What is the Difference between UX Design and UI Design?

People always confused and assumed that UX Design and UI Design are both the same. After all, both are designers job. Or is it? For the start, UX design refers to User Experience Design and UI Design stands for User Interface Design.


Both elements are essential to a website or product. Although both work closely with each other, both are essentially very different roles. UX is more analytical and technical, while UI is similar to what we refer as graphic design.


Here are some of the important core aspects for designers who are working on the UX and UI for a digital product like mobile app or website to concentrate on:

  • usability (the product is convenient, clear, logical and easy to use)


  • utility (the product provides useful content and solves users’ problems)


  • accessibility (the product is convenient for different categories of users)


  • desirability (the product is attractive and problem-solving, it retains users and creates the positive experience which they are ready to repeat).


What is User Experience Design?


User experience design is a human-first way of designing products. You can learn more about how we’re promoting human-first design across all industries over at The UX School


It is the process of enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty by improving the usability and pleasure provided in the interaction between the customer and the product.


The process involves a conglomeration of tasks focused on optimization of a product for effective and enjoyable use.


UX Design

Source: UX Magazine


Here is some cliff notes example of a UX Designer’s responsibilities. It is targeted at development of digital products, but the theory and process can be applied to anything:


Strategy and Content:

  • Competitor Analysis
  • Customer Analysis
  • Product Structure/Strategy
  • Content Development


Wireframing and Prototyping:

  • Wireframing
  • Prototyping
  • Testing/Iteration
  • Development Planning


Execution and Analytics

  • Coordination with UI Designer(s)
  • Coordination with Developer(s)
  • Tracking Goals and Integration
  • Analysis and Iteration


Summary of UX Design:

  • The aim is to connect business goals to user’s needs through a process of refinement and testing which satisfies both parties.


  • UX Design is responsible for the process of research, content, development, testing, and prototyping to test for the quality results.


  • UX Design is in theory a non-digital practice (cognitive science). However, it is used and defined predominantly by digital industries.


What is User Interface Design?


User Interface Design is the compliment to User Experience Design, the look and feel, the presentation and interactivity of a product.


UI design

Source: Julessdesign


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


Summary of UI Design:

  • User Interface Design is responsible for the transference of a brand and visual assets to a product’s interface in order to enhance the user’s experience.


  • UI Design is a process of visually guiding the user through a product’s interface via interactive elements and across all sizes/platforms.


  • UI Design is a digital field, they have to work closely with developers or code and responsibility for cooperation.


Together, UX and UI are important


The objectives for both types of designers are the same which is to appeal to the visitor/customer and focus on how the user will interact with the products and services.


It should never be about how the designer thinks they should.


Although both have different role, both should work under the same supervisor or directive.


“ Something which very usable but looks terrible is the example of great UX but poor UI. However, something which looks great but difficult to use is an example of great UI but poor UX.” – Helga Moreno, a well-known designer


Post inspired by Yong Tee, written by Katherine Koa

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