Brief Guide: UX versus UI Design

User Experience is a term which occures more recently nowadays when it comes to website development. For many, the definition UX tends to sound unfamiliar, but it has been around for more the 15 years. Meanwhile, it is generally everywhere, for example when you see a well-looking ad or poster. Let's examine thoroughly the reasons to set them apart and how it differs from web design or web development.

The Difference

UX design is responsible for the creation of elevated experience (wow! factor) for  possible customers, while UI is the tool for shaping the interface put directly in front of users. During the development of a modern, up-to-date website or product, both are essential and indispensable pieces for representing high quality service.

While UX analyses, tests, measures and processes data, UI stands closer to the more common and often used webdesign term, which roughly sums up graphic work – this is why it is easier to understand. In order to get a wider picture, imagine a car as a website. The body without the doors and windshields is the basis, which in this case means the work of the coders that frames the whole. The different parts represent the UX, which measures and optimizes for flawless functioning. If we follow this train of thoughts, then UI is paint job, design work, the appearance, which makes the product attractive and desirable for users.

Even simpler, UI without UX is like a carpenter, who randomly nails together different pieces of wood. At the same time UX without UI is only the frame of a carving, which has poorly detailed surface. User interface design has to follow UX for the sake of prime product experience. For the success of a website or a product both are essential.

UX Design

UX Design is not only applicable on websites, but on any product or service, since it includes every interaction between client and company. It not only focuses on creating the wireframe and prototype, but it brings the center of attention to satisfy the user’s feelings and needs. UX builds up, analyses and optimizes the company’s products user experience.

UX design process

  • interview, field research, personas, scenarios
  • User Journey, Experience map, Onboarding
  • Wireframing: Visual hierarchy, copywriting
  • Research: usability test, card sorting, A/B test

UI Design

Conversely to UX Design, UI is responsible for layout. It is not only about graphic design and implementation, but coverting the details of development (structure, wireframe, content) into a complete, positive experience for the user. Analysing users and utilizing up-to-date design for different screen sizes is an essential part of the job. Interactivity, guidance closely belongs to visually displaying a product in order to lead the user through the entire experience.

UX and UI are both necessary in the creation process of a product or a website. When a product looks good, but it is not usable, UI did a good job, but is UX design is imperfect. But when we have a well usable product, which is utterly ugly, it is a good example for good UX and bad UI design. Both must be tuned perfectly for creating the optimal user experience.