User interface (UI) and user experience (UX) are two words that you might hear mentioned frequently in tech circles (and sometimes interchangeably). UX (user experience) and UI (user interface) are two interdependent terms, but what do the terms actually mean. User Interface (UI) generally deals with the interaction between users and computer systems, software and applications, User Interface (UX) deals more generally with a user’s overall experience with a brand, product or service. The user interface (UI) is the series of screens, pages, and visual elements like buttons and icons that enable a person to interact with a product or service. User experience (UX), on the other hand, is the internal experience that a person has as they interact with every aspect of a company’s products and services. While UI can certainly have an impact on UX, the two are distinct, as are the roles that designers play.
Difference between UI and UX
1. UX design is all about identifying and solving user problems while UI design is all about creating intuitive, aesthetically-pleasing, interactive interfaces.
2. UX designer maps out the journey, the UI designer focuses on all the details that make this journey possible. That’s not to say that UI design is all about looks; UI designers have a huge impact on whether or not a product is accessible and inclusive.
3. UX design usually comes first in the product development process, followed by UI. The UX designer maps out the bare bones of the user journey; the UI designer then fills it in with visual and interactive elements.
4. UI is made up of all the elements that enable someone to interact with a product or service. UX, on the other hand, is what the individual interacting with that product or service takes away from the entire experience.
5. The UX focuses on the user and their journey through the product. The UI tends to be the specifics of screens, focusing on labels, visual style, guidelines, and structure.
6. UX design deals with research, testing, development, content, and prototyping, and UI is a process of visually guiding the user through a product’s interface using interactive elements across all platforms.
7. User interface (UI) design refers to the aesthetic elements by which people interact with a product, such as buttons, icons, menu bars, typography, colors, and more. User experience (UX) design refers to the experience a user has when interacting with a product. It focuses on the user journey and how efficient and easy to use the product is.
8. UX and UI designers might work on the same product, but they have different duties and goals. UX designers often create wire-frames and testable prototypes that form the basis of a website or service’s user flow, while UI designers finalize products and designs that drive user engagement.
9. Another difference between UI and UX designers is the level of detail that goes into their work. UI designers work on individual pages, buttons, and interactions; making sure they are polished and functional. UX designers take a more high-level view of a product or service, ensuring the collective user flow of a site, service, or app is fully realized and consistent.
10. UX design is a complete experience which may not be limited to the screen. On the contrary, UI design is usually visual design and information design around screens.