Your Guide to Understanding the Difference Between UI/UX

Overview:  Learn the core differences between UI and UX and how you can crack these terms even when you aren’t a tech pro!  

We have overhead conversations in the tech world, using the terms UX and UI, and a question always pops into our mind: What do they both mean? They sound like secret codes from a technical language that we’ll never be familiar with — secret codes that our pea-sized brains will never be able to crack.

But that’s not the case! UX & UI are not code words or super-technical phrases — but simple abbreviations for “user experience” and “user interface.”  UI and UX are frequently confused or conflated terms, and those who aren’t familiar with them often use them interchangeably. If you’re keen to learn what UX and UI are and how they differ, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn the differences and similarities between UI and UX.

What is UI?

UI, or “user interface,” is the point where a product or digital device interacts with the user. A simple example is the touch screen on your mobile phone or the touch pad you use to withdraw money from an ATM. How you interact with a product or a device is what tech gurus describe as a UI. When creating a user interface, a UI designer will make sure they’re mindful of the colors, typography, images, buttons, icons, and responsive designs of the product so they appear natural to the users. For instance, you may encounter a touch pad on a coffee machine that allows you to choose between different types of coffees. The aim of UI design is to help navigate and guide the user so they don’t waste their time trying to figure out how to use the product.

What is UX? 

UX, or “user experience,” is a way of designing a product or a digital device. According to Don Norman, author of The Design of Everyday Things, “User experience covers all aspects of the end user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.” You can read more about Don Norman and user-centered design here.
Unlike user interaction, user experience design is a process that ensures the quality of interaction between a user and all aspects of a company. The UX is more focused on feel and quality than visuals or aesthetics. A user experience designer ensures that the quality of interaction between the user and company is at its best and that the process of designing the product is professional and smooth.  

Related Reading: The similarities and differences between UI

Core  Difference Between UX & UI: 

UX and UI are equally important for a product to be successful. If we were to think of the human body as a product, our organs could be classified as user experience  (UX), and our senses, facial expressions, and the physical reactions of our body could be classified as user interface (UI). UX is a structure, and UI is its look or interactive presentation. Without UI or UX, or both, a digital product can never be successful. Below are some differences between UI and UX.

The Basic Difference: As stated above, UX design is a structure or process that ensures the quality, experience, and feel of the interaction, while UI is the presentation, the fancy look, that a product has on the outside, through which an end-user interacts.

The Difference in Aims: A UX designer’s goal is to solve the problem of users as to what task they need to complete, what they will use the product for, and what steps they will take to complete it. Here a UX designer’s aim is to find out the product’s audience and what they need. When the UX designer has created the product’s internal structure, the UI designer’s work begins. A user interface designer focuses on all the exterior designs and visuals that are aesthetically pleasing to captivate users’ eyes. For a successful design, the designer looks closely into color schemes, shapes and sizes, and responsiveness of the buttons, icons, and screens that users would find. The UI designer also works to ensure that the product is intuitive for the user.

The Difference in Importance: It is clear that UX is the primary structure of a product, and without a user experience, the product wouldn’t exist. Whereas a non-digital product can survive and succeed without a user interface. Digital products are a successful combination and coordination of UX and UI designs, and neither aspect can be ignored. Take the example of a coffee machine we mentioned earlier. The importance of user experience is greater than that of user interface, but both are necessary.

The Difference in Nature: Other differences between user interface and user experience designs can include the nature of the work they do. In user experience, a UX design analyzes the customer and competitors, while a UI design focuses on the customer. UX regulates the product structure and strategy and coordinates with developers and the UI to make the product better. As stated earlier, UX is like body organs; without body organs, a human body cannot survive. The nature of UI involves branding, graphics, and other visual elements of the product. Although they are not identical, there is always coordination between UX and UI. The fast growth of UI and UX is undeniable since they both are a huge part of the digitized world. They are both factors in customer satisfaction and loyalty, so we can’t deny that both UI and UX are important in business growth.

Related Reading: Why is UI/UX important in today’s business growth & UX

In Summary: 

User interference and user experience, thought they may be mysterious to many, are no more than two terms used by product developers and designers. We hope we’ve provided some insight into what they are, how they work, and how they help businesses boost their engagements and sales. With so much on your plate, you may find it intimidating to venture into the depths of understanding UI/UX. The talented team at MyUnlimitedWP is eager to help you to the best of their abilities. Feel free to reach out to us today!

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