We often hear the terms UX and UI together. Even if you know what they stand for, you may not understand exactly what they mean or how they are different. In this post, we will distinguish the two fields, discuss their responsibilities, and share practical tips, benefits, and market characteristics for UX and UI.
So let’s get straight to it. UX stands for user experience, and UI stands for user interface. They work hand in hand and are equally important, but the two terms are not interchangeable. You should hire separate designers for each.
UX refers to the overall design of products. It is a human-first approach and applies to anything that can be experienced. The term “user experience” was coined in the late 1990s by Donald Norman, a professor of design, usability, and cognitive science. UX applies to both digital and physical elements of users’ experience with a product. More than anything else, UX focuses on the conceptual aspects of the product, how it is acquired, owned, and used. Designing a good UX requires user research, user testing, and creating personas and wireframes.
UI complements UX. UI deals with the digital aspects of a product, its look, feel, presentation, and interactivity. This includes features like buttons, icons, spacing, typography, color schemes, widgets, and responsive design. UI focuses on the aesthetic aspects of a product. The goal is to make sure the design is consistent, coherent, and visually pleasing. Ultimately, the goal is that users are required to think as little as possible when interfacing with a product.
One way to conceptualize UX and UI, then, is to think of UI as a subpart of UX. UX often comes first and is followed by UI. UX is about the overall feel of the experience, while UI is all about how the product’s interface looks and functions. Think of UX as a science and UI as an art.
As I said, you should not hire the same person to be responsible for both UX and UI. This is because the skills of a UX designer and a UI designer differ.
A UX designer is responsible for the following:
A UI designer is responsible for the following:
Once you understand the responsibilities of both UX and UI developers, you can hire both types to help improve your product.
But if you want to improve your product’s UX and UI now, the following general tips are a good place to start:
Then here are some little things you can do to improve your UX and UI:
How exactly will good UX and UI benefit your business? Consider the following benefits:
If you don’t believe me on the impact of good UX and UI, here are a few success stories:
Facebook was not the first social network. It climbed to the top because of its simple user navigation.
Google was not the first search engine. It just made finding information easier than other search engines did.
Amazon was not the first online retailer. It invested 100 times more into customer experience than into advertising in its first year to get ahead of the curve.
UX and UI will continue to play a major role in the future. As relatively new fields, the markets for both are growing. One survey cites UI/UX designers as the most in-demand product design job.
As for UI designers, they rank third in the top in-demand creative talent for 2019. They can expect to make around $80,000 per year.
Businesses are learning the importance of UX and UI now more than ever. So there will be more opportunities in these fields for both companies and workers alike.
If you want to take your product to the next level, why not invest in better UX and UI today?
Here at Dev.co, we can help you design an intuitive and visually-pleasing website that influences visitor behavior, eliminates barriers to conversion, delivers a branded online experience, and guides users to clear calls to action (CTAs).
Ryan is the VP of Operations for DEV.co. He brings over a decade of experience in managing custom website and software development projects for clients small and large, managing internal and external teams on meeting and exceeding client expectations–delivering projects on-time and within budget requirements. Ryan is based in El Paso, Texas.