UX vs UI Design: Are they Not the Same?

No, they are not! Often used interchangeably, UI and UX are not the same. Many of us are unaware of this as these terms are frequently used together.

Firstly, let’s get clarity on the terms and what is UI/UX Design?.  UX refers to User Experience and UI refers to User Interface – which are interconnected but NOT the same. While the User Interface specifically focuses on the visual and aesthetic appeal of a digital product, the User Experience focuses on the overall interaction a user has with the product both online and offline and more importantly how the user feels about it. 

Both are equally crucial for digital product development and user satisfaction.

Let’s dive into the UI/UX Discourse so that as a product owner, or a founder you can know these aspects of your product better!

UI vs UX: What’s the Difference?

In very simple terms UI Design deals with the visual interface of a digital product, whereas UX design deals with the usability and satisfaction part of it.

UI design consists of the icons, buttons, fonts, color palette, layout and other design aspects of a website or app; UX consists of the functionality aspects like the number of clicks you need to make to get to the cart, navigation of the website or app and so on – basically how the user interacts with the digital product. It encompasses everything from understanding the user’s mindset to delivering a satisfactory experience while using the product. 

The way a website looks or is designed is part of UI, while the journey the user takes while interacting with the product step by step leading to eventually buying the product is all part of  UX Design. 

While UI is only related to the digital part of a product and brand; the scope of UX is beyond that – it extends to offline product user experience as well. For example, in a travel app – UI deals with how the app looks, readability and icons on it, while  the UX deals with everything from making it easier for the user to find the correct ride to ensuring the safety of the traveler while using the service. 

UX Design: The Groundwork

UX Design is more about creating a robust layout for the user to interact with a product. This aspect deals with the structure of the digital product inferred from the indepth research of how the users mentally navigate through the digital experience and what needs to be done to make this experience more easy flowing and functional. For example, an architect designs a structure based on the purpose of the space and how to make it more accessible and has an organic flow to it. 

UI Design: The Face

UI Design focuses on the visual aspect of the digital product – colors, fonts, icons, layouts and elements that please the user aesthetically. It is more like interior designing – what shade of paint, fabric of curtains, furniture is to be used to make the space cozy and welcoming.

To read extensively about the elements in UI/UX design refer to our Journal

The Multifaceted UX Design

UX Design is a multifaceted process of understanding the need and utility of the digital product, studying the mindset of the target audience and designing the entire journey the user will experience with the product or service. Essentially UX Design tries to make this journey easily accessible and enjoyable to the users. 

UX Design services involve tasks like understandability –  conducting user research to understand the patterns, behaviors and pain points involved in the interaction the user has with the product or service; strategy – creating prototypes to carve out user journey maps; interaction – testing them on potential users and collaborating with UI Designers, developers and different stakeholders to create an overall well-rounded user experience. 

The Visual Layer: UI Design

User Interface (UI) designing concerns with the visual layer of a digital product. This entails making the website/ app visually appealing and creating a positive brand impression on users. 

Creating and choosing the best aesthetics – the icons, buttons, typography, interactive elements in a way that connects with the target audience is what  UI Design services offer. While it may seem like a small part as compared to user experience design, it significantly impacts user behavior and hence is a meticulous task.

Differences and Overlaps in UI and UX Design

UX versus UI

UX vs UI: A Symbiosis of Design

While there are many aspects that are different in UI and UX Design, both are essential to connect with the audience and create engaging user interactions that lead to higher rates of conversions and sturdy business growth. One without the support of the other is like a failed marriage. A great functioning app which is visually unappealing will not engage users and therefore be ineffective in converting them; while a great looking website might engage users, difficult navigation may lead to customer fallout. Therefore the perfect blend of form(UI) and function (UX) make for a digital product that delivers. 

The Best UI/UX Design agencies typically offer both these services, often together, to be able to create a seamless delightful User Experience. Both these aspects require empathy and a human centric approach. These two parts of design are also interconnected and impact the effectiveness of each other. The process of UI/UX designing is a highly iterative process of creating prototypes, testing and continuously improving which essentially requires UI and UX designers to work closely together.

Ultimately what a client wants is higher sales and happy users and both UI and UX design, together, work towards the same goal. 

You can avail our UX Audit services to get a score on the user experience of your product or service and plan better UI/UX Design. 

Looking for a Tailored UX/UI Design Solution for Your Brand?

Now that we know how UX designers map a step by step journey a user will have with the digital product and how UI designers make the visual aspect of the journey aesthetic to the user, we cannot help but agree that both are crucial for the overall success of a digital product or service. Monsoonfish has been blending these two for more than 20 years now to craft simple and delightful user experiences and empowering businesses in varied domains. 

To let the seamless integration of UI/UX Design enhance the experience of your digital products,  get in touch with us.

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