People who are new to the product development process and plan on building a product for their target audience need first to understand the design process and how the design industry works. Only then will they be able to make informed design decisions and deliver excellent results for their customers.
User interface (UI) and user experience (UX) designs are two important aspects of creating digital products. A good UI can make a product easy to use and please the user visually, while a good UX makes a product easy to use and satisfying to the user.
Creating a digital product is more than just making it look good. The UI and UX must work together to create a product that is not only visually appealing but also easy to use. No customer journey should ever be complicated because of a website that’s hard to navigate. Check out this guide for a better understanding of UI design vs. UX design.
What are UX and UI designs?
UX stands for User Experience Design. UI stands for User Interface or User Interface Design. These are two of the most essential elements of a product. Each has an important role to play in the structure of a product and a purpose to fulfill in the user journey.
Let’s explain the primary differences between the two:
User Experience (UX)
The user experience refers to the experience a customer has when they interact with the product or service you provide. The design itself is the process that creates the product to provide an excellent user experience.
Your main goal as a designer is to focus on usability, functions, design methods, and how it all reflects your brand. From there, you can design the product or service starting with the end goal in mind and designing the entire experience backward.
The interaction between your customers and the product or service should always be positive. The product should be designed to solve a problem, entertain someone, or help them find valuable or critical information.
Most designers will reverse engineer the experience when they create something. They’ll find inspiration from similar products and services already available (especially from their competitors). However, there are a series of questions you’ll want to ask during the design process:
- What specific interaction does the target customer have with the brand?
- How do they feel after they interact?
When the product is in development or it is considered to be a finished product, you can use several channels to explain the user process. This can be done with the help of blogs, videos, or other forms of advertising. Your target audience will understand how it all works and decide whether it will solve the problem they’re dealing with (or achieve a real goal they have).
User Interface (UI)
Graphical user interface refers to the interface the user will engage with. The product interface includes various interactive elements such as buttons, widgets, sliders, texts, images, and videos (among others). Designers will want to be as detailed as possible when it comes to each element included in the interaction design.
Digital interfaces often come down to the type of transitions or animations to be used. The goal of any user interface development is to ensure a positive experience and make the interface as user-friendly and easy to navigate as possible.
What are the key differences between UX and UI?
Now that you know the definitions and processes of UX and UI, let’s take a look at the key differences between the two:
- Look and feel: The user interface of a product or service gravitates around the look. Thus, the user experience is all about the feel. Sounds self-explanatory, right?
- Prototype and design: The user experience tests several prototypes to work out any kinks or bugs based on its flow. The UI focuses on the design itself, outlining different areas of a product or service, including its features.
- High-level view vs. details: A product’s user experience allows you to see if everything is working correctly. Is the function consistent and realized? Meanwhile, the user interface focuses on the little details, such as buttons and interactions. This will also apply to the other features that may exist.
What does a UX designer do?
User experience designers have various responsibilities included in their job descriptions. They need to develop strategies, test the product or service, implement it, and perform analysis. Their role is to make the digital experience a very positive one for their customers.
They are designing the customer experience in the best way a typical user would expect. A successful user experience design requires the work of process designers that can map out the entire process. A UX designer will often work with a user interface designer to help tie the two together and deliver the ultimate experience.
The other responsibilities they’ll have on their plate include planning, creating, and implementing content that will include analyzing the customer experience. They can also handle the analysis of competing products and services and compare them in an effort to persuade buyers to choose their product instead of others.
UX designers will also test the prototypes to ensure the interactive elements are in the right place. Furthermore, they’ll focus on the wireframe or basic product design.
What does a UI designer do?
The UI designer’s bread and butter is the design itself. They get to show off their design skills and deliver the design solution needed for a successful product. This includes visual, interactive, and responsive designs. At the same time, they want to make sure everything follows the brand’s style guide and the visual communication is flawless.
The design teams work together to decide on visual design elements, such as fonts and typesetting. Other visual elements include designing the buttons and the right color palettes for them. Lastly, they want to make it responsive and compatible with other devices. This allows the product to behave impeccably when displayed on various individual screens.
UI and UX designs are two different elements of a product or service, but they work together to ensure the customer enjoys the best product experience possible. It takes great designer skills, clear everyday tasks, excellent communication, and quality interaction to create a human-centered design while staying true to the brand. Getting together a phenomenal product team is not an easy mission, but once you manage to achieve this, you will be one step closer to achieving all your business goals.