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June 22, 2015

What are UI and UX?

Written By Jessica Lail

A designers job is more complicated then it seems. Their role doesn’t just consist of what the design of the interface looks like but ensuring that the user can connect on an emotional level with the product. I never really thought of it in that way until today, but it all makes sense. What is the point of having a device that looks great but I have no idea what I am doing because the design just doesn’t make sense!

To put it simply, designing a digital product is split into 2 separate processes: UI (user interface) and UX (user experience). These both work hand in hand to ensure that the device is usable and is users feel comfortable when using the devices. I have looked into these 2 processes and will simplify these so that they make sense to us all.

What is UI?

UI is based purely on what the digital product looks like. The UI is the way that the user will interact with the machine. It is what they see so the interface needs to be designed in a certain way so that it explains to the user how they can interact with the machine.

What is UX?

UX is the way that the product works. Where UI is about making things look pretty and stand out to the user, UX has a lot of emotion linked to it, its about why the interface looks the way it does.

An example of UI and UX:

Lets take a look at the example above to distinguish the difference between UX and UI and the importance of both.

UX features:

* Main Menu across the bottom – so the user can easily access all areas of the app at all times.
* Big clear buttons – user can easily click on the buttons when navigating around the app.

UI features:
* Modern styled icons – user knows what is in each category visually before clicking on it.
* Highlighted icons – user can distinguish which category is selected.

Both UI and UX are important in ensuring that our digital product are designed correctly so that the user can interact with the devices. It is even more important that they work hand in hand so that the interfaces make sense to the user and they can use the devices to their best ability and get the most out of the devices. I am sure you agree that it would be pointless having a device that looks really nice but makes no sense and therefore the user has no idea how to interact with the device. This would happen if UI and UX weren’t both taken into consideration during the design process of digital products.