We will be discussing the usage of the terms (UI and UX) specially in two areas: Job Listings and Requirements.
We come across so many people who are lacking the general awareness regarding the two terms. It becomes important for us as UI designers to educate everyone on the basic difference between UI and UX. UX refers to the user experience designer whereas UI is the user interface designer. Both these are crucial for a product and work closely with each other.
Hence it is very important to understand the difference to identify the right candidate for the job. Usually, the job description that we send out is more inclined towards a UI designer but the responsibilities are of a UX designer. This only gives rise to confusion.
What can be done?
When we talk of UI or UX designer, there is still an element of design. Design is the solution to the problem. It is easier to attack a problem when the roles are clearly defined and discussed in detail.
In the case of a UI and UX designer, the problem arises when one person is assigned the responsibility for both the interface and the experience. The person does not have expertise in both the fields.
It is not so easy to own up to the problem and it is not easy to tell a interface designer to take control of the experience part as well, however, it does not mean that a UX designer is comfortable with graphic designing, it is equally difficult.
The first step would be to understand the difference between UI and UX. This would bring clarity in what should be done. Proper knowledge of both the terms is a simple way to communicate which will help in better design and better user experience.
Once upon a time, if you heard the word design, you would be thinking on the lines of graphic design. But nowadays, the digital world has become very vast and complicated leading to a number of new job positions which have opened up which confuses the people outside the design industry.
Today the terms User Interface(UI) and User Experience (UX) are the two important components of creativity and technology.
The problem with these two words is there inadvertent combination or interchange of the terms. This happens due to the incorrect expectation that a user interface designer knows all about user experience as well. The fact is that User Interface is not User Experience. The expectation or confusion is due to the overlapping skill set. They are definitely related and many time a UI designer is competent in both.
To make it simple let’s take it up one by one..
The two might be overlapping but are different in nature, the overall objective and scope of work.
A user experience designer is basically concerned with how the product feels. The designer makes sure that the app flows smoothly from one step to the other. It is concerned with the pleasure that the customer gets when interacting with a product.
The UX designer will define a path in such a way that will make most sense to the person who is going to use that specific feature.
The path that a UX designer might follow is – research, user testing, sketching and prototyping. The UX designer will make sure that the user is able to do that specific thing seamlessly and in a intuitive way.
Once the user experience has been built, the UX designer might have spent countless hours researching, understanding the goals, prototyping and integrating it with the other pages. They know the best ways to give you a seamless experience going from one page to another. Every button or drop down has been carefully thought through by the UX designer to give you the best experience.
In simple terms, user interface is the look and feel of the app, it is the physical elements that we see. It is the screens, pages and all visual elements like icons, buttons, logos that you interact with.
A user experience designer defines how you will feel while using the app but a UI designer decides how the button or logo looks like. All physical elements including the colour, buttons, graphs, logos, animation, graphics and any form of art that makes the app look beautiful will be done by an interface designer.
UI designers give a whole new level to the prototype and sketches. It is not only about the look of the app, it is about creating a state of mind so that the user feels confident when using a product.
The difference between the two..
A simple example will clear your confusion between UI and UX- A UX designer will may decide that on clicking on the button you will go to the next page where as a UI designer will visually signal with the help of animations that you are going to the next page.
A UI/ UX designer has different approaches to the same thing. A UX designer will focus on what the user does once he/she opens the app and a UI designer focuses on how the user will feel about the app while interacting with it. The UX designer will logically think how the user will move from one screen to another and define the path whereas the UI designer will focus on the look and feel of the app.