UI/UX Design

The Difference Between UI vs. UX Design: An Unique Beginner’s Guide

By  
Shekh Al Raihan
12 min read
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If you’ve ever wondered, “What is UI, what is UX? What is the in-depth knowledge about UI vs UX? Which one is best for you?

UX design is more analytical, while UI design is more visual and closely related to graphic design. UX uses for user experience design, and UI uses for user interface design. Though UI and UX are similar in some ways, they are also very different. But what do the terms mean, and what does being a UX or UI designer mean?

We will dig deeper into UI and UX basics, differences, how they work together, design respective tasks, responsibilities, salaries, and more.

UI vs UX Design

UX design introduces "user experience design", while UI stands for "user interface design". Both elements are important to a product and work closely together. However, despite their professional relationship, the parts are different, speaking to facets of the product development process and the design discipline.

UX refers to the whole interaction with a product, including how you feel about it. While UI can certainly impact UX, the two are distinct, as are the designers' roles.

Let's take a closer look at it separately (short list).

UI vs UI Design
UI vs UX Design

UX (User Experience)

Focus on people when designing products.

  • Used For: Both things you can touch and digital items.
  • What It Does: Looks at the whole experience from start to finish.
  • Creates: Solutions for problems users might face while using the product.
  • Results: Products that work well and make users happy.

UI (User Interface)

Focus on how things look and feel when designing digital products.

  • Used For: Only digital products.
  • What It Does: Concentrates on products that you see and interact with.
  • Creates: A mix of fonts, colors, buttons, movements, and images.
  • Results: Products that are beautiful and enjoyable to use.

What is User Experience (UX) Design?

User experience design makes the interaction between a product (whether a phone, a table, or a website) and the user more enjoyable and usable.

User experience design (UX) puts people first when designing products. Don Norman introduced this idea in the late 1990s. UX means designing everything a customer does with a company, whether online or in person, to ensure a good experience.

UX is used to anything that can be experienced—a house, a watch, or a visit to the supermarket. The “UX” refers to the interaction between the user and a product or service. User experience design regards all the various parts that shape this experience.

User Experience Design

What Tasks & Responsibilities will Perform as a UX Designer?

As a user experience designer, you would:

  1. Lead User Research: Use interviews and observations to understand user needs.
  2. Identify Pain Points: Analyze research to pinpoint where users face problems.
  3. Generate Ideas: Use brainstorming techniques to develop solutions that help both users and the company.
  4. Select the Best Ideas: Pick feasible, desirable, and viable ideas.
  5. Prototype Designs: Make simple sketches or detailed digital mock-ups of your ideas.
  6. Get Feedback: Share your designs and gather critiques from your team.
  7. Test Usability: Run tests to see if your designs can be improved.
  8. Launch the Design: Execute a solution that benefits your company and users.

Content & Strategy

  • Competitor analysis
  • Customer analysis & user research
  • Product structure &strategy
  • Content development

Wireframing & Prototyping

  • Wireframing
  • Prototyping
  • Testing & iteration
  • Development planning

Execution & Analytics

  • Coordination with UI designers
  • Coordination with developers
  • Tracking Goals & integration
  • UX analysis & iteration

Above all, the UX designer's role varies hugely depending on the type of company they work for. You see that iteration of the product, as related to analysis or testing, is indeed mentioned twice. Yet, you would put it between every other item on the list.

Finally, the aim is to connect business plans to user needs through user & usability testing & refinement, resulting in a solution that helps both sides of the relationship.

What is User Interface (UI) Design?

A user interface is the subject of interaction between humans & computers. User interface design is the procedure of designing how these interfaces look and work.

Suppose you're using a mobile app to book a ticket. The screens you guide, the buttons you use, and the forms you fill out are all part of the UI. 

User Interface Design

A user interface is Made up of the Following Features

  • Input management: They are interactive elements that enable a user to enter information. They include-
  1. Checkboxes, 
  2. Buttons, 
  3. Text fields, and 
  4. Dropdown lists.
  • Navigational features: They help users navigate an interface to complete their desired task. Navigational components include search fields, sliders, and hamburger menus.
  • Informative elements: These communicate helpful information to the user, such as, through message boxes, notifications, and progress bars.
  • Containers: Containers group content into meaningful sections. They hold different elements to a reasonable maximum width based on the user's screen size.

UI design thinks all of these elements and how they work together to make interfaces that are easy to navigate and visually pleasing. For example, UI design covers:

  • Interactivity: It is how the user interface and its various elements behave and function, like when a user clicks a particular button.
  • Visual design: It involves how the interface looks, considering color, typography, imagery and graphics, logos, icons design, and spacing. Different resources exist to support this approach.

