UI vs UX: What is the difference between UX and UI design?


By Md Ifran

Executive, Business Development

Date: October 18, 2021

covid 19

UI vs UX is one of the most confusing topics in the design industry. UX and UI may overlap but there are a few key differences between them. This is a kind of debate that has lots of opinions & many actually try to put both the topics under one umbrella. Is it really the same thing or is it the different side of the same coin? Let’s find out

What Does UI mean

‘UI’ is just two letters that carry a whole new universe with it. If we just decode the two letters it means User Interface. The interface between users and a computer, website, or program is the user interface. The objective of a good user interface is to facilitate and intuit the user experience and require little effort on the part of the user to get the intended output.

So, now you know what is UI or user interface but what is user interface design? So, the user interface is the final outcome, and user interface design is the process of achieving the outcome. The development of the UI is the method designers use to create interfaces with aesthetics or style for software or electronic devices. Designers are constantly trying to build interfaces that are straightforward and pleasant for users. UI design relates to graphical and other user interfaces, such as voice-operated or touch interfaces.

This task is for the designers of UIs. You as a UI designer determine how the application will appear. You must select color schemes and button forms line widths and typefaces for text. UI designers develop the appearance and feel of a user interface application.

A Short History of User Interface Design

UI design or user interface design dates back to the mid-1900s. During this time the first generation of computers came into existence and they had a little user interface with few buttons. The input was mainly provided by punched cards. As the latter 20th century progressed, the keyboards became the focus of interface between people and computer technology.

Xerox’s PARC research branch was essential in giving shape and function to the digital design for modern use. A skilled psychologist and engineer, Bob Taylor led his team on the construction techniques of personal computers, the most significant instrument in human-computer interaction, namely the graphical user interface. In reality, in the ‘70s, numerous major trends like the graphical user interface and the mouse were underway.

Apple introduced in 1984 their first mass-market PC with a graphical user interface, integrated display, and mouse. By 1988, Apple sold Macintosh to one million people. Just after that other businesses like IBM, Compaq, and others entered the market. Although Windows 1.0 was launched in 1985 by Microsoft, the fame exploded in 92 with Windows 3.1. 

Laptop computers began overtaking the desktop in the 1990s. PalmPilot was actually becoming popular, which was a little computer version. The style, which operated with its touchscreen, offered a novel user interface. In 1997 voice became a way of interacting with the launch of Dragon NaturallySpeaking.

The Internet revolution witnessed a growth in the development of the UI in the early 2000s. Apple has launched a multi-takes magic mouse with numerous iterations that enable user input with various finger touches. Apple has made a major leap forward towards UI design with the iPhone launch in 2007 and the iPad in 2010. You would be shocked if you knew that Apple purchased Fingerworks.com in 2005 and attribute it to the Apple iPhone interfaces.

Nowadays touch is not the only form of user input voice input is getting more popular with technologies like Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa, and so on. Not only voice, but gesture control is also getting much attention these days.

Why UI design is important 

One reason why your website begins to witness a visitor stream is User Interface Design. Interface attracts and retains individuals. It is what makes your site recommendable and loyal to clients. It should never be ignored, irrespective of what anyone claims. Yet another thing that surprises people is the extent to which even the tiniest modifications in UI design may have an influence.

For example, did you realize that a button’s design may tell if someone understands how to do a task or not? It’s an insane phenomenon, but it’s real. People have certain visual senses, which play on how users engage with a website and they should be taken into account by online and software developer businesses.

Design is open to individuals and should be treated seriously if you wish to succeed. One of the reasons why your website begins to notice a traffic stream user interface design. Apart from fundamental design modifications such as button sizes and color combinations, visitors will probably not stay on your site if it is hard to engage with them.

Their customer experience should be one of your main considerations while visiting your website. The conversion rates are higher if visitors have a positive experience on the business site and tend to tell more people about it. This implies that your sales are more likely and your client base can develop even more.

The best user interface is designed by the knowledge of the users and their trends, choices, competencies, and objectives. Consider the following good interface design standards while working on UI design:

  1. Simple design is always best. Make sure you use clear language & avoid using complex elements.
  2. Keep coherence through the use of similar UI components. Use elements known to users. This makes things happen quickly. It also ensures user comfort and reward.
  3. Use intelligent, targeted page design. Try to focus on the main features of the website.
  4. To capture the customer’s attention up to a specific or certain component, colors and textures should be utilized adequately.
  5. It’s essential to communicate. The user should be able to determine if something goes properly or badly. Make sure your website establishes defaults and interacts with your users efficiently.
What is Ux

What does UX mean 

“User experience encompasses all aspects of the end-users interaction with the company, its services, and its products”

The term UX refers to the work that is done on the products. Every aspect of the product that the user intends to use. Looks, feelings, how the user experience will be during use, business strategies, and even all types of obstacles are all considered.

