UI and UX are not the same thing

If you are having your website or software developed, the term ‘design’ no longer provides a sufficient explanation. Technology has been evolving and this forces us to adapt to constantly growing expectations. That is why we increasingly hear of mysterious acronyms like UI and UX. But what do they mean? 

The most common mistake while looking for a job, or having a conversation with someone outside of the software environment, is combining those two terms into one. Although User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) have many similarities, a key one being working on improving customer satisfaction, they should be seen separately.

User Experience (UX)

In the simplest form a User Experience Designer is concerned with how the product works. Encompassing all interactions between a potential customer and a company, the UX designer is responsible for improving the usability of a product. UX designers are expected to test and develop the products’ quality, creating the best user experience. They can build potential users’ personas and conduct in-person user tests so they can observe and understand the way both a user and their product behave and react.

User Interface (UI)

On the other hand, a User Interface Designer should be particular about how the product looks. Designing each and every single page or screen, the UI designer is responsible for creating the touch points a potential user interacts with. The appearance of a website or software must correspond to the UX designer’s work, providing a visual response to the ease of use mentioned above.

UX vs. UI

If you are still having trouble understanding the difference between UX and UI clearly, let us provide some of the best explanations we have heard throughout the years. One of them is to picture UX and UI as a restaurant. The décor, the table setting, things that surround you are User Interface, the way the product looks. The food and the service, the atmosphere being created is User Experience, the way a product works. UI may encourage us to visit the restaurant, but it is UX, or the quality of the food, that will have us return.

When you ask a UX or UI designer about what they do for a living, you may hear them say that they are web designers. This popular title is definitely easier to understand for most people however, you should not associate those terms with each other. A web designer is someone who creates everything on the surface of a website, while UX and UI designers are responsible for much more, running tests, examining the psychological side of the product, creating devices.

An increasing number of employers are looking to hire UI/UX designers. We all want to save money, but hiring one person to do two jobs is not necessarily cost efficient. This person will generally end up generalising, only doing a little bit of everything. If you are still considering this, you should ask yourself a question: is a little bit enough for us?

UX and UI designers both play very important roles that continue to support each other. In order to find the perfect match for your company’s needs it is essential to understand the differing attributes each role can bring and how they can support your project. 

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