Understanding the Difference between UI and UX

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UI and UX are both important terms when it comes to web development. However, a lot of people tend to assume that they both mean the same thing. This is not the case, and it is important to understand the differences between the two. Therefore, continue reading to discover more about the difference between a UI developer and a UX developer.

They’re not the same but they work together
UI Design stands for User Interface Design, whereas UX Design stands for User Experience Design. These two concepts are not worlds apart. In fact, they work very closely together and are crucial to the business product. However, it is vital to recognize that the roles of both design concepts are rather distinct, as they concern differing parts of the design discipline and process. UI design is closer to graphic design, albeit a bit more complicated, and UX design is a more technical and analytical field.

UX design
So, let’s begin by taking a look at the latter – UX design. When it comes to this, the designer is primarily concerned with the feel of the product. An expert in UX design will explore the numerous approaches to solving a certain problem that the user has. In broad terms, the designer needs to make sure that there is a logical flow from one step to the next step when it comes to the product, a website, for example. There are several ways a UX designer can do this, with one way being an in-person user test being conducted in order to observe the behavior of someone. For example, they could determine a user is taking a long time to navigate the checkout. This could mean many things, from needing to find the best VPS to speed up the site to needing to simplify the checkout process. The developer is able to generate the best experience for the user, as they have identified both non-verbal and verbal stumbling blocks.

What tools do UX designers use to carry out their task? This includes the likes of InVision, Fireworks, Illustrator, Sketch, and Photoshop. Deliverables include sitemap, storyboards, and wireframes of screens. The sort of thing you can expect a UX designer to say is “it would be a good idea to say ‘thank you’ to the user after they have signed up.”

UI designers
Now, let’s move onto UI designers. Rather than being concerned with the product’s overall feel, a UI designer is more bothered about the way the product is laid out. They link with the UX designer because it is their role to ensure they communicate the path the UX designer has determined is right for the customer. Therefore, they bring the UX designer’s findings to life by designing each page or screen effectively. To give you an example, a UI designer will determine whether to include a slider on a website or dashboard. They also make sure there is a consistent design language and cohesive style.

Finally, the tools that a UI designer uses include Fireworks, Illustrator, Sketch, and Photoshop. Something you may likely hear a UI expert state includes: “It would be better to move the sign up and login links to the top right hand corner.”

So, hopefully you now have a better understanding of the difference between the two design concepts and what is entailed.