The Differences Between UX and UI Design
The Differences Between UX and UI Design
You require both UX and UI if you’re going to create a website. Everyone from web designers to household product developers needs to know when they’re using UX design or UI design.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
Learn how error monitoring with Sentry closes the gap between the product team and your customers. With Sentry, you can focus on what you do best: building and scaling software that makes your users’ lives better.
User experience (UX) design and user interface (UI) design are often attributed as different names for the same concept. That couldn’t be further from the truth. You require both UX and UI if you’re going to create a website. Everyone from web designers to household product developers needs to know when they’re using UX design or UI design.
These are the key differences between the two types of design.
They’re Not the Same
This is the first misconception to banish as soon as possible. To begin with, UI design is the combination of visual design and interaction design. The easiest way to split the two is to see UI designers as the guardians of the micro-interactions on your website. For example, when someone clicks a button.
The UX designer also deals in interactions, but they’re more concerned with the high-level view of whatever they happen to be working on. They concentrate on macro-interactions.
UX Makes Interfaces Useful
Your product has to be useful, but it also has to be appealing. A bland product designed by an affiliate marketing company that works is never going to hold any appeal and won’t make them any money. To make your product beautiful you would hand it over to the UI designer. They will take the interface and make it into something that people use because they want to use it.
The UX designer will be the person who creates the minimum viable product. They will be the person creating the prototype
UX Design is About Meeting Targets
One of the key differences between UX and UI designers is UX designers will focus on meeting a goal. For example, if a UX designer is creating a website aimed at lovers of Italian cuisine they will spend their time finding out about what’s important to lovers of Italian cuisine. They will find out what they value and incorporate it into the website.
On the other hand, the UI designer will be thinking more about making emotional connections. The UI designer is responsible for the personality of the interface. They will create the hook that draws that target market in and keeps them there.
UI designers will turn a working interface into a real emotional response.
UX Design Happens First… Mostly
Design can happen however a company wants. The general rule of thumb is that UX design happens first and UI design happens second. UX designers will conduct much of the initial research that will either discount or recommend certain product ideas.
As already mentioned, UI designers are responsible for micro-interactions, so they won’t act until they have a prototype to work with.
But it can differ depending on who’s responsible within a company for each type of design. Some professionals are specialists in both and may have their own way of doing things. You will always get the best results when you allow your designers to have flexibility in relation to their workflow.
UI Design Only Relates to Interfaces
One of the most important points to mention is that UI is specifically aimed at interfaces. UX design can be implemented across practically any type of product. It’s quickly evolved into an extremely broad field, which means a UX designer may branch out from traditional products, such as software and websites.
One could argue that a UX designer is by far the most flexible professional. This is true in the sense that they’re broader, but they’re still both required to make a project work. A UX designer simply has more options regarding what they want to specialize in.
Conclusion – Making the Differentiation is Important
The two types of design are often confused. And that’s a problem for companies because when they think they’re getting one thing they’re getting another. Assuming they’re both the same thing is a fatal error and can cause serious problems. However, while their roles are similar their differences mean you need both to make a project function effectively.
Take note that you might find professionals who’re specialized in both. But you will need to specify that you are looking for help in both areas when tackling your project.
What do you think is the biggest difference between the two types of design?
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.