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Differences between User Interface (UI) And User Experience (UX)

  • Bhumika Dutta
  • Oct 27, 2021
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Every user has come across graphic components such as displays, buttons, navigation bars, and many more when exploring any software or application. 

 

Any application's design consists of two components: the User Interface (UI) and the User Experience (UX). UI and UX are two concepts that are intrinsically tied. 

 

At its most basic, UI is concerned with the visible parts of the screen with which users will interact, whereas UX is concerned with the internal experience that the user has when engaging with those elements and other aspects of the company's services. 

 

In this article, we are going to learn deeply about UI and UX, and the aspects that make the two fields completely different from each other.

 

(Must read: 5 levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs)


 

What is User Interface (UI)?

 

User Interface (UI) Design is a more technical approach that focuses on improving people's interactions with computers. It works by predicting users' requirements and creating custom inputs to bring them where they need and want to go. So, UI is more about the actual features of the device. 

 

Though not all-inclusive of the word, UI is an element of UX. Visual design, information architecture, and interaction design are also used. The goal of UI design is to improve the entire user experience. 

 

A UI designer strives to make the interaction with a digital device as intuitive as possible by using icons, buttons, visual components, colour, responsive design, and information architecture.

 

The discipline of user interface design is entirely digital. It takes into account all of a product's visual and interaction components, including buttons, icons, spacing, typography, colour schemes, and responsive design. 

 

UI design ensures that a product's interface is consistent, cohesive, and visually attractive by transferring the brand's strengths and visual assets to it.

 

Working as a UI designer on websites, mobile applications, wearable technologies, and smart home gadgets, to mention a few, is virtually unlimited. 

 

They operate on a variety of interfaces, including computer interfaces, mobile phones, augmented and virtual reality, and even "invisible" or screenless interfaces (also known as zero UI) such as speech, gesture, and light.

 

(Also read: The science behind what clicks with the audience remains a mystery)

 

What is User Experience (UX)?

 

The total experience consumers have while engaging with a product is referred to as user experience (UX). Users' experiences, whether favourable, bad, or neutral, impacted how they felt about those encounters once there was anything for them to interact with. 

 

User-experience-focused products are simple to use and give a good experience. In this meaning, user experience refers to a user's emotional reaction to a product.

 

Don Norman, who worked for Apple explained UX as, “User experience encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.”, according to user testing

 

That's a wide term that might include every encounter a person has with a product or service, not simply digital interactions. Some UX specialists prefer to refer to the area as customer experience, while others go even farther and just call it experience design.

 

Peter Morville came up with a visual honeycomb structure that portrays the main aspects of an effective UX design. This 'usability honeycomb' has formed the cornerstone for UX experts' best practises, guiding their efforts across numerous touchpoints with the user. It delves into many questions like, ‘How would a potential customer discover the company’s products’, or ‘The activities people perform when interacting with the interface’. 

 

Given below is the honeycomb structure:


the image is represernting Honeycomb structure provided by usertesting via Peter Morville.

Honeycomb Structure, Source: usertesting via Peter Morville


Through study and testing, UX designers collaborate with UI designers, UX researchers, marketers, and product teams to better understand their consumers. They are in charge of ensuring that the firm offers a product or service that fulfils the customer's demands and helps them to reach their intended result in a smooth manner.

 

(Must read: Guide To Improving Your Site's User Experience)

 

Similarities between UI and UX:

 

Even though the main concern here is listing out the differences between UI and UX, it is important to note how UI and UX work together to provide better interaction to the customer. 

 

One is concerned with the entire experience, while the other is concerned with the chances for engagement via visual and aural means. The user interface is a component of the overall user experience. 

 

In reality, a user experience designer may find ideas in their user research that a UI designer may utilise to create an interface later. UX, on the other hand, is a considerably larger term that refers to a product's or system's whole user experience.

 

As rightfully written in masters in data science, because UX and UI are so similar and intertwined, it's sometimes difficult to tell the difference between the two. 

 

To add to the confusion, recruiting managers may create job advertisements that combine UI and UX skills into one position. 

 

Part of this is due to the fact that UX and UI are still relatively new areas. Some UX job titles can be user researcher, UX designs, interaction designer, visual designer, etc.

 

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UI vs UX:

 

It's critical to recognise that UX and UI are inextricably linked; one cannot have one without the other. However, UI design abilities are not required to be a UX designer, and vice versa—UX and UI are distinct jobs with distinct processes and duties.


 

  1. The term "user interface" refers to how humans interact with digital gadgets. The word "user experience" refers to how people engage with a brand, product, or service in general. 

 

So, in general UI is concerned with how the product will look and function in front of the users, but UX focuses mostly on how the user will solve any problem using the interface, and how smooth the user’s journey will be, while solving the problem. 

 

  1. User experience designers begin by conducting thorough research to determine the goals and common issues of their consumers. They usually create a map of the whole user journey and make notes on how to enhance it. Wireframes of their results are sometimes created. 

 

The UX recommendations are then brought to life by a user interface designer. They make adjustments to a website based on the user journey and wireframes, for example. When designing designs that fit the demands of users, a UI designer keeps the UX designer's considerations in mind. 

 

  1. A feedback loop between user experience and user interface may also occur; UX designers may test an interface after a UI designer creates it.

 

"User Experience Designer" has a distinct definition and set of abilities in a professional setting, based on a community of practise dating back over 20 years. In this scenario, a User Experience Designer is responsible for the intellectual parts of the design process, while the UI designer is responsible for the more physical aspects. 

 

The UI designer, on the other hand, is an expert in interaction design. Their concentration, however, is on topics such as information design, motion design, and branding.


 

Conclusion

 

It is hard to compare and find out differences between UI and UX design as, although interrelated, both of them are completely different topics. The user experience is made up of a number of distinct components, one of which is user interface design. These components, when integrated, form the user experience. 

 

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A better UI design can add onto a positive user experience, but this is not the only factor that matters. Sometimes, a user can have a positive user experience with a product with horrible user interface design. 

 

In this article, we have learnt deeply about User Interface design, User experience design, their similarities, and the major differences between them.

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