The following topics are going to be discussed in this blog:
UX and UI are common terms that we get to hear when someone is talking about product design. Oftentimes, people use these terms interchangeably when both these terms are quite different from each other.
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In basic terms, UI is the visual elements, screens, or pages that users interact with, with regards to any product or service, and UX is the experience that the users have when they interact with a particular product or service.
In this blog, we will discuss UX and UI in detail and understand their similarities and the difference between them.
What is UI UX Design?
UI and UX design are two different professions that have been around for decades. The elements of both UX and UI are crucial to products and work in collaboration. Although, the roles of both UI and UX are quite different from each other with regards to their place in the process of product development and design.
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Let us discuss both of these terms separately.
What is UI?
UI makes the interaction between machines and human beings possible. UI helps users operate machines effectively and complete tasks or accomplish goals. UI is making it possible for you to read this blog right now.
UI is composed of input hardware and output hardware. Input and output devices work together to allow the users to fully control the machine. UI can be of many types. The three main ones are—command line interface (CLI), graphic user interface (GUI), and voice-enabled user interface.
In CLI, the interactions between human beings and machines are linear. The user types a command and the machine responds to it. This is done by printed output or message displays. These interactions can be complicated as users need to know programming languages to interact with computers.
GUI lets users interact with digital products using visual elements. While interacting with a GUI, users go through various screens and pages. These screens or pages contain static as well as dynamic elements. GUI is the most popular form of UI these days.
Voice-Enabled User Interface
One of the problems with GUI is that a user has to spend some time learning how to use it. The more time they have to spend on learning how to use it, the less simple the product is to use, and that isn’t good.
The easiest solution for this is something called zero UI. The best example of UI we have is voice-enabled user interfaces. With voice-enabled user interfaces, users use their voices to interact with systems.
Characteristics of a Well-designed UI
All good UIs have the following characteristics:
- Clarity: All elements of the UI and their meaning should be clear to the users. They should not have to spend time deciphering what something does.
- Familiarity: The UI should feel familiar to the users. It should let them use their previous UI experience when they interact with the product.
- Consistency: The UI should be consistent throughout the product. This allows the users to recognize usage patterns.
- Ability to Forego: The UI should excuse the users for their mistakes or miscalculated moves.
- Efficiency: The UI should require minimum input from the users to produce the desired output.
What is UX?
Now, let’s talk about UX. What a user experiences while interacting with a product is called UX. UX design focuses on making easy-to-use products with a simpler learning curve and uncomplicated conceptualization. The goal of UX is to make a design that is user-centered.
UX design cannot be started without conducting user research. Understanding the target audience and identifying its needs is a crucial part of the UX design process. Once the UX designers gather all this information, they can create user personas. These help designers understand the users’ goals, limitations, and desires. With this information, the designers are able to deliver targeted solutions for the users.
All the emotions that the users experience while interacting with a product, highly impact how they feel about the product. UX design gains a lot of importance from user journey. UX design is deeply focused on user journey to help solve user problems. Design is probably the most important element to help improve the user journey.
Good UX Design
Aarron Walter, celebrated author on design, has come up with a visual pyramid of user needs. This pyramid is followed by UX professionals to make design decisions. Just like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs depicting the five tiers of human needs that motivate an individual’s behavior, the visual pyramid of user needs depicts four tiers of user needs from a UX design. If UX designers follow this pyramid, they can come up with great UX designs.
How are UX and UI Similar?
UX and UI are two related principles of design even though they are different from each other. The following are some of the similarities between the two:
- Design Thinking: Both UX and UI are focused on design. They follow design principles to come up with the most user-friendly user design possible.
- Aware of User Needs: While UX is based on the user journey, UI is based on making easy navigation possible for the users. Both UX and UI have to be aware of the user needs to be able to do that.
- Goal of Delivering a Product That Delights the Users: UX and UI have the same goal, to make sure the users are happy with the product.
What’s the Difference Between UI and UX?
UI and UX are two of the most confusing terms in the field. You can’t have UI without UX or UX without UI, but you don’t need to know UX design to become a UI designer and vice versa. Let us now take a look at the main differences between UI and UX:
- UX design is focused on figuring out solutions for user problems, while UI design is focused on coming up with interactive, aesthetic, and intuitive interfaces.
- UX design gets the ball rolling in the process of product development, and UI follows right after.
- UX designers are responsible for mapping out the user journey, which is then filled with interactive and visual elements by UI designers.
- UX is applied to any kind of product, while UI is only applied to digital products.
UI vs UX Design: Which Career Path is Right For You?
UI and UX designs work together for the most part, but you don’t have to do both. So, how do you decide which career path to choose—UI or UX? To help you decide, let us talk about the important skills required of UI and UX designers.
|Collaboration, communication, and open-mindedness||Collaboration, communication, and open-mindedness|
|Adaptability||Curiosity and continuous learning|
|Creativity and problem-solving||Critical thinking and problem-solving|
|Visual branding skills—typography, color theory, icon design, etc.||Familiarity with user research and analysis techniques|
|Wireframing and prototyping||Wireframing and prototyping|
|Knowledge of responsive design||Understanding of information architecture|
|Animation and interactivity||User and usability design|
|Graphic design||Business acumen|
|Customer service||Customer service|
|Project management||Project management|
What Does a UI Designer Do?
UI designers are visual people, they focus on designing the look and feel of the product, as well its responsiveness and interactivity. Let us take a brief look at what all UI designers do in these areas:
Look and Feel of the Product:
- User guides and storylines
- Design research
- Customer analysis
- Branding and graphic development
Responsiveness and Interactivity
- Animation and interactivity
- Implementation with the developer
- Adaptation to different screen sizes
- UI prototyping
UI designers contribute largely to customers trusting a brand. UI designers also have to make sure that the interface is well-implemented.
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What Does a UX Designer Do?
UX designers have to understand what the users need. Let us take a brief look at what UX designers are required to do:
Strategy and Content
- Competition analysis
- User research and customer analysis
- Product structure and strategy
- Content development
Wireframing and Prototyping
- Iteration and testing
- Development planning
Execution and Analytics
- Coordination with UI designer(s)
- Coordination with developer(s)
- Tracking goals and integration
- Analysis and iteration
UX designers often have to take on the role of a designer, marketer, and project manager. The kind of work UX designers do largely depends on the organization that they are working in.
UX vs UI Designer—Salary
The following are certain factors that affect the salaries of UX and UI designers:
- Product type
There isn’t much difference in the salaries of UX and UI designers across different organizations. Although, there are better opportunities for UI designers in the tech industry.
Let us take a look at the average annual salaries for UX and UI designers in India and the US (according to Payscale):
|Experience||UI Designer||UX Designer|
|Salary in the US (US$)||Salary in India (INR)||Salary in the US (US$)||Salary in India (INR)|
Also read – Top UI/UX Tools UI UX designers use.
If UI and UX design seem like interesting career choices but you’re unsure about which career path you want to choose, you’ll need to identify your interests. Both UX and UI involve creativity and collaboration. We’ve already discussed their similarities and differences. We hope that helps you in making your decision.
You can consider the flowchart below to help you along in your decision-making:
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