The Difference Between UI and UX Design

Lots of people still seem to confuse the terms UX and UI, although there is too much information on the internet and everybody is talking about those terms. UX stands for user experience and UI meaning user interface. It is important to know that UX and UI are crucial for a product and always work together. In this article, we will talk more about these two terms and highlight the difference between UI and UX design.

What is UX Design?

User experience design is the process of building a relationship between the company, its products, and their customers. UX design encloses user’s entire journey with the product. It aims at creating a product that will not only be useful and valuable but also easily accessible, pleasant and most importantly, desirable. UX design creates a product that will provide a valid and significant user experience. It has different disciplines, including visual design, interaction design, usability and more.

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While doing UX design, designers concentrate on the WHY, WHAT, HOW of the product use. Designers start with the WHY, to understand the motivations people would have, to use the product. Then they work on the WHAT, as if the functionality and features, what they need to provide to make the product useful. After this comes the HOW, which is the most significant part. This part is the design of the functionality which needs to be accessible and satisfying, in order for users to form meaningful experiences.

What is UI Design?

User interface design, mostly used as UI design, is basically the design of the human-computer interface. For example, it is the interface in a mobile game that allows you to interact with players, characters and game’s other objects. UI design refers to the visual part of the product or experience. It is the look of your product and the way it is presented.

For example, UI is the design of the buttons, icons you use to interact with a certain product, to create a pleasing user experience. Users need efficiency in achieving their goals while using your product.

But it is not only about being simple. You need to combine the beauty and easy navigation. Users will be amazed at adapting to the product easily, but if the path itself is beautiful and enjoyable, it will double the happiness, for sure.

The main difference between UI and UX design

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It can be considered that UX design is done first, then the UI design happens. Designers work on the features, that will be preferred to be used by users and then they do the design of the ‘look’ which will be eye-catching and enjoyable.

UX makes the interface functional, while UI makes it beautiful. UX design focuses on providing a product that will help users achieve their goals, and UI helps the experience be joyful.

For example, let’s take an online bookstore. If you go on the website, see everything in a clear way, calm colors, nice interface design and you can find the book you want easily, this means that UI design has been done well. But what if the store only sells books of English authors or based on some other factors, such as editions, origin and more? In this case, the UX will be poor for a book lover of Chinese literature.

UX is the overall experience user has with the product, and UI is the elements user sees and interacts with. If something is very beautiful but is hard to use, this means you have good UI and poor UX design, and vice versa. If something is very usable but looks horrible indicates the presence of good UX but poor UI.

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However, there are people who believe there is no difference between UI and UX design at all. Craig Morrison, the Head of Product at RecordSetter and the Founder of Usability Hour, has been asked the question on the difference too many times, and he has come to a conclusion and sets the definition the following way:

“There is no difference between UX and UI design because they are two things that aren’t comparable to each other. The user experience is made up of a bunch of different components, user interface design being just one of them, that when combined together make up the user experience.

It’s kind of like asking:

  1. What is the difference between a MacBook and the shape of the keyboard keys?
  2. What’s the difference between a car and the color it’s painted?“

UX design is the validity and significance of your product, whereas, UI design focuses on the easy use and pleasurability. UI and UX are inseparable. A well designed UI can create an ideal user experience that designer has foreseen and the user is happy about.

At last, ending this article with one of the greatest quotes on design:

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works”

-Steve Jobs

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