is harmonious, relevant, and visually appealing.

Having said that, with these crystal-clear definitions of both user experience and user interface, we are clear on the basics. This brings us to the difference between UX and UI.

Let’s dive in!

KEY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN USER EXPERIENCE (UX) AND USER INTERFACE (UI)

We will try and explain the various parts of a digital product using a metaphor:

Think of a product as the human body – here, the bones of the body portray the code which gives structure to the product. Likewise, the organs depict the user experience design – assessing and optimizing against input to support functions of life. Finally, the user interface design portrays body cosmetics: its demonstration, senses, and responses.

Still, confused? No need to stress out because you are not the only one.

UX and UI are the two most mistaken and abused terms in the digital field. User interface without user experience is like an artist throwing paint onto a canvas without thinking or having any idea. Similarly, user experience without a user interface is like a sculpture’s frame without any papier-mache on it. In order to offer an excellent product experience, UX and UI need to work together closely. They are both equally vital to the success of a product.

In case you have got some space for another metaphor, we would like to clarify the relationship between the UX and UI better:

Suppose you are on a vacation trip and you went to a restaurant to try out the local cuisine. As you step inside, you notice the lavish ambiance – the chairs, tables, glasses, plates, etc. Everything you are seeing is UI. Meanwhile, UX includes everything from delicious food, lighting, service, background music, parking lights, etc. Now, if you exit the restaurant in a happy mood, you experienced a great UX.

We hope you realize the difference between these two now.

Moving forward, keep in mind that UI and UX go hand in hand – you cannot just have “one” of them. Another crucial point to understand is that one does not need to have UX design skills to become a UI designer, and vice versa. UI and UX make up distinct roles with distinct processes and tasks.

In a nutshell, the primary difference that you should remember is that user experience design is all about the overall feel of the experience. While user interface design is all about how the interface of a product looks and functions.

A UX designer thinks about the whole journey of the user to resolve a specific issue: what measures do they take? What tasks do they have to accomplish? How simple and easy is the overall experience? A vast part of their work includes focusing on the types of issues as well as pain points that users encounter and how a particular product may fix them. UX designers carry out comprehensive user research to identify their target users and their needs regarding a specific product. Next, they will map out the entire user journey across the given product, taking into account things, such as IA (information architecture), i.e., the way content is organized and labeled across the product and the types of features a user might require. Ultimately, they will build a wireframe that lays out the skeleton blueprints for the particular product.

Once they have mapped out the bare bones of the product, that’s when the UI designer comes into play to bring it into existence. A UI designer thinks about every visual facet of the user journey, such as all the separate screens and touchpoints that a user may come up against – for example, clicking on a button or scrolling down a web page, or browsing through a picture gallery. Therefore, the UX designer outlines the user journey, and the UI designer focuses on every detail that will facilitate this journey. However, this no way implies that UI is all about looks either. UI designers significantly influence whether a product is accessible and all-encompassing or not. They will ask questions such as how various color combinations can be employed to create contrast and improve readability? Or, what color combinations contribute to color blindness?

Expectantly, you must have now begun grasping the difference between UX and UI design and how they both are indeed two different practices. To sum it up:

  • User experience design focuses on finding out and resolving the problems users face, while user interface design focuses on developing intuitive, appealing, and interactive product interfaces.
  • Typically, in the product development process, UX design comes first and is followed by UI design. First, the UX designer outlines the skeleton of the user journey; then, the UI designer completes it with visual, interactive elements.
  • While user experience can be applied to any type of product, service, or experience, a user interface is firmly limited to digital products and experiences only.
HOW DO UX AND UI DESIGN GO HAND IN HAND?

By now, we have looked at UX and UI as individual terms as well as discussed their differences. Let's move on to how these two work together. You may be wondering if one of them carries more weight than the other. But the truth is that both of them are equally essential.

A product that looks very pleasing but is too hard to use is an excellent example of good UI but bad UX. In contrast, a product that is very easy to use but looks awful is a perfect example of good UX but lousy UI.

As you must have realized, UX and UI strictly work together. Having one of them work without the other would still make it feel like something is missing. Even though there are hundreds of thousands of examples of excellent products that have only one of them without the other, just envisage how incredibly successful they could have been if they had kept a firm grip on both the practices.

User interface design is like the frosting on the user experience cake. Suppose you think of a fascinating idea for an application that is evidently missing from the market, and its presence could truly change the lives of many. Therefore, to proceed, you recruit a UX designer to carry out inclusive user research and help you ascertain the different features your app must have and how you should map out the complete user journey. Finally, you develop and launch the app. The word is out now that your app provides something that people have been longing for since forever. But as soon as users install the app and open it, they observe that the text on all screens is hardly visible (imagine peach text on a white background). However, that's not it. Furthermore, the buttons are placed too close to each other, resulting in users accidentally tapping the wrong button repeatedly. This is a perfect example of a poor UI ruining what could've been a great UX.

In contrast, have you ever landed on an aesthetically pleasing website and found that besides the fascinating animations and apt color scheme, it is an actual pain to use it? Great UI can never compensate for a poor UX; think of buying an eye-pleasing, delicious-looking cake that actually tastes horrible as soon as you take a bite.

Hence, when it comes to product design and development, UX and UI go hand in hand, complementing one another. Moreover, it is an absolute necessity to get both these facets right with the rising market competition. Thus, whether you decide to become a UX designer or a UI designer, it is beneficial to know both aspects because, at the end of the day, you will be essentially working together.

WRAPPING IT UP

The sole reason why we chose to write this blog is that the two fields - User Experience (UX) Design and User Interface (UI) Design have been repeatedly and unnecessarily mistaken. While these two do work together closely and complement each other in the product development process, they are not the same at all. And hopefully, we have set this straight once and for all through this blog.

When there is something wrong existing in our industries for so long, it is our responsibility to help clear things up. To wrap up, bear in mind that you need to be strong in both these fields in order to help make your product successful in this competitive marketplace. Once you get them right, there is no stopping you.

With this valuable information available at your disposal, we are sure you will be able to get the most out of both practices. So go ahead and implement this knowledge. Make sure to share this information with others who are still using the terms UX and UI interchangeably and not bothering to correct themselves. Happy designing!

Hariom Balhara  is an inventive person who has been doing intensive research in particular topics and writing blogs and articles for  Tireless IT Services . Tireless IT Services is a  Digital Marketing SEO SMO PPC , and  Web Development  company that comes with massive experiences. We specialize in digital marketing,  Web Designing  and development, graphic design, and a lot more.

SOURCE:  UX vs. UI Design - Everything You Need to Know

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