What is the difference between UX and UI?

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We often hear about UX and UI in the web interface design community. More often than not, these terms are used interchangeably, and it would be easy to believe that they are synonymous. In fact, both are part of a whole package: one does not go without the other, but not all UI experts are experts in UX. 

This article will look at the definitions of these notions, the differences that distinguish them, their goals, and more.

What are their meaning and role?

UX: User Experience

The UX designer will have to conceptualize and lay the foundations of the website so that users can use the site without problems and make sure it is instinctive for them. Before starting to design a prototype and test it, they will have to do market research and better understand the audience to whom the site is dedicated. They will put everything in place so that when the UI designer comes into play, they have the right foundation. The UX designer must ensure that when someone visits the site, it is clear and functional when thinking about the user’s path of thought. 

Much thought and attention must be given to the implementation of the elements. The designer must put themself in the customer’s shoes and conceptualize the steps a user would take to sign up for your newsletter, for example. They will configure the website menu so that it is simple and fast when searching for information. They will have to ask themselves, “Is it easy to shop online?” or “how can I adjust this button so that the user knows that he or she did click on it?”. 

When these steps are done and the interface is conceptualized, they will pass the torch to the UI designer because the work does not stop there. It’s only half of it.

UI: User interface

When the foundations are well anchored, it is the UI designer’s turn to put his hand on the task. They must now take the design of the UX designer and make it a work of art. They will take into account the brand's personality and the company's image and apply it to the website. They must design an attractive interface while keeping the site content clear and without overloading. 

The UI designer will think about buttons, typographies, colors, layout, etc. The user interface design's purpose is to guide customers through the site visually. The interface must be intuitive, consistent, and, as mentioned above, attractive. 

Why are companies looking for UX/UI designers?

As we saw earlier, UX and UI design are two different things with different purposes. The expertise is different, so why are businesses asking designers who know how to do both? 

Despite the fact that both are very important for a company, the field remains mysterious, and many companies do not know much about the subject. It is a position that people believes only one person can do, which makes the UX/UI designer’s schedule very busy and complex. 

Many companies are deliberately looking for designers who can do both since hiring two people to manage the web interface may seem a lot despite the fact that they are two completely different but complementary roles.

In summary, what are the major differences?

The UX designer must research the users who will use the website. He will then determine the information structure and will have to create a prototype. In order to ensure user-friendliness and ease of use, the designer will have to do several tests and create a bridge between the user’s needs and those of the company. When all of these steps are approved and finalized, they will work with UI designers and developers to ensure their vision is well executed.

The UI designer has a very different role, but it perfectly complements that of the UX designer. They will shape the buttons, icons, and animations of the site. The designer will choose typographies and a color palette based on the company’s brand guide. The next step will be to create a visual style guide and then create a prototype so that the UX designer can test and approve whether the mission of his design has been fulfilled and respected. The design of the UI designer must be responsive according to the browser used and it will be their role to ensure that. Collaboration with developers and the UX designer is crucial.

I am not a UX/UI designer: how can I create a great website?

No need to be an expert in web design to do your website well. Although a lot of knowledge, technique, and expertise is required for a UX/UI designer position, you are not applying for a position, are you? 

That’s why we offer blog articles where our experts give you a multitude of tips to create a great website. WebSelf is a free website creator allowing you to have well-integrated site templates. It facilitates the creation by avoiding all the UX designer has to do as a process without necessarily replacing it; they are and will remain indispensable to large companies. 

Become a UI designer yourself by creating your website for free on WebSelf. You will become a pro!