THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN UX AND UI DESIGN – A LAYMAN’S GUIDE
"We -have- all overheard conversations, walking down hip streets of the world’s tech capitals, discussions about the great ‘UX’ of a product, or the poor ‘UI’ of a website. Is it a secret language you will never be privy to? Are these people just using slang to look cool?" wonders EMIL LAMPRECHT in this article published in CAREERFOOUNDRY "Well, ok probably yes to the latter, but a determinate NO to the rest. Read on to learn what these terms mean, which jobs are better paid, and how to become a UX designer or UI designer." In the following steps Lampecht thoroughly explains the difference between UX and UX starting from:
The Acronyms UnveiledThe people you have eavesdropped on are actually discussing two professions that despite having been around for decades, and in theory for centuries, have been defined by the tech industry as UX and UI Design. UX Design refers to the term User Experience Design, while UI Design stands for User Interface Design. Both elements are crucial to a product and work closely together. But despite their professional relationship, the roles themselves are quite different, referring to very different parts of the process and the design discipline. Where UX Design is a more analytical and technical field, UI Design is closer to what we refer to as graphic design, though the responsibilities are somewhat more complex. There is an analogy I like to use in describing the different parts of a (digital) product: If you imagine a product as the human body, the bones represent the code which give it structure. The organs represent the UX design: measuring and optimizing against input for supporting life functions. And UI design represents the cosmetics of the body–its presentation, its senses and reactions. But don’t worry if you’re still confused! You’re not the only one! As Rahul Varshney, Co-creator of Foster.fm puts it:
User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) are some of the most confused and misused terms in our field. A UI without UX is like a painter slapping paint onto canvas without thought; while UX without UI is like the frame of a sculpture with no paper mache on it. A great product experience starts with UX followed by UI. Both are essential for the product’s success.Below I break down the history, debate and definition around each term in detail. But if you don’t care for them - jump to the end of each section for a simplified description. And make sure you don’t miss the professional stats below it.
What is User Experience Design?User experience design is a human-first way of designing products. As is found on Wikipedia:
- User experience design (UXD or UED) is the process of enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty by improving the usability, ease of use, and pleasure provided in the interaction between the customer and the product.
Strategy and Content:
- Competitor Analysis
- Customer Analysis
- Product Structure/Strategy
- Content Development
Wireframing and Prototyping:
- Development Planning
Execution and Analytics
- Coordination with UI Designer(s)
- Coordination with Developer(s)
- Tracking Goals and Integration
- Analysis and Iteration
So in conclusion:
- User Experience Design is the process of development and improvement of quality interaction between a user and all facets of a company.
- User Experience Design is responsible for being hands on with the process of research, testing, development, content, and prototyping to test for quality results.
- User Experience Design is in theory a non-digital (cognitive science) practice, but used and defined predominantly by digital industries.
What is UI Design?Despite it being an older and more practiced field, the question of “ What is user interface design? ” is difficult to answer by its ranging variety of misinterpretations. While User Experience is a conglomeration of tasks focused on optimization of a product for effective and enjoyable use; User Interface Design is its compliment, the look and feel, the presentation and interactivity of a product. But like UX, it is easily and often confused by the industries that employ UI Designers. To the extent that different job posts will often refer to the profession as completely different things. If you look at job posts for User Interface Design, you will mostly find interpretations of the profession that are akin to graphic design. Sometimes extending also to branding design, and even front end development. If you look at expert definitions of User Interface Design, you will mostly find descriptions that are in part identical to User Experience design. Even referring to the same structural techniques. So which one is right? The sad answer is: Neither But both are close in some ways. Like User Experience Design, User Interface Design is a multi-faceted and challenging role. It is responsible for the transference of a product’s development, research, content and layout into an attractive, guiding and responsive experience for users. It is also a field that unlike UX, is a strictly digital profession, as per its dictionary definition: user interface noun Computing the means by which the user and a computer system interact, in particular the use of input devices and software. Regardless of whether you choose UX design or UI design, it’s important to understand how the other one works and, crucially, how to work with them. Let’s have a quick look at the UI designer’s responsibilities:
Look and Feel:
- Customer Analysis
- Design Research
- Branding and Graphic Development
- User Guides/Storyline
Responsiveness and Interactivity:
- UI Prototyping
- Interactivity and Animation
- Adaptation to All Device Screen Sizes
- Implementation with Developer
So in conclusion:
- User Interface Design is responsible for the transference of a brand’s strengths and visual assets to a product’s interface as to best enhance the user’s experience.
- User Interface Design is a process of visually guiding the user through a product’s interface via interactive elements and across all sizes/platforms.
- User Interface Design is a digital field, which includes responsibility for cooperation and work with developers or code.