Article

UI/UX Design

What Is the Difference Between UI vs UX Design?

Posted on April 29, 2024

By Kalyn DeHaven

May 22, 2024

In the digital world we live in now, user experience (UX) design and user interface (UI) design are two important ideas for making products or experiences that people will want to consume. UX design is like the foundation and structure of a house. It makes sure the house works and meets people’s wants. UI design is like arranging the inside of a room to make it look nice and feel good. In this article, we will delve deeper into the differences between UI vs UX design.

Understanding UI Design

UI design stands for “user interface design.” It means designing the face of the app or website visitors or stakeholders are using in their daily life. A UI designer would be in charge of those apps or website’s general look and feel. UI design can include a variety of elements, such as layout, typography, images, color schemes, button styles, responsive design, etc. A UI designer’s goal is to enable users to easily move around the interface and interact with the content by carefully planning every part of the UI design.

Anytime an app or website fails it is because the user got confused or lost along the way while using the platforms. For example, maybe the buttons were not at eye level. Or maybe there over-cluttered menus and tables, making information difficult to find. In the end, a well-designed UI can make something easier to use, more accessible, and more satisfying for all users.

What Is UX Design?

User experience design, or UX design, is a way of making online interfaces that take into account not only how they look but also how they are used. Information architecture (IA), user flow, accessibility, and user research are all parts of an online user experience.

Through studies like user interviews, polls, and usability testing, UX designers have to analyze and figure out what the ideal customer wants and needs. Here IA makes sure that the content and features of an end product are clear and easy to use so that users can find what they need quickly.

Meanwhile, user flow involves mapping out how users move through a product in order to find problems that may hinder the user. For instance, the user flow of a website should make it simple to get around, find information, buy things, and go back to the home page. UX design is like the play’s script; it tells the actors what to do and makes sure the viewer has a smooth, enjoyable time.

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UI vs UX Design: What are the Biggest Differences?

When it comes to UI vs UX design, both UI and UX have the same end goal in mind: to give the user a seamless, memorable online experience that encourages them to take an action. However, UI desigers and UX designers go about achieving these goals in different ways with different tools. UI design gives the platform its looks while UX design creates a map for the platform. You will need to use a bit of both when planning an initial prototype of the app or website you are trying to make.

In the following table, we will try to list the basic things that are different between UI vs UX:

Categories UX Design UI Design
User Research Yes Yes
Information Architecture (IA) Yes No
Wireframing & Prototyping Yes No
Creative Design No Yes
Animation No Yes
Visual Design Principles No Yes

While UI and UX design are intricately linked, they represent distinct areas of focus. Here’s another table detailing the key differences:

Feature UX Design UI Design
Focus How the user will use the app Visual elements of the app
Skills User demography research, information architecture, user flow design, etc. Graphics design, Website architecture, App design, etc.
Deliverables User research reports, sitemaps, mindmaps etc. Mockups, prototypes, style guides for the client
Software MindMeister, Adobe Illustrator Adobe XD, Figma
Example Understanding how users complete tasks within the app and optimizing the process Designing the layout and buttons of a mobile app

Which is Developed First and Why?

While UX typically comes first, it’s not a completely separate stage. UI prototypes created during the UX design phase can be used to gather user feedback. This feedback can then inform adjustments to the UX, such as information architecture or user flow.

A strong UX design ensures that the product is not just aesthetically pleasing but also functional and user-friendly. It removes obstacles from the user journey, facilitates task completion, and ultimately creates a sense of satisfaction with the overall experience. However, a well-designed UI can make a product instantly appealing and engaging. It attracts users and creates a positive first impression. Effective UI design leverages visual elements and interaction patterns to guide users intuitively and make them feel comfortable using the product.

How Do UI and UX Work Together?

While some companies might have separate UX and UI design teams, others might have designers who wear both hats. Regardless of the structure, when you understand the specific value of both of these skill sets, you will realize it’s best to develop them simultaneously.

But if you have different teams then success will depend on how well UI and UX design work together. UX designers and UI designers both have to work together in the beginning to come up with a clear picture of the product. This means figuring out who the target group is, what their goals are, and what the brand’s overall identity is. This general understanding makes it possible for the user experience to flow smoothly.

Additionally, the UI can be changed based on test results and feedback from users during the creation of the interface. However, the process is not a straight line, and UI and UX design often go back and forth during the product development lifecycle.

Conclusion

So even though the terms are often used interchangeably by mistake, UI and UX both refer to different but related parts of product design. If you’re aiming for a design that not only looks great but also provides an exceptional user experience, consider partnering with KDG. Our team of experts excels in UI and UX design for websites, apps, dashboards, and other custom interfaces. Let us help you create a seamless and engaging user experience that stands out in the competitive market. Contact KDG today to discuss how we can transform your ideas into visually stunning and functionally superior designs.

Steve Solt headshot

As team lead of KDG’s UI/UX design team and honors graduate of Kutztown University’s Communication Design program, Kalyn brings a unique perspective to every project she tackles. Kalyn is dedicated to perfecting the user experience. Whether she’s working with a multi-location medical client or a Division I school, she takes the time to research each unique audience, their expectations, and their needs.

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