What is the difference between UX and UI?

Here we explain the difference between UX and UI – a common confusion amongst IT professionals.

User Experience (UX) Design is the process of enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty by improving the usability, ease of use, and pleasure provided between the entirety of a user’s interaction with a businesses, services and products.

UX designers are responsible for being hands on with the process of research, testing, development, content, and prototyping to test for quality results. It is in theory a non-digital (cognitive science) practice, but used and defined predominantly by digital industries.

UX designers frequently collaborate closely with their product owner to ensure the product is easy to use and meets the needs of the users. They often assist in the creation of user stories and designing A/B tests that add objective data to the empirical agile approach.

Tools employed by the UX designer may include:

  • Mood boards
  • Mental modelling
  • Focus groups
  • Interviewing
  • Wire-framing
  • Personas
  • Prototypes (paper or clickable)
  • Experience mapping
  • Usability testing
  • Writing user stories
  • A/B testing or multi-variant testing

User Interface (UI) Design is concerned with how elements on a computer screen or device interact with each other and how the user interacts with the device.

User Interface designers are responsible for the look, feel, responsiveness and interaction of the digital experience, they are also responsible for accentuating the brand through the digital channel.

Tools employed by the UI designer may include:

  • Branding
  • Creating graphic content
  • Animation
  • Prototyping
  • User guides
  • Look and feel style guides
  • Usability

Often UI designers are considered part of the development team and collaborate to refine a user story to include design elements before a story is consider ready while contributing during the sprint to implement the increment by developing graphic elements that can be integrated with the front end user interface.

UX and UI are two pieces of the same jigsaw and are essential considerations if you want to improve your site and its relationship with the user so that you gain more conversions, business leads and revenue. Indeed there is a significant overlap in accountabilities and deliverables and often it is hard to know where UX ends and UI begins.

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