The terms “UI” and “UX” are often used interchangeably in the context of web design. However, the fine line of difference lies in rendering superior “user interface” and “user experience.” Though both are integral components of website design, having a superb UI design does not always mean that your website or app has passed the usability test.
So, your designer has come with an excellent idea that everyone is appreciating, including the great UI quotient and novelty factor that it includes. When you build a prototype, you identify it has a great User Interface, and it’s intuitive. However, after a couple of months, when you test the website or app, you find yourself grumbling trying to get your finger tap on that awesome-looking icon or straining your eyes to read the font on large screen mobile device. This is where it lacks usability. No matter how amazing the idea or artwork is; it is the UX design that makes it usable. So, you might have designed an awesome User Interface for your website or app, but it isn’t appealing unless it is usable.
To put it simple, UX or User Experience means that the user knows what to do; UI or User Interface means that the user does it in their first attempt.
Discussed here is the difference between UX and UI design:
User Experience (UX)
User Experience or UX design encompasses every element that is related to a user’s interaction with your website or app. In terms of a website, it includes important aspects like website content, systems that support it, structure, and design, which may mean but not limited to the User Interface. An amazing user experience translates into superior customer satisfaction and loyalty by improving the website’s usability, ease of use, and interaction between the site and end user. Thus, UX designing is related to understanding the website’s users, determining stories, creating personas, building prototypes, and performing user testing.
Often, a UX designer leverages critical user data gathered by a market researcher to observe and evaluate how the users behave for the product or service that is offered by the website. The designer refines the data to create truly awesome user experience. In addition to this, UX designing also involves building and maintaining mockups, specifications and wireframes that can help create a highly intuitive website. It is the process of developing and improving quality interactions between a user and different facets of the website or app.
User Interface (UI)
User Interface design, on the other hand, is the process of rendering the look and feel, interactivity, and presentation of a website or app. However, it is often confused with graphic design, brand design, front end development, and in many cases, it is also used in scenarios similar to UX design. Basically UI design encompasses transforming a product’s development, content, layout, and research into an awesome and responsive experience for users. It involves processes like customer analysis, design research, branding and graphic design, user guides and storyline, UI prototyping, animation and interactivity, adaptation of UI design to all screen size, and implementation with developer.
Which is Better – UI or UX?
In her article ‘The Gap Between UX And UI Design,’ the designer and expert Helga Moreno clearly stated “Something that looks great but is difficult to use is exemplary of great UI and poor UX. While something very usable that looks terrible is exemplary of great UI and poor UI.”
So you can understand that both UI and UX design are vital for a website or app to survive and be successful in this highly competitive world. To put it simple, User Interface is the stirrups, reigns and the saddle. User Experience is the feeling you have when you ride the horse. Both are equally important to render superior customer experience. UI is more of designing for visual appeal; UX is designing for emotion. User Interface design is the part of the product or brand that faces the users when he looks at the website or app; User Experience is how he feels when they look at the site, i.e. the broad scope. Thus, the former is more related to “looks,” while the latter encompasses the “feel.”
In fact, User Interface design is a crucial part of User Experience design. Though UI elements of a web page are often down trotted by experts, it is super important in website designing. This is because unless you deliver the look that instantly attracts user attention, how you can render the true feel? To be very honest, there are thousands of websites that are running successfully with only UI design. So, imagine what wonders these sites are capable of if they have a perfect blend of UI and UX! Thus, it can be concluded that User Interface deals more with creative part of the design, while User Experience involves technical aspects and science of consumer behavior.
Mehul Rajput the CEO of Mindinventory, a leading web and mobile app development company specialized in android and iOS app development. He does blogging as hobby and love to write about mobile technology.