UI vs. UX Design: A Comprehensive Look at the Differences

If you aren’t familiar with a design then the words UI and UX, which are two abbreviations in this industry, will mean nothing to you. In case you have any knowledge in this area you may understand why there are so many discussions about UI vs UX. Let’s make a comprehensive look at these terms and their definitions. 

The Basics of UI and UX

On the one hand, UI and UX always go arm in arm. Long story short, these terms mean the areas of design. If you ask professionals in the IT industry, you can find many projects based on UI and UX, read this article to get more information about IT services. The reason is simple: this pairing is made to reach the best product’s quality so users can use and appreciate it. 

On the other hand, both of them have absolutely different definitions and meanings. The UI is based on the interface while UX is focused on experience. This is the maximum short explanation and difference at one sight. So first of all, let’s clarify what is UX and UI. 

The Main Particularities of UI

UI is spelled out as a ‘user interface’. Back in the 80s, when the biggest moments in computing history happened, you needed to know a programming language to use a computer. Then, in 1981, the first Graphical user interface was launched. These new graphics included icons and folders as well as other visual elements like a mouse, buttons, etc. Thanks to these graphical elements, a user was able to open folders, move files, create and delete new documents, etc. Long story short, it provides users with an opportunity to use computers without specific programming skills.

As a result, the User interface covers visual needs. Designers must work on options and functions to let a customer use a product to interact with it in any way possible. 

The layout is in priority here for UI designers: it is essential to determine how the visual elements will look and interact with a user. All visual interface elements must be clean, nice, and neat, in addition – be functional and useful. 

The Main Particularities of UX

UX is spelled out as a ‘user experience’. The term UX was firstly used by Donald Norman who considered ‘User interface’ to be a very narrow term. He used the new title to cover more areas of an individual’s experience. But later people started to use UX as a term too often and literally misuse it. In its origin, the term covers more aspects so it includes multi-channel user’s experience with the exact service or product. 

But nowadays people narrow it to making pretty things only. It is highly important to highlight that the design should look beautiful but this is only one part of its duties. All aspects must bring a customer valuable, useful, usable, accessible, credible experience. 

Compared to UI meaning, UX has focused on the feelings the customers get thanks to the product but not that interface in general. It is fair not only for direct use of a thing but even for talking about it with another person. An individual wants the product or service to be nice, useful, and easy to use. UX describes all these feelings. 

As a result, UX designers replace users on the development stage and represent their potential expectations. They state an issue a user may face, then seek a solution, implement it to reach a better user’s experience after all.

Comparing UX and UI

Even IT professionals are confused about the right UI and UX definition. So what can we say about ordinary users who don’t run such projects? But if a customer is allowed to have misbeliefs then an IT expert is not. You must understand the proper definitions and differences between these terms if you work now as an IT designer or plan to try your hand in one of these design areas as a realizer. 

When it comes to discussing the main difference between UI and UX people are divided into 2 opposite groups. One group insists that there is no need to define particularities. Another group stands for clear boundaries between these definitions. But overall, it’s better to use both terms together. Thanks to such an approach, both UI and UX design areas will cover potential gaps and increase customer satisfaction from the final product or service. 

Anyway, we can find the main differences between UX and UI for a better understanding of these design areas. Talking about differences, we need to mention that:

– UI design meaning is focused on the visual part of the development. It includes covering the questions of how the interface looks and how its elements work. The user’s journey is described as a visual process and things that makes this journey happen without functional errors;

– UX design meaning is focused on the user’s comprehensive feelings about the exact product or service. It is concerned with seeking potential issues the customer may experience while using the product and finding the best solutions for such problems to make a user satisfied as much as possible. The user’s journey as a global experience is in priority here. 

So let’s make conclusions: UI determines the layout while UX is focused on finding solutions. The user’s journey is a top priority for UX while UI designers are responsible for bringing an attractive, friendly, and intuitive interface for customers. As you can see, these design areas have different goals and approaches but together they help developers to create the most valuable product for users. 

It means UX and UI complement each other well. They work differently but make a valuable impact on development and bring precious achievements to the final result. That’s how the audience can have the best experience with a product or service in the end. 

Experts always say that UI and UX design are critical components that are incredibly powerful. They both can make the project and level up you to success or break you down to your knees. Such a metaphorical description sounds very theatrical but is totally fair. You should define these terms and their definitions so they can perform their duties on the highest level.

BIO: Jenson O’Connell is an experienced content creator who writes on IT development and technology issues. He regularly publishes in many high-profile editions and helps his readers understand trends in the tech industry and programming infrastructure.

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