UI vs. UX, What’s the difference?

The look and feel of any software product is a key to how a company is viewed by its customers.  User Experience and User Interface have been some of the most confusing and misused terms in our industry.  It’s important to have a true understanding of the roles, skills and objectives of each role to ensure you have the team to create the most successful version of your product.

Many companies look to a web designer to do it all, but that’s not the case anymore. The challenging part is that these terms have been used interchangeably for a long time and even the different skill sets can seem to overlap. They are both extremely important roles and have similar goals to improve overall customer satisfaction.

Whether you’re trying to put together a quality design team for your company or looking to choose a career in the design space, it’s important to know the key differences between the two so you can focus on the right skills, to create the right experience.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how we see the two roles:

UX: User Experience

  • Comes first and highly focused around navigation, strategy, information architecture and content hierarchy
  • Research-heavy for understanding its users, future users, and competitors
  • Provides wireframing and prototyping with tools that include Adobe, Axure, Balsamiq, InVision
  • Can tell you what the product should do and why
  • Deeply understands the who and the why of how the product will be used, focused on persona development, profiles and user story creation

UI: User Interface

  • Primarily focuses on graphic and visual front-end design
  • Improves the overall presentation, look, feel, and interactivity of the product guided by the UX research
  • Branding and Graphic Development
  • User Interface prototyping
  • Creates a 1:1 prototype that looks and feels like the final product
  • Basic understanding of coding is a plus

With UDig’s Digital Practice we have the right team in place to design your end-to-end solution including strategy, UX and UI, design and development.