What's the difference between user experience and user interface, and why are both equally important?
UX and UI are both different concepts, but most people mix them up and use them interchangeably. Both terms relate to the app and web design industry and you will often see them mentioned together in a single terminology (i.e. UI/UX design), hence the confusion.
If you have been under the same impression, this post will give you a brief but adequate understanding of UX and UI and what sets them apart.
What is UX?
UX or "User Experience" refers to how your user feels when interacting with a digital product. The UX focuses on the smoothness, user-friendliness, and intuitiveness of your design. The focus is to remove any confusing or clunky pain points for a seamless user experience throughout their journey when using your product.
Other aspects of UX include whether your app or website's navigation feels natural and provides the user with a positive interaction (or a good user experience). More abstractly, many brands and companies are becoming identified for their ease or difficulty of use.
In simpler terms, your UX determines how your user interacts with the UI elements (sometimes called a "GUI") of your product. Therefore, your user experience team determines the operation and structure of your user interface, and may even be designing it as well.
UX in a nutshell:
- Application for both physical and digital products
- Focuses on improving your customer's end-to-end journey
- Identifies and rectifies all pain points
- Create a seamless experience for the customers
What is UI?
A UI or "User Interface" refers to a graphical layout of your application or website. Your user UI interface contains buttons a user can click on complete a certain task. Moreover, any other mode of interaction such as text, images, sliders, entry fields, and others are all a part of your UI design.
In short, any form of visual representation that offers interaction between the user and your application is all UI. Your UI design team (which may well be your UX / design team) decides the appearance of your website or app by choosing the color scheme, text's size and font, the shape of the buttons, etc.
UI in a nutshell:
- Application on digital products exclusively
- Visual aesthetics of your product or service such as app or website
- Uses a combination of typography, buttons, animations, and images
- Create a website or app that satisfies the visual demands of a customer
UX and UI work in harmony
Although both are concepts focusing on similar yet different aspects of a user interaction, they are virtually inseparable. Attention to both will mean success for your app or website's success. You have to realize that having an attractive design alone will not do any good for your business unless you have an intuitive interface.
Your user experience can never rate well amongst your customers with a haphazard user interface. Similarly, the customer will most likely abandon the app or site if your product is frustrating to use, no matter how strategically you place the UI elements.
Therefore, you must realize that both your user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) have to be seamless in design, placement, and execution. Perfectly aligning both aspects will help you create a flawless user interface as well as experience.
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