Increasingly, designers are finding that employers expect them to have UI web design expertise in addition to their UX skills. The demand is growing for many reasons, but one thing’s for sure: Knowing both can give a designer a competitive advantage. Here, readers can learn the main differences between UI and UX design.
UI Is Not UX
UX or user experience design is the method by which users’ needs and pain points are identified. Then, a prototype is made and validated through testing. When the value proposition and business model have been successfully validated, the product can be built. UI design can best be thought of as a combination of interaction design and visual design.
- Visual web design is a site’s personality, look and feel.
- Interaction design is how visitors interact with the site.
Although UI and UX designers both create interactions, it’s easier to think of a UX designer as the architect of large-scale interactions, while a UI designer handles the smaller details. UX designers create user flows, or the steps users take to perform an action. From there, the UI designer refines interactions, giving users the clues necessary to complete the process.
UX Creates a Useful Interface | UI Makes a Beautiful One
Useful products meet needs that aren’t yet being resolved. A UX designer’s research process involves competitive analysis, persona development, and the creation of a minimum viable or minimum valuable solution. The prototype, as mentioned earlier, is validated via testing at various points in its life cycle. Once wire-frames and user flows have been tested, it’s a UI designer’s job to make them pleasing to the eye.
Typography, interactions, and color choices aren’t based on the designer’s preferences, but on reasons specific to user personas created by UX designers. With this information, the UI designer implements a hierarchy that lets users know what, when, and how to act.
UX Helps Visitors Accomplish a Goal | UI Forms an Emotional Connection
People visit a website to do things. Whether it’s reading product reviews or finding out how to pay their taxes, visitors always have a goal in mind. The UX designer tries to figure out what customers need by asking questions, making prototypes, and running validation tests. Once the product’s usability is validated, that’s where the UI designer’s expertise comes in.
UX Design Typically Comes Before UI Design
In most cases, UX research and design comes first during product creation. The UX designer handles most of the product validation research, and once a prototype has been mostly finalized, the UI designer starts to work on visual design components. However, the path isn’t always linear, and it depends on various factors; you need both aspects within the site.
Despite the differences between UX and UI web design, it’s all but impossible to separate one from the other. However, in your attempt, you could conclude that UX design helps a user accomplish a goal across multiple services and platforms, while UI design creates attractive, compelling interfaces with which people can connect. Users expect a certain amount of ease and usability when they visit a website, whether it’s on a PC or a mobile device; and UX and UI design teams, like those of Houston’s Convergent1, work together to make it happen.
If your company needs a site that offers potential visitors and customers a full UX and UI experience, connect with Convergent1 for more insight and information on web design. We’re happy to help! Call 713-690-0707 or freely browse our services online today!