UX Design refers to the term User Experience Design, while UI Design stands for User Interface Design. Both are vital to a product and work closely together. But despite their professional relationship, the roles themselves are quite diverse, referring to very different parts of the process and the design discipline. People do confuse them, but they are different. Where UX Design is a more analytical and technical field, UI Design is closer to what we refer to as graphic design, however the responsibilities are somewhat more complex.
As Rahul Varshney, Co-creator of Foster.fm puts it:
‘’User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) are some of the most confused and misused terms in our field. A UI without UX is like a painter slapping paint onto canvas without thought; while UX without UI is like the frame of a sculpture with no paper mache on it. A great product experience starts with UX followed by UI. Both are essential for the product’s success.’’
At the most basic level, UI is the series of screens, pages, and visual elements—like buttons and icons—that you use to interact with a device. UX, on the other hand, is the experience that a person has as they interact with every aspect of a company’s products and services. Let’s look into it in a bit more detail.
UX (User Experience Design)
User experience design (UXD or UED) is the process of increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty by improving the usability, ease of use, and making the experience better in the interaction between the customer and the product. User experience includes all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products. This implies that regardless of its medium, UX Design encompasses any and all interactions between a potential or active customer and a company.
UX is the process of development and improvement of quality interaction between a user and all facets of a company. It is accountable for being hands on with the process of research, testing, development, content, and prototyping to test for quality results. It is in theory a non-digital practice, but used and defined predominantly by digital industries.
UI (User Interface Design)
Regardless of it being an older and more practiced field, the question of “ What is user interface design? ” is hard to answer by its ranging variety of misinterpretations. While UX is a collection of tasks which concentrate on optimization of a product for effective and enjoyable use; User Interface Design is its compliment, the look and feel, the presentation and interactivity of a product. But like UX, it is easily and often confused by the industries that employ UI Designers. To the extent that different job posts will often refer to the profession as completely different things.
If you look at job posts for User Interface Design, you will mostly find interpretations of the profession that are akin to graphic design. Sometimes extending also to branding design, and even front end development.