Although the two terms sound similar and are often used confused with each other, there is a clear difference between UI and UX. To start off, UI stands for User Interface Design, while UX is User Experience Design. Let’s first take a deeper look into UX. UX is “ANY interaction a user has with a product or service” (CareerFoundry, 2019). The purpose of UX design is all about problem-solving and being functional. Therefore, the role of a UX designer is very unique. In order to create a great user experience, UX designers usually look at market research, product development, strategy, and finally design (CareerFoundry, 2019). The purpose of market research is to discover who is the target audience for this specific product or service, then begin to create a model/prototype that will be beneficial to that audience. All of this research is able to “find what the user wants and needs…they then use their findings to design a product that puts the user first” (CareerFoundry, 2019). In an article called “UI vs. UX: What’s the difference between user interface and user experience?”, it describes how professionals will also use the “Usability Honeycomb”, as a foundation guide. The model consists of seven hexagons, each with an important piece for UX design. The words within each of the honeycombs include: useful, usable, desirable, valuable, findable, credible, accessible. Another extremely important part of UX design is empathy. The purpose of UX design is to “understand the user” and “map out a journeys”.
On the other hand, user interface design is“the series of screens, pages and visual elements—like buttons and icons that— enable a person to interact with a product or service” (UserTestingBlog). The tapping of a button, scrolling down a page, clicking an image are all examples of UI. In addition, UI focuses on the visual, interactive experience. UI can also be described as the part that allows the product to “come to life” (Sarah Doody, 2020). Therefore, UI designers control spacing, layout, color palette, typography, etc. In order to maintain consistency, UI designers often will establish a style guide to allow the product to be “interactively seamless”.
According to my skill set and interests, I believe I am more of a UI designer than a UX. I have always found it fascinating and fun to make things look aesthetically pleasing. When something feels nice to look at, the entire experience is a stronger, more positive and more beneficial to the audience viewing. To further demonstrate, when looking at a magazine article versus a typed paper from a student, the magazine article is incredibly more appealing to the viewer because prior to reading, one is able to grasp an idea of the tone and feel. To further demonstrate, subconsciously a viewer is able to take in all of this information without reading based on the photos, layout, typography, etc. Overall, I think it incredibly interesting to see how these two job titles differ from each other, yet they combine together to create a seamless experience.