What is the difference between a UX Designer and UI Designer?

One of the more popular job titles to have come out of the recent growth of digital tech jobs have been UX and UI designers.

The difference between UX and UI design may be evident for those who work in digital design and web development but for those unfamiliar with the terms may question their differences.

The ideology of UX and UI has been around for decades, but it’s only been in recent years that the terms have become more prominent in use within the digital realm. Because of this, there are cases of UX and UI being used in the incorrect context so it’s important to understand what the differences are between the two.

The first thing to distinguish is what the abbreviations stand for. UX stands for User Experience and UI stands for User Interface.

What does a UX designer do?

A UX designer’s main responsibility is to deliver a wireframe for a website, app (mobile and web) or interactive program.

Wireframes are essentially the blueprint of an interactive experience and are typically the beginning point of any project design. A wireframe is usually a simplified framework or prototype of a website which consists of grey and white boxes that is used to determine how the final product will look in structure and how it will function.

The decisions made are based on extensive research and data collected from user testing sessions. Before any prototypes are developed, there needs to be a solid understanding of intended user-base and audience of the product. This can help influence decisions and build an information hierarchy to better understand the project as a whole.

Overall, a UX designer is there to there to provide the front end experience and develop solutions to the business needs that creates an end product. The content, buttons, placement and call to actions need to be in the right place to ensure users can easily follow through with the appropriate actions to fulfil business needs.

What does a UI designer do?

Whilst the UX designer is concerned with how users will interact with elements and layout, the UI designer will provide the branding, font, colours and visuals and ensure they are of a consistent quality.

The UI designer will work in tandem with the UX designer or from the blueprint provided and create the aesthetic look and feel of the experience. They will turn the wireframe and blueprint into a visual interpretation that adds life to the user experience.

UI design also involves observing user behaviour and making informed decisions using the data collected from the results of user testing.

Why UX/UI is important?

A quality, well-functioning and visually impressive user interface can be a valuable tool for your business or organisation. UI is the frontline of your online business and can effectively communicate your product without the need of initial human contact.

For example, an e-commerce website will require an intuitive, easy to use checkout system for the purchasing/booking of products and services. Whatever the purpose of the website or app is, a UX designer will have to make sure that the user experience of the person interacting with it is converts or keeps them as a customer.

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