User interface (UI) and user experience (UX) are often used interchangeably, however, they actually mean two different things that are closely related. Understanding the difference between the two and how to follow industry standards could make or break the design of your new website.
UI is the term that refers to the visual elements that the user interacts with on the screen. A UI designer has a few unique skills that a UX designer might not have, and is an expert in visual design. A UI designer will choose the color and font treatment of the website, design the buttons, toggles, icons, and everything else a user sees. The UI designer makes mockups and layouts before a site is developed to present the aesthetic of the site.
If a website has a natural flow to it and everything loads quickly, it’s got great UX, but that’s useless if the UI is boring to look at and doesn’t easily convey how a user should be progressing through the website.
UX, on the other hand, is the scientific counter to the artistic UI. UX designers can predict how users want to flow through a website, chart their pathway, wireframe the site, and plan how information will be presented on the web pages. A UX designer might participate in user testing to get feedback on how a site flows or create user journey maps.
UX is a term that can apply to everyday products, and describes the “feeling” that a user gets after interacting with a product. UI is strictly a digital term that refers to elements on a screen.
Why Do UX And UI Go Together?
UX and UI designers, while separate job titles, must collaborate to create an end product that works seamlessly for the user. They’re often in design and prototype meetings together and must understand what the other’s job is to get the most out of each other. A UX designer cannot do their job if the UI designer doesn’t know how they want to chart the user journey, and a UI designer cannot do their job if the UX designer doesn’t take into account their design style.
At ShoreSite Designs, we take into account both UI and UX when we design custom websites for our clients. Get started with us today!