What is the Difference Between UX and UI?
While it is widespread for terms to come and go in the fast-paced IT industry, UI and UX have managed to withstand the test of time. However, even though terms have been around for quite a while now, there is still some confusion surrounding them as far as to what each of them is referring to. Even though UI and UX complement each other, it is a good idea to take a closer look at their functions, so we can tell the difference between the two of them.
What is UX?
The letters “UX” refer to the user experience i.e., how a person interacts with your product. Whenever you are designing the UX, you are essentially defining the way the product will function and how it will live up to the user’s demands. While it is evident that the UX must be user-oriented and comfortable to use, an excellent user experience designing will be elaborate in a way that is not evident. This way, it will be easy for people to navigate your website, even if they are visiting for the first time. If the user cannot figure out how to perform a particular function such as proceed to checkout or login, there is an obvious problem with the UX.
In addition to having great layouts and properly positioned blocks, there must also be something that serves as an intermediary between the user and the product. This is where the user interface comes in.
What is UI?
The user interface (UI) encompasses all the buttons, controls, and any other elements of the app, which gives it a unique feeling. Creating a UI includes choosing colors, identifying the corporate identity, and staying up to date regarding the newest design principles. When designers create the user interface, they work on giving the product a sense of character and giving it an aesthetical facelift. Whenever somebody visits your website, the first thing they will see is the user interface, and it is also a significant factor when somebody is deciding whether or not to stay on your page. Outstanding website design & development will incorporate both UI and UX design.
Can You Have One Without the Other?
Even though the UI and UX difference exists, there is a reason why there are almost always used together. A lot of experts agree that you might have a great UI, but it will not be effective if it is not supported by quality level UX. For example, it would not make much sense to create a fantastic design with high-quality images, textures, and gradients if the user is continually getting error codes. To stay relevant in today’s business environment, your website needs to be designed with all of the latest elements and techniques in order to grab and retain the user’s attention. Therefore, merely choosing either UI or UX is not the right way to go.
While there technically is a difference between UI and UX developer a lot of times one person does both. The UX developer would have to research and understand user demands and come up with concepts and designs that people will enjoy using. If you have a UX designer who is good at creating such concepts, but cannot produce them in real life, then you will need a UI designer who will have the skills make them in programs like Photoshop and then turn it into HTML code.
Does the Order Matter?
When creating a product, in most cases, the UX design is done first. The UX designers will conduct a lot of research to confirm or reject initial product ideas and provide the overall product development with some guidance. After the prototype has been finalized, then the UI part can begin by working on the visual design and micro-interactions. Having said this, a lot will depend on the people who will be in charge of the UI and UX design and the skills that they possess.
Solid UI/UX is Just Good Business
Now that we have talked about what is UI/UX design, there are many benefits your business can enjoy if you do everything correctly. Such benefits include:
- Enhanced customer acquisition
- Increase of customer retention
- Lower support costs
- Fewer development times
However, when you decide to embrace UI/UX design, it is vital that it is not a one-time phase. You should incorporate it into your overall business strategy and continuously monitor user metrics in order to make necessary updates. What was very modern and in demand one day might be ancient history the next. That’s why you should always stay up to date on the latest trends and developments so that you are not regularly playing catch up.
The UI/UX field is very popular, and many companies are starting to come around to the overall value that it brings such the ability to understand their users and validate specific hypotheses. Nowadays, the user has so many options to go to get a certain product, service, or information, that you need something that will grab their attention. If you are experiencing high bounce rates and other negative user metrics, consider giving your UI/UX a redesign. It does not have to be a complete overhaul. In fact, a straightforward change can be the difference between someone sticking around on your site or going elsewhere.