Possibly due to the fact that they sound pretty similar, UI and UX can frequently be confused with one another or even used interchangeably by businesses, designers and developers.
However, whilst both are key to building successful, user-friendly and appealing apps, websites and software, UI and UX are two very different things.
We’ve broken down exactly what UX and UI designers do and why the two must work in tandem to create awesome products for clients.
What is UX?
UX stands for User eXperience. This is a holistic term to describe the more technical and analytical side of a product. It’s the behind-the-scenes part of a website or application, ensuring everything functions and behaves correctly and in the most simple way.
A UX designer conducts in-depth market research about the potential users and what they want from a product, whether this is an app or online platform. They produce the wireframes (the basic layout and structure of a product) and prototypes, which are then handed over to the UI designers.
UX is all about creating a straightforward, smooth experience for customers so that they want to return to your website or use your product over and over again.
What is UI?
On the other hand, UI is short for User Interface. This is the bit that you directly interact with on a website or app; the way it looks, feels and even sounds.
UI designers take the information mapped out in the wireframes and use it to create attractive visuals that seamlessly guide users through the website or product.
In short, appealing UI ensures that your audience actually wants to navigate through your website, whilst quality UX allows them to do this in the most uncomplicated, fuss-free fashion.
A great example of this is a button on a webpage. A UI expert decides what the button looks like, its colour and shape. Meanwhile, the UX specialist ensures that the button works correctly in taking the user to a determined page.
With the increase in usage of mobile devices, a UI designer must also guarantee that the button design is optimised and looks good when appearing on screens of different sizes.
So, do you need both UI and UX?
By empowering your customers to browse through your website or application in the clearest way possible, you can entice them to come back to your business time and time again.
In short, without considering UX, you could end up with a website that looks amazing but doesn’t quite work properly, so users could opt for a competitor’s site that does. Or, by dismissing UI, you can be left with a fully-functional site with incredible capabilities that no one wants to read because it looks outdated and poor quality.
Combining both UX and UI enables you to build a digital product that customers love to use, which is one of the easiest ways to convert sales on both products and services online.
If you do need more advice on how UI and UX can be used effectively together, get in touch with one of our talented designers.