These days, there is still a lot of confusion regarding the difference between UX and UI design. The thing is that people usually place these terms together (UI/UX design). Indeed, they are related, but this fact doesn’t make them interchangeable.

If you want to hire professionals to make a website, it’s important to understand the core concepts of user experience and user interface design. Otherwise, you might not be offered a full range of website design services. Here is what you need to know about UI and UX design:

What’s UX design?

UX (user experience) design is concerned with the whole process of integrating and acquiring the product, including different aspects of function, design, branding, and disability. Don Norman, an inventor of the term ‘User Experience’ used to say: ‘no product is an island, it’s an integrated set of experiences’.

UX designers try to answer the main questions of what, why and how. By answering them, designers decide on users’ values, product’s features, functionality, accessibility, and aesthetics.

The purpose of UX professionals is to make sure website navigation is clear and logical. According to experts at Career Foundry, UX designer key responsibilities include customer analysis, product structure and strategy, prototyping, testing, wireframing, and coordination with UI designers.

What’s the UI design?

UI (user interface) design is the process focused on making interfaces in computerized devices and software. UI professionals aim to create designs that are easy and pleasurable to use.

A list of UI designers’ key responsibilities includes graphic development, branding, design research, UI prototyping, animation, and implementation with the developer.

The thing is that UI is often confused with user experience. However, it’s only concerned with the overall feel of a design. Alan Cooper, a software designer, once said that software should ‘behave’ like a likeable person and be helpful, respectful, and generous.

Here you can learn a difference between UX and US design:

What comes first?

Usually, user experience design is done first. UX professionals are responsible for conducting research that will validate and expand product ideas. After the prototype is finalized by the UX designer, user interface professional starts working on micro-interactions and visual design.

What’s the purpose?

People will always visit your website with a specific goal in mind.

The UX designer tries to figure out how to help visitors to find the right page and products and accomplish their goals. Needless to say, it’s a challenging task. To get the right answers, the user experience designer observes people’s behaviour, interviews them and makes different prototypes.

According to Aaron Watern, the author of Designing for Emotion, it is the fundamental usability right.

The user interface designers try to take all possible measures to draw more and more new people with a striking design. Users will stick around in case the site’s design triggers positive emotions in them. People might forget some small shortcoming, but they will remember positive reactions.

As you can understand, user experience designers want to make the interface useful, while UI professional simple makes things beautiful. To accomplish the goal, US designers need to do competitive analysis, develop products valuable to the target audience. It helps to create a wireframe for user interface designers.

So, right after a site is tested, the UI designer chooses a typography and colour scheme that’s not only aesthetically pleasing but is also easy to use. It’s important to mention that all decisions are made without taking into account a designer’s personal preferences; choices are based on personas developed by the UX designers at the start of the project.

This visual hierarchy serves as a guide, letting people know what they can do on the website and how they can meet their objectives.

UX design is considered a very broad field. These days, every company tries to understand their users and make their journey easier. Meanwhile, user interface design can be limited. However, you can see interfaces on many modern devices such as ticket kiosks, washing machines, and watches.

The bottom line

As stated above, the user experience designer deals with the functionality of the product. It focuses on analysis and project management throughout the whole process of development, ideation, and delivery.

Meanwhile, user interface designers communicate with the clients to understand what they want to get. They are responsible for what the end-user feels, sees, and hears.

Both UX and UI designs are crucial parts of product development and they can’t exist without each other. That’s why you need to make sure the company you hire gives you two independent professionals.