UX and UI Design: What’s the Difference?

August 10, 2015

You may have heard the terms ‘UX’ and ‘UI’ being thrown around by your web developer, but do you actually know what they mean, and how they can properly benefit your product? The biggest trend in design right now is providing the best user experience possible, so if you’re not using the right design strategy for your product, you could be missing out on vital traffic and sales.

While both design processes are modelled around the user, there are some differences between the two.

UX Design, or User Experience Design is engineered to improve the viewer’s enjoyment of your site or product, establishing a better experience between the design and the user. The design is formulated specifically with the user experience in mind, carefully put together based on market research, feedback and current trends. UX Design stems from Human-computer interaction (HCI) , the study of how humans relate to technology systems.

User Interface Design, or UI Design is the process of aesthetically constructing both software and equipment to improve the user experience. This includes everything from smartphones, computers and tablets to appliances. It includes everything from the size and the shape of a mobile phone to how touch-sensitive software reacts to human skin. The system is a collaboration of technical software and the optical presentation.

In order to create the most successful, well-rounded and user-friendly product, we must use UX and UI alongside one another. If we produce something with a stunning optic front then we have excelled in the UX principle, but if it is too complex and clunky for anyone to use, we have failed in UI Design. So to engineer the best product we can, we need to combine the two.

A good example of the two processes working alongside one another is Google’s homepage. A classic, clean and simple design that is pleasing to the eye and simple to navigate. The use of a large white space, a few splashes of color and the search function front and center has allowed it to become the most popular search engine in the world. We use Google because we like how it looks, and it fulfills its purpose.

Poor design is the difference between a successful product and one that no-one wants to use. For instance, if you click on an online news article to be brought to a page cluttered with irrelevant ads, videos, sounds and external links, you probably aren’t going to spend a significant amount of time on that site – because it has a poor user interface and frustrating navigation.

The presence of UI and UX design shows us that your online content or physical product is not enough to drive profit. You could have produced the best written blog post in the world, but no-one will read it if your site neglects design principles that make web viewing enjoyable and easy for the consumer.

When developing your next product, remember to consult your team on how you can manipulate UI and UX to work for you. Both principles are as important as each other, and are crucial to drive sales for your business.

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