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UX vs UI: key differences every designer should know

5 April 2021

Are you working to create the next best website, application, mobile game, or any other kind of digital products? If you live and breathe the tech world, user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) are terms you’re probably familiar with. In recent decades, UX and UI design have been growing more popular in the tech industry. Normally paired as UX/UI design, they’ve been prioritized by tech companies aiming to build winning products. UX and UI help solve one of the biggest puzzles when it comes to building lovable products: how can we help people to use a product with ease and pleasure? Let’s take a look at how these two areas differ and shape a project. You may have heard people use UX and UI interchangeably, but they’re not the same thing.

UX and UI are not the same thing, but even folks within the industry perpetuate confusion by using the terms interchangeably. In this article we’ll define UX and UI their differences, and who is suited to the two professions. If you’re wondering if these design jobs are right for you, read on.

What is UX design?

User experience is the overall experience a user has with a company’s products or services. Good and bad user experience design is determined by how easy or difficult it is to interact with each element or aspect of a product or service. Does the button color and position encourage people to click, or make them hesitate? UX design mainly involves research to understand things like customer pain points, potential market gaps, and competitor analysis. Besides focusing on a deep understanding of users and unmet market needs, UX also takes into account the business goals and objectives to build products that align with the company’s visions and missions. UX best practices improve user interactions and perceptions of products and services as desired by the company.

UX thinking always traces back to your audience. By understanding the target audience’s goals, UX designers can make good decisions that take an audience where they want to go.

UI/UX Blog
UI design is responsible for simulating
what UX designers engineer behind the scenes
What is UI design?

User interface design is focused on the look and layout — how each element of the product will look, including buttons, placeholders, text, images, checkboxes, and any visual interface elements people interact with. UX design determines how the interface works and how people interact with it, and UI design creates an interface’s look and feel. UX is more concerned with conceptual aspects, and UI focuses on a product’s aesthetic aspects — color palettes, button styles, animation, graphics, typography, diagrams, widgets, and many other elements to make the websites, applications, plugins, themes, etc. look neat and clean while still being intuitively functional to the user. UX designers conduct market research and analysis to educate themselves about customer’s needs and desires before designing the functionality of a product. UI designers keep themselves updated on graphic patterns and design trends that evolve as customers’ tastes and behavior changes.

  • UX searches for solutions and UI determines the look
  • UX and UI complement each other
  • UX and UI designers have different roles
  • UX and UI live in harmony
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