It is a common misconception that UX Design is the same as UI Design. White both are important when doing a website or an application/product – UI is more graphical while UX is more investigative & analytical. In this post, we shall try to explain the difference between the two.
UI Design stands for User Interface Design while UX Design stands for User Experience Design.
User Experience Design
User Experience Design is the process of enhancing user satisfaction by improving the usability, accessibility and pleasure provided in the interaction between the user and the product.
UX Design can apply to anything – tables, websites even bank services. In essence, it is the process to improve the quality of interaction between the user and the product or service.
Typically UX Design comprises of the following process:
- Research and observation of the users (and can include Journey Mapping, user interviews, surveys etc).
- Analysis of the findings.
- Strategizing the content for the users.
- Prototyping (eg. Paper prototyping with wireframes for websites).
- Repeating (user) testing and refinement of prototypes.
- Designing by the UI designers and programming by the developers.
- Repeated (user) testing and refinement of product.
User Interface Design
User Interface Design is the design of user interfaces for machines and softwares, such as computers, home appliances, mobile devices and other electronic devices, with the focus on maximizing the user experience.
UI Design applies to products with a digital interface that user can interact with. A good and carefully thought-out interface design will improve user experience.
Typically UI Design comprises of the following process:
- Research on the design for the interface – referencing the company’s branding preferences for the look and feel of the interface.
- Designing of the prototypes into visual designs (with graphical elements) to achieve the desired look and feel, while adhering to the brand identity.
Imagine an instance where you visit a website that is very beautiful; the buttons are nice and big with drop-shadows. However, the website is difficult to navigate (you can’t find the information you are looking for) and the website is not the least adaptive for mobile devices. This example illustrates a beautiful UI with no thought on UX. No doubt a beautiful interface might make you feel happy when you use the interface, however, user experience often involves more than the visual aspects.
In summary, UX Design is the broader picture and the goal. UI Design is the process to beautify the interface with the goal of improving the quality of interaction between the user and the interface. To achieve the goal to improve the quality of interaction, you will need to incorporate UX Design when doing UI Design. Unfortunately in a lot of cases, at UI Design, UX Design is ignored as the designers usually focus mainly on making the interface look good visually.