For example, the spaceui.design offers a magnificent library of useable icons and other graphics that can be completed in your designs.

A well-designed UI is important to make sure a good UX design. Now we have a root definition of UI design, let's consider the responsibilities and tasks of UI designer.

UI Tasks and Responsibilities

At the start of the process, you can expect to work closely with the client and the UX designer. After all, UI is all about humans, so you'll need to get to know the brand and its target user.

User research and personas manage to fall under UX. However, the UI designer's responsibility is to take this information and run with it. The UX designer will provide you with a wireframe from which to work. If you talk about the benefits of good UI design, a great UI is one that approves users to easily and naturally interact with a digital product. It lowers the friction and cognitive load, thus making the experience of using the product more pleasant and efficient.

Finally, you'll need to hand your design over to the developers. Building connections across different teams and collaborating is essential to the success of your project.

Here are more tasks and responsibilities for individuals working in UI design:

  • Create visual elements for websites and apps, including-some text
    • Buttons and 
    • Menus.

Ensure that they are visually attractive. This task might take up to 30% of a UI designer's time.

  • Arrange elements like text and images. Also, make sure that the interface is easy to navigate.
  • Choose color schemes and typography to improve readability and visual appeal.
  • Design interfaces available to all users, including those with disabilities.
  • Work with other designers and team members, like developers and product managers, to bring designs to life.
  • Listen to what users and team members say about a design to complete necessary adjustments.
  • Keep up with new trends and tools in design to keep improving and learning.
  • Make sure that all designs match brand procedures.
  • Conduct tests to estimate usability and effectiveness.

UI designers use interaction design principles and user psychology to make useable, reliable, logical, and attractive interfaces.

What Does UI Design Involve

Like UX design, ui design is a multifaceted and challenging role. It converts a product's development, research, content, and layout into an attractive, guiding, responsive user experience.

To summarize what UI design is about:

  • UI design is a purely digital practice. It considers a product interface's visual and interactive elements—including buttons, icons, spacing, typography, colour schemes, and responsive design.
  • The aim of UI design is to visually guide the user through a product's interface. 
  • UI design transfers the brand's strengths & visual assets to a product's interface.

The Key Differences: UI vs UX

The Key Differences: UI vs UX

Definition: Focuses on designing products and services considering the overall experience for the user.

Focuses on designing all visual and interactive elements of a digital product.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Conducts user researchCreates wireframes and prototypes.
  • Conducts usability tests
  • Bridges the gap between users' needs and business goals
  • Collaborates with UI designers, developers, and stakeholders
  • Designs buttons, icons, animations 
  • Chooses typography and color palettes 
  • Creates visual style guides 
  • Ensures design is responsive 
  • Collaborates with UX designers and developers

Key Skills

  • Collaboration 
  • Empathy 
  • Curiosity and continuous learning 
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving 
  • Familiarity with user research and analysis techniques
  • Wireframing and prototyping
  • Understanding of information architecture
  • User and usability testing
  • Collaboration 
  • Empathy
  • Adaptability 
  • Creativity and problem-solving 
  • Visual branding skills (Typography, color theory, icon design)
  • Wireframing and prototyping 
  • Knowledge of responsive design 
  • Animation and interactivity

Process

1. Conducts UX research 

2. Teams up with stakeholders for product ideas.

3. Determines information and creates low-fidelity prototypes.

4. Conducts initial user testing.

  1. Determines the visual and interactive properties.
  2. Creates interactive, high-fidelity prototypes for further testing.
  3. Hands over final design for development.

How Do UX and UI Design Work Together?

Two main concepts in digital product design are UX and UI, which ensure that the application runs smoothly, is appropriately utilized by the user, and is accessible to the eye.

Here's how they collaborate effectively: Here's how they collaborate effectively:

  • Start with UX: The process starts with UX, and the research identifies users' needs. At this stage, we create wireframes to organize the product's layout so the application works more accurately for users.
  • UI Steps To follow, UI designers use the UX wireframes to make them look nice. They will ensure that every detail is correct and conforms with the brand, which will improve the whole look and user experience.
  • Work Together: UI and UX teams do code reviews to maintain orderly, solid relationships. They apply feedback driven from the test to the design modification and increase.
  • Ready for Coding: The design is given to the development team, who then works on creating the actual product.
  • Keep Improving: Long after our product hits the market, UX and UUI designers continue tracking and researching how it performs and make daily changes to make it easier to use.

The UX and UI collaboration aims to create compelling products and become part of people's daily lives. Whether you work as a UX designer or a UI designer, it’s helpful to understand both; after all, you’ll inevitably be working together.

