User interface and user experience are equally crucial for a product or service. For instance, if the visitors to your site have a terrible user experience, they may never visit again. And if the user interface of your website is not attractive enough, the visitor might not bother going further to experience the features your website has.
UX vs UI gets mixed up all the time. Here’s an example that can differentiate between them. Think of UI as how appealing a car looks. And UX is the ease you have while driving it. If you’re still confused about UX vs UI read along to learn the significant differences and debunk the myths.
UX and UI: A Deeper Dive
What is UI? User interface is the interaction of the user with the product. Let’s take a website as an example. The appearance and features through which users interact with a website, such as buttons and other touch targets, come under the heading of the user interface. UI design is a small part of UX.
What does a UI designer do? They deal with the visual aspect of the product. Their primary aim is to create a visually pleasing design. For instance, when talking about a website, here are the things a UI designer deals with:
- Structure of the website.
- White space (empty spaces on the website).
- Typography (font sizes, colors, styles, etc.)
- Contrasts. Deciding what colors go well together and if they make the website readable.
Image taken from Strikingly user website
On the other hand, UX or user experience is how a consumer feels while using the product. The user experience covers everything from ease of use to utility, and efficiency of the product or service.
What does a UX designer do? In the UX vs UI debate, the user experience designer has a more challenging job. There are four parts of UX.
UI covers the implementation portion of the UX design.
The first thing a UX designer does is research. It is done to gain knowledge about three things.
1. Surveying and conducting interviews with potential users to identify their requirements, goals, pain points, and frustrations.
2. Different user cases. This covers how different customers might use a product or service.
3. How a user might start their journey using the product or service, and how they might end it.
The designer outlines every possible step, through diagrams, that a user might take while using the product or service. They also design wireframes which is a rough sketch of the skeleton of a website or application. It even includes UI components such as sections, buttons, etc.
Implementation is where a UI designer comes in. They will create a high or low-accuracy model of the final product and determine whether it would be attention-grabbing to the target audience or not.
After the model is finalized, front-end and back-end developers come into the process of building software. They create the final working product through programming.
After the product has been launched, a few things are monitored. The numerous ways users utilize products or services in analytics include:
- The time spent on different pages
- The location of the traffic
- The most popular activity
- Bounce rates
Another way to determine how well a product is doing is split testing. To conduct a split test, designers and developers create two different products for one campaign. Then they analyze which design is doing better.
UX design is a sequential process that doesn't end at reporting. After enhancing the product according to the analytics, the process continues to keep the product's improvement continuous.
If you’re thinking, “what’s the point of UX vs UI comparison when the user interface is a part of the user experience?” There is a point. The learning process and topics differ.
Is a UX designer also a UI Designer? It depends upon what the person has learned. If you want to become a one-man team and do everything by yourself, you can. Else you can hire or partner up with someone and distribute the tasks according to expertise.
UX vs UI: the Major Differences
When talking about UX vs UI, many things differ and many things stay the same. Here are the major differences of UX vs UI:
Education is a significant difference between UX and UI. Even though you don't need a degree to get a UX or UI designer job, it's a plus point for many companies if you have a college degree. A few universities offer a program for UI and UX design specifically. A user experience designer might get a computer-human interaction, psychology, or computer science degree.
On the contrary, a UI designer might graduate with a degree in interaction design, digital design, or graphic design. Moreover, UI designers might possess knowledge of front-end programming languages such as CSS and HTML.
UX vs UI designers have different responsibilities; hence each position requires a different skill set. A user experience designer possesses strong research skills because they have to identify users’ problems and think of a solution. Information architecture and testing are also two of the required skills to become a UX designer. The UX designer must map out everything about the product and later test how it's doing.
A UI designer needs vast knowledge of color theory, typography, interactivity, and other graphical elements such as animation.
In the UX vs UI, salary comparison user experience runs ahead of the user interface. As per research, more than 50% of UX designers ($100,400) make more money than UI designers ($85,800).
The salary depends upon different aspects such as location, the company you’re working with, responsibilities, working hours, etc.
UX vs UI: Similarities
UX and UI meet each other at a few points as they are a part of the same process. Here are some similarities of UX and UI.
Even though UX and UI job positions require a unique set of skills, there are some abilities that both UI and UX designers possess.
Design thinking is one of the common skills, as a user interface designer needs to think of visually appealing designs and a user experience designer thinks of the design of how a product or service will work.
Prototyping skills are also required for both UX and UI designers. Prototyping means creating a model. A user interface designer have to create a model of the visual part of the product. While the UX designer builds a model that describes the working of the product.
User interface and user experience designers collaborate, and developers as well. For both job positions, teamwork skills are one of the few requirements.
UX and UI designers have different responsibilities but the same goal: achieving customer satisfaction. Both work together and think of creative and unique designs to create a product that is pleasing to the customer.
Importance of Great UX and UI Designs
Image taken from Strikingly user website
In the UX vs UI importance comparison, both of them stand equal. When a user visits your website, they will stay there if the design is appealing to their eyes. But once they start using its features and it’s hard to use, has a slow loading speed, or other issues, they would leave. UX and UI complete each other.
Considering the aspects that might ruin a great UX design, such as hosting platforms, is crucial. The loading speed of your website heavily depends upon which platform you choose. You don’t have to search the web to find a good web host, as we’ve already found one for you.
Image taken from Strikingly
Strikingly is a top-tier website host which gives its users access to features to create a great user experience and user interface. The unique blog, eCommerce store, and other features will help you compete with the most popular websites on the internet.
Strikingly allows its users to design their website in mobile mode, so they don’t have to compromise on their mobile users’ experience.
You can browse 200+ templates, each having an interactive UI, and select the one you love. Then make changes according to your needs and create a publishable site in just a few minutes.
Image taken from Strikingly
UX vs UI: Which Career to Go For?
To make a career decision, you must have a deep understanding of what is UX and UI. Consider the skills both job posts require. If you’re interested in visual branding such as color theory, designing icons, and typography, go for a career in UI.
If research, usability testing, and information architecture catch our interest, go for a career in UX.
UX refers to the user experience while using your product, and UI is how appealing and interactive it is. UX and UI designers go through a process that involves research, design thinking, prototyping, and testing to create an interactive product. UX vs UI designers has a lot more work to do, as a user interface is just a part of the user experience.
UX and UI differ regarding education, salary, and skills. They have some similarities as well, such as goals and skills. Remember that excellent user experience and interface are equally crucial for a website.