If you own a website, you’ve likely heard about the importance of UX and UI. However, the difference and what their respective elements entail may not be very clear.
UX refers to “User Experience” and UI stands for “User Interface.” They are often misunderstood and therefore misused. So I want to shed some light on UX and UI design and how to work with developers to reach your goals.
The difference between UX and UI
Let’s take a look at a scenario we are all familiar with — cooking. When you make a dish, your aim is to impress the people who will eat it. In the same way, creating a dish involves both UX and UI design concepts.
Say you’re baking a cake. When you prepare it, add the ingredients and the process of actually baking it involves UX (a.k.a., User Experience). While UI (a.k.a., User Interface) can be likened to when you present it. Albeit there are similarities between the two, but there are fundamental differences.
User experience (UX) is about the end user’s point of view; their pain points and catering to their needs. If you take the cake example, it depends on whether your audience would prefer a layered cake, chocolate or walnut, if they have nut allergies, and general dislikes when it comes to pastries.
User interface (UI), on the other hand, is about visual design. It is about how you present the cake in an appealing manner; in a way that communicates the intention, artistry and so on.
Experience vs. Interface
Now that we’ve established the fundamental difference, you might be struck by how similar these concepts really are (we sure were when we started). User Experience deals mostly with identifying a user’s pain points and eliminating them. In a sense, it is all about the bigger details. In contrast, User Interface is all about the minor ones.
A UX developer or designer must focus on the flow of the design which is passed on to the UI team. As Rahul Varshney, Co-creator of Foster.fm explains, “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.”
To put it another way, “The entire product is UX, an individual section is UI. The joy of throwing a baseball is user experience, the stitching and spherical shape is UI.”
As affordable UX/UI developers, we have worked on a variety of different projects. In our experience, UX is about making things useful while UI deals with making things beautiful. If you attribute something to being extremely useful (i.e. utility), the UX team deserves the credit. While if you appreciate how beautiful something looks (i.e. aesthetics), the credit goes to the UI team.
“User Experience is a good place to be if you want to build great products from the user’s perspective — but if you understand those principles and are more visually inclined, you might prefer User Interface Design,” David is the CEO of Blu Mint Digital explains. “Or in other terms, UI design produces a product’s visual presentation, reactivity and interactivity in response to a user’s input or different display environments.”
Ultimately, both components are important when it comes to good design and one can’t do without the other.
This article has been edited.
Lalji Patel is a marketing professional who love to blog about different marketing topics. He graduated as a computer science engineer and currently working as an online marketing manager helping business with search and content marketing on various projects. Currently he is working with Mobilecoderz.com – a leading UI/UX design company and mobile app development company in India. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing flow through in expert industry coverage he provides.