The differences between UX & UI

posted on 26th Jun 2018 by Trish Brady

I call myself a UI Designer… previously called a web designer, before that I was a graphic designer! I’m not a UX Designer.

Sometimes my role crosses over into the UX field prior to starting to design an interface, but the two fields are totally different – they are not the same.

What’s What

UX Design refers to the term User Experience Design, while UI Design stands for User Interface Design. Both elements are crucial to a product and work closely together. Despite their relationship the roles themselves are quite different. Where UX Design is a more analytical and technical field, UI Design is closer to what we refer to as graphic design. Both of these professions have been around for decades – way before the birth of the internet, but have been defined by the tech industry as UX and UI Design.

UX Design

UX Design is a broad field. Not only used by companies when designing a web interface but by others that develop products or provide services. As a process it can be applied to anything, cars, furniture down to how you shop. UX Design focus on the interaction with a product, how it behaves and how people interact with it. There is huge value in understanding your user. When it comes to a website it can mean where the user clicks first, what the user does etc. It also handles the architecture of the content on a website and the sitemap.

Brief roles of a UX Designer:

Strategy and Content:

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

Execution and Analytics:

  • Wireframing and Prototyping
  • Coordination with UI Designer and Developer
  • Tracking Goals and Integration
  • Analysis

 

UI Design

User Interface design is exactly what is says on the tin… the design of the interface. That can mean a website from desktop, to tablet to mobile devices. But also other products like watches, washing machines, car dashboards, kiosks etc, anything with an interface. UI Design deals with how content is laid out, where things should go and what branding and imagery are used. User Interface Design is a compliment to UX providing the look and feel, the presentation and interactivity of a product.

Brief roles of a UI Designer:

Look and Feel:

  • Customer Analysis
  • Design Research
  • Branding and Graphic Development
  • User Guides/Storyline

Responsiveness and Interactivity:

  • UI Prototyping
  • Interactivity and Animation
  • Designs across all devices
  • Implementation with Developer

Or something like this:

 

Trish Brady, UI Designer

Trish looks after digital design and creative development at Neworld, bringing a wealth of experience and insight to every project. She is not a UX Designer but a UI Designer.