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UI vs. UX: Contrary or Complimentary?

The UI/UX are the abbreviated forms of User Interface and User Experience.

Both terms may seem to be equal and convey the same meaning, in actuality, they are two different words with two different meanings.

And in today’s post, we will learn about the major difference between them, and by the end of this article try to understand the meaning of each one along with their important role in the design field.

So, let’s begin it with a famous quote by a former Product Strategist at Google, Scott Jenson, who said, “User interface (UI) focuses on the product, a series of snapshots in time, user experience (UX) is focussed on the user and their journey through the product.”

What is UI Design?

The user interface  in design means the graphical layout of an application. 

It comes with the buttons clicked on by users, text read by them, sliders, images, text entry fields, and all those items the user uses to interact with.

This comprises screen layout, interface animations, transitions, and every possible micro-interaction. 

Any type of visual element, animation, or interaction must all be designed.

This job belongs to UI designers, who finalize how the product will look like.

UI designers also have to determine the perfect color schemes and the shape of the buttons, for example, their width of lines and the fonts to be utilized for the text.

So, the main task of UI designers is to enhance the look and feel of a product’s user interface. 

They also have to manage the interactivity and the presentation of a product. 

But similar to UX, it also confuses the industries that hire UI designers.

Who are UI designers?

Also known as graphic designers, the UI designers focus on aesthetics.

They determine if a product’s interface looks good, aptly themed, and visually stimulating to complement its personality and/or purpose.

Besides, they also ascertain if every single visual element used in product design feels united on both fronts — in purpose and aesthetically.

What are the essential properties of a well-designed user interface?

No matter how and what type of user interface you’ve designed, you do need to ensure that user interface consists of the following elements:

Clarity. What’s the use of a user interface if it takes the users to decode the meaning of a specific element. Hence, always ensure that whatever elements you use in a user interface must be clearly understandable by the user. The user should not look here and there while using it.

Familiarity. When a user interacts with your product, your user interface must make him/her feel as if he/she is using his/her previous experience. So, it should provide familiarity.

Consistency. When the interface of your product or application remains consistent all across its operations, users find it helpful when it comes to recognizing usage patterns.

Forgiveness. Remember, a good user interface ignores the users’ mistakes. So, make it good enough.

Efficiency. If your user interface is good, its users need not feed many inputs to obtain their expected output. It also helps the experienced users with shortcuts to interact with them.

What is UX design?

The term UX means user experience, ‘X’ here stands for experience. This way, how a user interacts with a product is known as his/her user experience. 

The determining factor of a user experience thus is his/her interaction with a newly-designed app.

Here, it is determined whether the user’s experience with the app was intuitive, smooth, confusing, or chunky. Whether navigating the product was arbitrary or logical.

Whether interacting with the newly designed product or application allows its user to efficiently complete the tasks they wanted to accomplish, or whether they had to struggle a lot to achieve them.

The difficulty and smoothness while interacting with a product using all user interface elements created by the UI designers are what help determine a user experience.

Now that the UX designers have to handle both – a user interface and a user experience, so, it confuses in differentiating between the two terms.

However, the primary task of a UI designer is to ascertain how a user interface will look, while the UX designers determine how the user interface functions.

So, both are design experts and are responsible to make sure of the structure and functionality of an app’s interface. How it’s been structured and how all the elements are concerned with one another.

In brief, the UI/UX designers design how the interface functions. If a user can operate the interface of an app seamlessly, it means he/she is having a good experience.

But if navigating the application is unintuitive or full of complications, then the user will have a lousy experience, and this is where the UX designers have to work upon.

Which are the usual responsibilities of a UX designer?

Understanding users. UX design often begins with in-depth research, based on which the user tries to understand the target audience. 

For example, he/she has to understand their needs, and wants. UX designers also make use of empathy to realize and divulge the hidden emotions, needs of the people they’re designing for.

Creating a design strategy. UX designers have to come up with effective design strategies to find out the objective of a product and based on that map out a logical journey.

Analyzing the design of interactions. UX designers have to analyze how people are using the interface of a product or application, how their interacting habits are with the product, what their personal preferences are, and if they are using shortcuts while interacting with UI. All insights help propose the best design solutions. 

Creating wireframes and prototypes. UX designers usually have to come up with wireframes or prototypes so they can better propose their ideas to the design team.

To ascertain whether the product design is in line with the requirement, UX designers always keep themselves involved in the execution process of a product or app. They continue to make their interactions with all team members involved there.

Are UI & UX complementary to each other?

UX and UI design differ in their tasks. When you compare them with each other, they may make you feel as if they can work without the support of each other. In actuality, this is not the case with them. UX and UI design help users to have a great experience.

UX ensures the goal of a target audience, whereas UI aids them to reach and achieve their set goal.

This way, both are complementary not contrary to each other.

No matter how attractive you’ve designed the UI, in the absence of UX, users find the product completely useless if their requirements aren’t addressed.

And in the absence of a pleasing and effective UI design, even good UX becomes obtuse, meaningless, useless, aimless and more.

Finally, it can be said that both play a crucial role in creating a winning yet effective product and determining the external appearance of the front end and the internal mechanism of the back end.

After reading the article about the key difference between UI and UX , we hope that you want to know more about the company that can help you with the best UI/UX design.

If you have any questions about the UI/UX design or need some experts’ advice on how they can affect your business, we would be happy to answer them in the comment section below.

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