What’s the Difference Between UX Design and UI Design?

Tomas

With the advent of technology, the younger generations have begun to increasingly gravitate towards web design as a viable career choice. UI and UX are two facets of web design that are becoming especially popular. The terms UI design and UX design are often used interchangeably by beginners and professionals alike. Knowing the main differences between the two, along with the basic yet vital principles, is an essential step, especially if you’re a beginner.

Smart Pharmacy mobile app design elements
UI Design elements in the Smart Pharmacy mobile app. Designed by Purrweb

What Is UX Design?

User Experience (UX) design is the process of researching, designing, and developing a product or an app for the user, intending to enhance the user’s interaction and experience while keeping in view the company’s visions and missions. 

Important Principles of UX Design

  • A better user experience is guaranteed when you give them control over the interface and predict their behavior.
  • To gain a user’s trust, ensure comfortable product-user interaction, including ones for users with disabilities.
  • Reduce the cognitive load of a user to the minimal via visual hierarchy and simple functionality.
  • For a great product experience, ensure the user interface is consistent. You can achieve this with proper research, information architecture, and design patterns.

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What Is UI Design?

User Interface (UI) design is a subset of UX design and can be considered the intersection where users and machines meet. It refers to the process of building user interfaces for computational devices — mainly by focusing on the visual design and layout of the website or product. As a designer, you can apply UI design via graphical user interfaces (GUIs), voice user interfaces (VUIs), menu-driven user interfaces, and more.

Important Principles of UI Design

  • To design a successful user interface, you should make it audience targeted, instilling a sense of control in your users and allowing them to recover from mistakes.
  • A great UI design should give prompt and meaningful feedback to its users. This factor develops a connection between your product and the user.
  • Opt for simple designs. Add digestibility and clarity to the interface.
  • Allow the user a sense of obvious familiarity by using terms and styles your audience is familiar with.

UX Design vs. UI Design: What’s the Difference?

  1. Connection vs. Navigation: While UX design ensures user connection with the design elements of a product, UI design focuses on providing the user with easy navigation and button options through the website/product.
  2. Implementation Cycle: UX design contains research, analysis, wireframes, and prototypes. Furthermore, UX is implemented first. UI design is implemented second to UX on these wireframes and prototypes.
  3. Platforms: UX design is utilized on interfaces, products, and services, whereas UI design is used for, but not limited to, interfaces. 
  4. Utility vs. Visual Appeal: Your product’s UX design focuses on the usefulness factor for achieving meaningful tasks. On the contrary, the UI design focuses on visual appeal and design, ensuring pleasant human-computer interaction.
  5. UX Is Not UI: This is a vital point, often mixed up and defined incorrectly. You should note that since UI is a “subset” of UX. All of UI is UX, but not the other way around. UI design is what your user will face, and UX design is how the entire interface works and covers the overall user experience.
Example of UX and UI design
UX Design (left) and UI Design (right). Designed by Serhii Khyzhniak

Now that the main differences between UX design and UI design are clear, you should also note that both the concepts complement each other, and they can be used to create outstanding and powerful digital products.

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