If you first come across mobile app or website design, this is probably the first question you have in mind – What does UI/UX design mean? While being the core components that can make or break a product, UI design and UX design are two of the most confusing terms in app and website design. Today we are going to break down the differences and the relationships of these two terms for you so that you can create the perfect product that you have been dreaming of!
To begin with, we should first get an understanding of what ‘UI Design’ and ‘UX Design’ means.
What is UI Design?
The ‘UI’ in UI Design stands for ‘user interface’. It is close to what we refer to graphic design. UI Design is all about the look, style and the presentation of the product – the buttons, text, images, colours, typography and elements that the user interacts with. Above all this, It also includes the layout, interface animations and other micro-interaction. UI designers are responsible to decide what the app or website looks like, making sure it not only looks attractive, but also enhance the ability of users to use the functions of the interface through the presentation.
What is UX Design?
The ‘UX’ in UX Design stands for ‘user experience’. Unlike UI Design, UX focuses on the interactive side, functionality and structure of the product, i.e. how users might interact with it and where they will click first. It emphasises a smooth experience, logical navigation, sensible interaction. According to UX Planet, ‘User experience is determined by how easy or difficult it is to interact with the user interface elements that the UI designers have created.’
What is the Relationship between UI & UX design?
Before we dive into the relationship between the two, let’s hear what some UI/UX experts had to say about their differences.
‘UX is focused on the user’s journey to solve a problem, UI is focused on how a product’s surfaces look and function.’ – Ken Norton, former product manager at Google
‘UI is focused on the product, a series of snapshots in time. UX focuses on the user and their journey through the product.’ – Scott Jenson, product strategist at Google
‘UI is the saddle, the stirrups, & the reins. UX is the feeling you get being able to ride the horse.’ Dain Miller, Web Developer
Still in confusion? Here are some illustrations that might help you visualise their differences.
To put it simply, UI decides how the interface looks while UX decides how the interface works. UI and UX design work well together to cater to the product that not only looks beautiful but user-friendly. For example, UX design decides where a navigation bar is placed and which page it leads to, while UI design decides the style of the bar. Neither one of them should be left out when designing a product. They need to work together and blend together seamlessly to create the best product. UX without UI would have nice structure but would lack the aesthetics to leave a good impression, while UI without UX would be just like an eye candy but not usable at all. In a word, you need to ensure a balance between the two to deliver a successful product!
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