UI and UX are not the same thing

If you are having your website or software developed, you have to be aware of the fact that the term designer is no longer enough. Technology has been evolving and this very fact forces us to broaden our imagination and adapt to constantly growing expectations. That is why we increasingly hear of mysterious acronyms like UI and UX. What do they mean? Do not  wonder any longer.

The most common mistake while looking for a job, or having a conversation with someone outside our environment, is combining those two terms into one thing. Although User Interface and User Experience (as that is what UI and UX stand for) have many similarities, one of them being working on improving customer satisfaction, they should be seen separately. Why? Let us provide the answer.

The simplest way to describe the role of a User Experience Designer is to say that he or she is concerned with how the product works. Encompassing all interactions between a potential customer and a company, the UX designer is responsible for improving the usability, and ease of use. Before providing the product, UX designers are expected to test and develop its quality, creating the best user experience. In order to do so, they can build potential users’ personas and conduct in-person user tests so they can observe and understand the way both a user and their product behave and react.

On the other hand, there is the User Interface Designer who is particular about how the product looks. Designing each and every single page or screen, the UI designer is responsible for creating what a potential user interacts with. The way a website or a software looks like must correspond to what the UX designer has created, being a visual response to the ease of use we mentioned above.

If you are still having trouble understanding the difference between UX and UI clearly, let us provide some of the best explanations we have heard throughout the years. One of them is to see UX and UI as a restaurant. The décor, the table setting, things that surround you are User Interface, the way the product looks. The food and the service, the atmosphere being created is User Experience, the way product works. As you can see, UI being what the product looks like may encourage us to visit the restaurant, but it is UX being the quality of the food that will have us return.

When you ask a UX or UI designer about what they do for a living, you may hear that they are web designers. This popular title is definitely easier to understand for most people however, you should not associate those terms with each other. We may call a web designer an artist who creates everything you can see, everything on the surface of a website, while UX and UI designers are responsible for much more, running tests, examining the psychological side of the product, creating devices.

What we find confusing is that more and more employers are looking for hiring UI/UX designers. We all want to save money, but hiring one person to do two jobs is not necessarily cost efficient. No matter how hard this person tries, they will end up doing a little bit of everything. If you are still considering this, you should ask yourself a question: is a little bit enough for us?

We hope that now you see clearly how the roles and responsibilities of UI and UX designers differ. If you thought you can rest on your laurels, here is a warning: have you ever heard of an information architect (IA) designer, graphic designer, interaction or product designer? Can you tell the difference?

Author Biography

Weronika Krajcarz is our Fron-End Developer / UX Designer. She is responsible for creating web designs for websites, stores and applications. Being interested in sports, she won the bronze medal in Taekwondo International Open European Championships in 2012.

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