The Ultimate Guide: UI vs. UX

Learn the difference between UI and UX. 

Whether you’re designing a website, an app, a content management system, or any other digital product, using UI and UX best practice is vital to its success. Let’s begin by defining these two terms within the context of digital design. 

UI vs. UX Design

UI Definition: What Is UI? 

User interface refers to the graphical layout of an application/website and serves as the visual representation of how us mere humans interact with all-powerful machines. The UI design process is about building software that looks appealing and inviting, concentrating on the style, feel and interactivity of digital products. 

To put it simply, user interface is about vanity.

UX Definition: What Is UX? 

UX tackles things a little differently. You’ve probably guessed it from the name, but user experience is more focussed on the physical, logical characteristics of a webpage, app, or other digital entity, with a specific focus on how using the application makes the user feel. Is the process intuitive or is it confusing? We humans have an ever reducing reserve of patience so UX aims to assemble all aspects of a product to create a seamless and enjoyable experience for the intended participant.

What Is The Difference Between UI and IX?

Understanding how user interface and user experience are different is vital to creating both a usable and attractive product for your target audience. 

Getting to grips with the tasks involved in user interface and user experience will help us to comprehend the key differences in these design principles.

Examples Of UI Tasks

Typography design 
Visual elements
Colour palettes
Icons, buttons and popups

Examples Of UX Tasks

Wireframes and prototyping
User research
Customer journey mapping
Information architecture
Interaction experience

So, what are the daily tasks these designers do? And why do you need both?

Why You Need UI Design

User interface design is crucial to the overall look of your products. They are responsible for creating a cohesive brand identity within your digital space and this consistency is what makes your product and your business appear to be trustworthy and authentic. 

A successful UI design can often mean the difference between a visitor interacting with your website, or bouncing back to the search results to check out a competitor. A UI designer will aim to bring together what you want to do, with who you are and the messages that you are attempting to convey to your audience. 

If you have a specific product in a niche market, you’ll most likely struggle with finding an appropriate solution for your business in the form of an out-of-the-box product. Cough... we're not mentioning any sites in particular... cough. Having a dedicated UI team will allow you to have a real-life human who is capable of translating your thoughts and style into something tangible for your consumers.

Why You Need UX Design

A user experience designer is going to read between the lines of what you think you need and consider how your product will actually work, breaking down and putting processes in place to create useful visitor experiences. 

They analyse the customer journey from end-to-end and ensure that your customer is going to be interacting with your product in exactly the way they are meant to. If a user can’t experience your product in the way they want, then chances are they won’t convert. 

Having an improved user experience can place you ahead of your competition, providing you with repeat visitors, a higher volume of customers and ultimately, more income. Additionally, sites that are easy to navigate will often appear higher in search results. In today’s digital marketplace, competition is fierce, and visitors are often put off by the smallest things, so don’t give them an excuse to make a fast exit from your site. 

UI and UX work together to create a beautiful, useable product in the same way that the heat and the pan work together to make your meal. For example, if your e-commerce website looks great, but doesn’t provide an easy, quick checkout, then your sales will suffer. If you have a super simple checkout process, but there is no clear branding or visual appeal, then your visitors probably won’t stay to find out just how great your UX is. Both of these practices complement each other, so having the two is vital to your digital success.

How Do I Achieve UI & UX Success?

Lucky you should ask. 

Having an idea for your next big project is the easy part. The next step is surveying the landscape to make sure that you have noticed a real gap in the market, with a target audience that can benefit from your concept. Fortunately, we can take it from here. 

If it can be done, we can do it. We’re experts in both UI and UX design and building exceptional software solutions remain at our core after over a decade in the industry. Our team of passionate, experienced individuals love to take on a challenge and have all the knowledge and industry know-how to create exactly what you and your customers need. 

Whether you have an idea for a brand-new app, or you need a website that provides a seamless customer experience, we’re the people to help turn a concept into a reality. 

Check out the work we’ve done for a whole host of clients here and feel free to set us our next big challenge

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