Any contact a user has with a good or service is referred to as a user experience (UX). UX design should reflect every aspect that defines this encounter & how it enables the customers to feel, and how simple it is for the user to do their intended tasks. This may range from how a tangible object feels in your hand to how simple the checkout procedure is when purchasing anything online.

The objective of UX design is to produce simple, efficient, relevant, and all-around enjoyable user experiences.

The phrase “User Experience Design” is generally used interchangeably with words like “User Interface Design” and “User-friendliness.” While usability and user interface (UI) design are essential components of UX design, they are subsets of it; UX design encompasses a wide range of other topics as well.

A user experience designer is focused on the complete process of obtaining and implementing a product, including identity, appearance, usefulness, and function. It is a tale that begins before the user ever holds the item.

A short history of User experience design

When individuals use the word user experience (UX), they typically mean one’s interaction with a digital or technical good or service. The assumption is that the user’s experience has been created and is, at the very least, theoretically custom-developed further.

Today, user experience (UX) has evolved into an essential design discipline that continues to expand and adapt. While it is relatively young, its interdisciplinary history may be dated directly to the Renaissance, if not earlier. Though we will not talk about ancient UX practices, we will start from iPhone & I believe from iPhone the user experience trend started. 

Don Norman, an electronics engineer and cognitive researcher by trade, joined Apple to assist with the analysis and innovation of the company’s future line of human-centered devices. He requested the title “User Experience Architect,” which was the first time the word was used in a professional title. Don Norman had already authored his classic book,

“The Design of Everyday Things,” at this time, which advocated for design for usability and utility rather than appearances. It continues to have a major influence on designers today.

The original iPhone’s ingenuity, perhaps, rested in its combination of superior technology and software to enable communication via a groundbreaking capacitive interface, rendering rival phone’s physical keyboards useless. Simply said, it delivered a significantly greater user experience than any other modern phone.

This has unwittingly contributed to the present commercial emphasis on user experience. Others desired Apple’s emphasis on developing exceptional user experiences if it was bringing them sales and profits and critical acclaim. Every notable finding in the development of UX has featured a human-technology interface.

As technology and the internet become more integrated into our lives, we should anticipate UX to change in the near future.

UI vs UX

UI vs UX: Difference between UI and UX design

“UX is focused on the user’s journey to solve a problem, UI is focused on how a product’s surfaces look and function”

Consider a building, the physical structure of the house is its UI. The power system, sewage, and HVAC systems all contribute to the house’s functioning and it is the user experience. The door accessories, doorknobs, faucets, and paint are the user interfaces through which the homeowner interacts with the house or the UI and enjoys it.

There is obviously a matter of practicality to comprehend the two concepts. Paying very close attention to your product’s UX and UI design may greatly affect a product’s or service’s success. Though both the terms are interrelated there are noticeable differences. 

Primary Responsibilities of a UX Designer

  1. Customer Perspective: Market Positioning, Product Formation are examples of content/strategies which help to understand the market and customer perspective. 
  1. Wireframing and prototypes: model building, testing/iteration, development, planning, and wireframing are part of UX. 
  1. Analytics and Execution: Collaboration with Developer(s), Collaboration with UI Designer(s), Analysis and Iteration, Goal Monitoring, and linking are the final steps of the UX process. 

Key Responsibilities of a UI Designer

  1. Look & Feel: Brand image and graphic design, user guides/storylines, marketing mix, and design research are all part of the overall design aesthetic.
  1. Responsiveness and Engagement: Compatibility to All Device Screen Resolution, Interactive content and Visual effects, Programmer Implementation, UI Prototyping, Developer Implementation.

Despite the intellectual resemblance, actual implementation in the industry is significantly different. The following are the three major distinctions between UX and UI designers:

  1. UX is concerned with the product’s intent and usefulness. The quality of the engagement of users with the product is addressed by UI.
  2. As it pertains to the design and engagement with the product, UI design includes an artistic factor. It has an impact on what the end-user perceives, thinks, and experiences. For market analysis and engaging with clients to understand their needs, UX has a greater psychological aspect.
  3. UX involves the planning analysis and management across the conception, development, and delivery phases. The design components for the completed product are created using a more technical component which is the UI.

UX and UI are not spots to cut corners in. Irrespective of terminology and labor divisions, they are both critical components of product design and delivery. According to research, customer experience promotes revenue growth. UX and UI are investments made in the product or service. Customers spend their money on the product or service. If investing their money does not produce the desired results, they will move their commitment to a solution that does.

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