In short, UX and UI refer to the visual components, interactions, and experience when using a product. UX refers to the overall experience of the product and how it makes the user feel. Things like the ease of navigation, page load times and related factors will impact the UX. UI design includes the components that bring the website to life, such as colors and typography, buttons, sliders and actions like clicks, swipes and pulls that move users from one page to another. Both UI and UX are equally important components of a product.
Good UX design means interviewing and observing users and designing the framework or overall layout of a product based on this insight. As a result, customer usability studies and tests are a significant part of UX design. A team might invite a group of customers to use a mobile app and observe as they interact with a product. Where do they get stuck? When do they ask for help? What do they enjoy? UX goes beyond the interface to the overall feeling and emotion a user should experience when interacting with a product or brand. The UX team designs concepts that influence the UI interface.
UI Design requires putting UX research into logical components. For example,d oes it make more sense to use a slider or a button? Should the field be a dropdown or an empty textbox? These are decisions that a UI designer makes. A good UI provides a consistent interface in a variety of mediums, whether web or mobile. It’s the UI designers duty to ensure that a client who switches from a desktop website to a mobile website finds continuity in the design and is able to use the product with ease. A good UI anticipates needs, it limits the time spent searching for information and creates a logical flow from one step to the next.
Still confused on the differences between UX/UI design? Check out some of our favorite explanations and analogies:
For some companies, the roles of UI and UX designer are combined. In fact, the role could also be combined with Product Design and even Web Development. Below are some common job titles along with typical salaries and job descriptions.
UI Designers live in Adobe Creative Suite, using tools like Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop to develop consistent visuals and concepts. In addition, companies rely on UI designers to stay abreast of current design trends, ensure consistency across all forms of media (web, mobile, etc.,) and collaborate with developers and product managers to bring web and mobile applications to life.
UX designers interact with clients and customers to design and get feedback on their experience using a product or tool. They usually participate in research, concept design and wireframing. UX designers need stellar communication skills and empathy to communicate concepts to non-technical users as well as developers and engineers.
UX researchers tend to focus on designing customer usability studies, testing and analyzing concepts and communicating those results to the team of product managers, developers and executives. Rather than wireframing or designing concepts themselves, the UX researcher will offer feedback to the UX designer based on research. This role is ideal for analytical minds that enjoy working with a variety of stakeholders.
UX/UI design roles combine the functions of UX/UI and will look different at every company. In addition to user research and concept design (UX), UX/UI designers will also build the components of the interface design (UI).
Product Designers work on all aspects of a product from user flows to sitemaps and components. The Product Design role may include UX research, but is heavily rooted in design. Product designers work with a variety of stakeholders including engineers and other product designers.