This is the age of visuals. In line with that, using visual features in business is becoming more complex. As users are developing their preferences, designers need to go the extra mile to meet their needs.
Today you can’t only say that you need a designer for your company. The rapid growth in the design field has led to the following basic differentiation: user interface (UI) designers and user experience (UX) designers. In the next few paragraphs, you can learn more about the main differences between these two design techniques.
UX as the Base for UI
When you look at a website, you will either be attracted or repelled by its appearance. This reaction will be provoked by its design and the underlying structure. So, UX designers are in charge of the underlying structure, i.e. they build the base of every website. For instance, how they determine how different parts of the same website work together. If we’re talking about applications or product design, UX designers need to create a framework for the entire tool and establish connections between different parts of every such solution.
Only when the UX designer has brought to life and polished all the background can the UI designer come on stage. UI designers need to coat these background solutions with visually attractive solutions. Together, they create user-friendly and eye-catching solutions.
UX for Functionality, UI for Interactivity
Let’s say that you’ve just opened a visually striking software tool. The colors are matched perfectly together, they fit the brand perfectly, and the entire tool looks amazing. But when you start using the given app, things don’t work properly. Buttons don’t lead to logical sections of the app. It’s difficult to navigate around the app or return to previously visited sections.
What we have here is a school example of successful UI design and failed UX design. The UX designer, in this case, didn’t do his or her tasks properly, which has resulted in a poorly designed tool. Even though the interactivity and visual appearance are attractive, the described app won’t be useful. This oftentimes happens to teams that don’t properly value the importance of UX design.
Judging by what an innovative master’s degree in interaction design teaches, users need to be able to intensively interact with every app and tool. This is even more obvious for modern Internet and mobile users. They want it all and they want it now. That’s both UX and UI teams need to work together on the production process. You will get user-friendly solutions only when the UX team takes proper care of functionality and the UI team deals with the looks.
UX and Ingineering, UI and Customization
If we’re thinking in scientific and IT terms, we can say that UX and engineering are closely related. A UX designer needs to be a bit of an engineer and a bit of a designer. When he or she takes the best of both worlds, it’s possible to come up with feasible and functional solutions. Therefore, a UX designer is here to conduct user experience research and market analysis to see how to make this new product different from the rest of the crowd. After that, it’s necessary to test different versions of this product to enhance its features.
When this engineer’s job is done, it’s time for a UI designer to sugarcoat and customize the solution for the target audience. The element of customization is crucial here. What’s vital is to make this product visually attractive to the audience but to retain some common features in it. If UX and UI designers launch too revolutionary a product, it might backfire at them. That’s why both UX and UI designers should test and analyze their solutions as much as possible before the launch.
The Final Word
UX design and UI design are two sides of the same coin. They always need to come together if you want to deliver useful and attractive products. But they also come with some clear differences. While UX is between engineering and design, UI combines art and design. Together, they form an inseparable tandem, important for every aspect of the IT industry. For all these reasons, it’s crucial to always pay attention to both these types of design in this field.
Jennifer Hahn Masterson is a senior business strategist at Spread the Word Solutions, holding an MA degree in business communication. She is always doing her best to help her clients find their place in the ever so competitive business arena, insisting on long-term sustainability rather than on some questionable get-rich-fast scheme. You can check her out on LinkedIn. View all posts by Jennifer Hahn Masterson
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