UI vs. UX Salary

UI vs. UX Salary

There are great jobs in many sectors, especially in tech, for aspiring User Interface Designers. Your compensation should be fair (although it sounds repetitive). First-timers could get an internship and a junior designer position, after which they can move their way.

Salaries in both roles are considered by many factors, including:

  1. Location
  2. Experience
  3. Industry
  4. Company
  5. Project/product type

Generally, the salary range for UI and UX jobs in the U.S. is the same for startups and tech heavyweights.

Besides, the scope of online marketing for tech businesses outside the web and mobile sectors is limited. g. (automotive, health equipment, etc. ). However, there are still opportunities for UI designers because the field is more mature and has more involvement with businesses (direct application).

However, it is still worth looking into the companies individually.

UX designer:

  • Junior UX Designer: $75,698
  • UX Designer: $94,241
  • Senior UX Designer: $147,572

UI designer:

  • Junior UI Designer: $86,644
  • UI Designer: $92,931
  • Senior UI Designer: $136,767

UI vs UX! Which One is Right for me?

UI vs UX! Which One is Right for me?

Both UI and UX design are well-paid and in high demand. Now, pick a niche crafted by your goals and interests. If you like to work with technology, get excited about ambits, and enjoy solving techie problems, User Experience Design might be the thing for you. If you want to develop new ideas and have a good sense of aesthetics, consider entering user interface design.

If you’re still not sure whether UI or UX is a better fit for you, you can: If you’re still not sure whether UI or UX is a better fit for you, you can:

  1. Take a class in each (geography, astronomy, and physics) to get a sense of the subjects.
  2. Make reading or listening to the latest UI/UX blogs and podcasts for exposure to specialists in each niche.
  3. Get in touch with industry experts on LinkedIn for an informational interview.
  4. To learn some design basics, look for beneficial online design communities like Facebook groups, Quora, and Reddit, where you can post your questions.

Now, if you need clarification on which career suits you, it depends on what you like. If you are empathetic and love to understand what the user or customers want from the product, and if you love to solve their issues, then UX design is a better choice. 

If you love to design the product, decide on the overall layout, size, and colour animation past and present that with your innovative thought process, then UI is better for you. Most companies hire a single person for both the UX and UI job roles, because the benefits of ui/ux design are similar. So you can also choose both.

FAQs About UI vs UX

What are the required Skills of UX & UI Designers?

  • The following list areas of expertise for each role:

UI Design

  • Graphic Design
  • UI Prototyping
  • Design Research
  • Branding
  • Interactivity
  • Color, layouts, and typography
  • Animation

UX Design

  • User Research
  • Coordinating with UI Design teams
  • Customer Analysis
  • Competitor Analysis
  • UX Prototyping
  • Wireframing
  • Analytics and execution

It’s crucial to mention that both UI & UX design roles share some common skills.

Should a UX Designer be able to code?

  • Many people who want to move into the world of UX design ask themselves if learning to code is necessary. As a short answer, no, but you could still see it as a plus if one of your professional skills is the ability to write code. Thoroughly deciding to freelance as a UX designer means getting on well together with other specialities, such as UX writing, user research, or, you shouldn’t doubt, coding.

Many UX Designers have at least a basic understanding of Front-End Web Development skills such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript to communicate better with developers.

Do UX designers need to know UI?

The UX designer does not have to be a UI designer either, but it is necessary that the UX designer at least has a certain level of knowledge in UI design. This is essential to make collaboration easier. Since UX and UI involve the initial development phase of projects, it is more appealing to recruiters who prefer a contender with both sets of skills. 

Having the kit in full will raise your job satisfaction and chances. Through it all, shaping yourself into a much more competent UX designer.

Can UI and UX be one person?

So yes, you can!”. Often, the line that differentiates a UX designer from a UI designer is difficult to draw because the jobs can be combined into a single position. This opens up more opportunities for candidates to enhance their weak competencies.

Which ones are the best UI/UX design tools?

The top-level tools for UI/UX designs are Figma, Adobe XD, Sketch, InVision, and Axure RP. They also provide a set of tools for wireframes and prototyping design, creating beautiful and practical interfaces. That is why designers frequently use them as tools for collaboration and flexibility.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know the similarities and differences between UX and UI. Hopefully, this post will clear up the long-standing confusion around UI/UX and help you figure out which one is right for you.

If you’re more interested in user research, problem-solving & product architecture, consider focusing on UX design. If you’re a visual person who desires to design the finer details and ensure digital products are beautiful and user-friendly, you might be leaning more towards UI.

So, if you want to try UX or UI design for yourself or your start-ups, chat directly with an advisor to learn more.