UI and UX: Acronym Overload – Understanding the Differences

Nov 09, 2015

In recent years, the term “UX” has gained popularity and achieved mainstream recognition. However, despite its wide use, many people still don’t have a very clear idea about what it really means, especially if you don’t work as a designer or programmer. We’ll dive into the differences between UI and UX and how they impact how consumers interact with your brand.

User Interface
UI stands for “user interface”, and it essentially is concerned with the look and feel of websites, applications, or any other instance where user’s input is required to control the function of some virtual or physical product. When it comes to websites, a UI designer is responsible for deciding how individual elements on a page are going to look to create a pleasant experience for end users. UI designers use tools like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator to make their ideas into reality. In essence, user interface design is what most people have on their mind when they talk about web design. If you are interested in reading a more detailed definition, head over to InspiredM to learn more about UI.

User Experience
On the other hand, UX designers are responsible for designing the overall user experience of a website or a product. The term was coined Don Norman, and you can read his original definition on Nielsen Norman Group’s website. The role of UX designers involves things like field research, face-to face-interviews, user tests, product design, interaction design, usability testing, prototyping, taxonomy creating, and many others. To make all of this much simpler to understand, you can imagine an UX designer as a creative director. They are responsible for aligning user needs with company direction and vision. This has to manifest in all levels of product design, which even includes user interface design.

Any brand—regardless of your size—will feel the results of good UI and UX implementation. Customers simply love sites and apps that look and feel great and are much more likely to remember them in the future, helping turn one-time visitors into lifelong customers.

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