Before we address the difference between UI and UX Design, it bears explaining that both areas complement each other, with each one working in a certain way to provide the best user experience possible. Knowing how to use them in service to the customer is essential.
UI Design and UX Design are often confused, but while their names are similar, both approaches are very different. UX is related to the user’s experience and feelings, while UI is how the user achieves that experience.
The first step in this journey is to find out what each term means and how they impact the user journey.
What is UX Design?
UX stands for “User Experience.” It covers how the customer interacts with your product or service based on the elements provided. As its name suggests, customer experience is decisive for the success or failure of a brand.
It is important to emphasize that UX is not restricted to the user’s experience with the final product but also to the preliminary steps. In other words, offering relevant content is fundamental, but success also depends on how this content is consumed.
Providing a totally differentiated product or service is pointless if you don’t know how to promote it correctly. Your website design, for example, needs to be responsive, organized, and intuitive, conveying credibility while being easy to use.
When the UX of a product or service is overlooked, users tend to:
- Write the application off as too complicated to use;
- Abandon payments on an e-commerce platform, for example;
- Get frustrated while attempting to configure a product.
UX Design should blend empathy, usability, technology, and a human touch during development.
Consequently, UX Designers are responsible for the following:
- Researching users and their needs;
- Performing usability testing and applying design changes as needed;
- Developing experiences that positively impact users;
- Collaborating with business goals.
Designers can use a diagram creator to plan customer journey paths and improve user experience by creating effective and professional material and useful visuals that organize essential information and turn ideas into action.
UX Design benefits the user and contributes to the evolution of the brand and the company. In this sense, companies that put the user at the center of their product decisions benefit from the following:
- Improvement in the customer’s own experience with the product;
- Brand loyalty;
- Increase in profitability;
- Improved business image.
What is UI Design?
UI stands for “User Interface,” an area dedicated to creating easier, more functional, and more user-friendly interfaces which lead to positive user experiences.
First, let’s look at what is referred to as an interface, as these can come in different shapes, sizes, and types – from website screens, mobile apps, microwave buttons, or car dashboards.
User Interface Design concerns these interfaces and how users interact with them. The main elements of interface design can be compiled into four main pillars: buttons, typography, icons, and colors.
One example which can facilitate the application of these factors is the Call-to-Action (CTA) button, which will call users to perform an action – starting from a textual element, such as “Download,” from an icon to draw attention. It usually takes the form of a square with a flashy red or green color scheme.
Not every interface is visual: UI Designers are also responsible for developing voice-based interfaces, such as virtual assistants.
UI Design provides different opportunities for those not interested in migrating to this area. Some of the most common possibilities are:
- Creating interfaces as part of a Design team;
- IT sectors of large companies;
- Development of web interfaces or mobile applications.
UI Designers also do a lot of prototyping, i.e., creating low and high-fidelity versions to validate concepts and test interface usability with users.
What is the difference between UI and UX Design?
Convincing people to create a dream and materialize it through your products and services may seem audacious, but it is possible with a focus on user experience. In both User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI), excellent user or customer experience is key.
UX deals with how a person feels while using a product or service, digital or otherwise, and how they feel afterward.
The mechanism guiding the user through graphical and visual interfaces is UI Design.
All brands will want their users to take specific actions as they visit their websites. Making this happen – subtly guiding users through the navigation and inciting them to take actions organically – is the goal of UI Design.
Other differences include:
- UX Designers deal with macro-interactions, while UI Designers deal with micro-interactions;
- UX makes a product seem useful, while UI makes your interfaces usable;
- UX helps users to take action, while UI generates emotional connections;
- UX deals with products, interfaces, and services, while UI deals exclusively with interfaces.
UI is purely visual, while UX is not, since, in many cases, the user’s feeling regarding their browsing experience has nothing to do with what they see on the screen.
As mentioned before, UI appeals to the rational, and UX deals with the emotional. In a sense, UI and UX Design are two halves that complete one another. When both are strategically executed on a website or app, the former guides the user on what they should do, while the latter makes this journey as pleasant as possible.
Separately, both models can lead to positive results, but using both at once is much more advantageous.
Using UX and UI generates high value among your target audiences, as well as greater odds of future engagement and strengthening of brand awareness.
Therefore, the synergistic partnership of UI and UX is a powerful tool for dynamic and sensory businesses in the digital age.
We are faced with a new paradigm, and companies have come to see customers as their most valuable asset. This entails a never-ending search to know one’s users in-depth to meet their needs.
UI and UX are part of a business strategy that has grown significantly with the rise of digital and user-centric models. One outcome of this evolution is the emotional link, guided by a strategy, between product, service, brand, and customer through creating positive experiences. Understanding the difference between UI and UX Design can be really helpful in several ways. Companies are increasingly investing in user-centric design to create even more appealing products and services, which opens up many opportunities for professionals to work in startups, agencies, and the corporate market.