With the rise of changing technologies, certain terms have been rising in the industry, including UI design and UX design – closely connected ideas, but what do they mean, and why should you even care, and what is the best way to utilize them? Let’s dive into where the boundaries are between each design methodology.
U or I, or just UI Design?
UI design stands for User Interface design, and in short is designing the interface what the user will be looking at on various devices, with the intention of creating the best user experience. This ‘skin’ will be the visual representation of the product/service/company.
UI Design is often confused with graphic design, but UI design takes into account the visual aesthetics of how the site guides the user to goals. The visual assets (images, graphics) created in this designing process should help to improve user experience, and guide the user through the site.
Since this is the visual representation of how your user will interact with the site, UI design needs to be researched for best methods, and should also work for each individual user (mobile, tablet, desktop, etc).
Okay, got it. What is UX Design, then?
UX design stands for user experience design, and is designing with the user experience in mind, rooted in how the user will interact with the page, and what they expect to do.
This methodology often combines anticipating the user’s needs, and is the determined process of how humans will interact with the product with the understanding of what is prone to happen.
As it’s the analytical and technical aspect of the site’s functionality, it usually incorporates a lot of planning, and the steps can include wireframing, prototyping, user testing and user testing result analysis… phew. All of the processes combine to make user interactions easy.
Still a little confused?
Visually, UX Design usually takes the ‘where’ of things – Where does this go? Where does it go to? It also solves the ‘how’ questions – How can we get them to notice this? How can I get from point A to point B?
Great. Sooo… What should I use?
So when should you use each type of design? In order to create the best site – use both. A visually enticing page should also have mentally enticing experiences, and if one is off par the site will usually suffer as a result. Utilize both UX design and UI design to create the optimal site experience for users. This way you can make a happy experience for all types of people.
https://developer.apple.com/design/tips/ – Apple Design do and Don’ts
http://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/user-interface-design.html – Goverment Design Basics