With the digital landscape changing and technology increasing, most individuals have no idea what specific technical lingo even means. Whether it is SEO or UX and UI Design, unless you are in the digital marketing or website design industry, it is rare that an individual will know what these terms mean.
With that, if you have been researching for a high-quality web design company or you are seeking specific web design services, you have most likely come across a wide variety of terms and lingo. One of the most common terms in the industry is “UX” and “UI.” Although these terms are often placed together, due to common confusion about what they mean, they are in fact different. Think of them as two pillars of design that work hand and hand to ensure the quality of a website.
With this in mind, if you are completely new to design or are unfamiliar with these terms, we are going to break them down for you. Let’s discuss what UX and UI Design mean!
Breaking Down UX and UI Design
As we said above, UX and UI Design are two pillars that work for hand and hand when it comes to the quality, experience, and functionality of a website or mobile app. Although they do often get confused and merged together, they have two completely different functionalities. Granted, they may overlap from time to time because one needs the other for each to work appropriately.
What is UX Design?
UX is an acronym for the term, “User Experience.” With that, it is often defined as the overall functionality and feeling of an app or a website and how an individual perceives that experience. Think of UX as the analytical side of a website or app. This is intended to appeal to the visitor in a positive way that holds value and makes the user have a positive and quality experience when utilizing your service, visiting your website, or using your app. With that in mind, UX based design jobs differ from UI.
The purpose of a UX Designer is to evaluate how the user experience will flow from screen to screen and how functional the website or app is to the consumer. This include page functionality, menu purpose, and the overall sequence for a visitor to be able to get to their ultimate goal, such as buying a product or signing up for a specific service.
To add to this, user experience is the relationship between a user utilizing a website or service and how simple, or complicated, it is to use that particular website or service.
- UX Design Responsibilities
One of the main responsibilities of a UX Designer is to properly showcase strategy and content in a manner that is user-friendly. With content being the main reason an individual visits a website, it’s the task of a UX Designer to evaluate how that content will be best received, perceived, and interacted with while on the website. With User Experience, the main priority is always thinking about the user and the type of experience they will have when using a product or service. With this in mind, a UX Designer conducts prototyping, competitive analysis, and side-by-side comparisons to be able to finesse to be able to create a high-quality user-focused experience.
Another aspect that is in the realm of a user experience designer is wireframing a website and the structure for which it will work. In simple terms, it is the method of construction the most user-friendly experience in a way that allows the user to take in all of the content of the website in a pleasant manner.
Lastly, a UX Designer is also part of the execution and analytics of the product or website. The reason being is that, through proper analytical data and assessing how individuals react to the product experience, they can perform updates and enhance the product, with user-experience always in mind. Think of this as the long-term task of a UX designer. Since a product normally has a long-range lifespan, such as an app or a service, the UX designer’s primary goal is to enhance and adjust that product and experience in accordance to new data, analytics, and an ever-changing digital landscape.
Ultimately the job of a UX Designer to be a bridge that understands what users need and how to best develop it in a simple to understand and intuitive manner.
What is UI Design?
While they work together to create an appealing and user-friendly experience, UI Design is different and UX. UI Design stands for “user interface.” In short, it is the visual and graphical layout of an application or website. With that, it consists of the different parameters a website needs to function properly and appeal to the audience. This includes a menu, buttons, screen layout, transitions, color arrangement, interaction, animations, and much more.
In short, UI Design can also be known as “graphic design.” It is the visual appeal of the website and how colors, fonts, and different animations relate to one another to captivate the audience. With that, UI Designers utilize today’s most common trends to stay up to date with digital changes. Trends that are common for 2019 include minimalism, white space, and simple appealing animations. To discuss this further, let’s cover what a UI Designer does.
- UI Designer Responsibilities
While UX Designer responsibilities are more analytical, when you research UI Designer jobs, you tend to see more responsibilities geared towards graphic design, web design, and branding. With that, many UI Designers tend to have some background on front-end development with the code as it aids in the visual construction process.
So, what do UI Designers do? Well, UI Designers are in charge of taking all of the data, research, and framework from the UX Designer and develop it in a visually appealing and pleasing package. Think of it like building a house! While the UX Designer builds the framework, the UI Designer chooses the color of the walls, the trim of the wood, and how marble can appeal alongside grey walls.
As far as UI responsibilities, the main purpose is the look and overall feel of the website. This is where a background in design comes into play. With a competitive analysis of a UX Designer, a UI Designer can take it and assess what are the most important aspects to consider adding to the design of the product they are building. From here, the designer will develop all of the graphics and visual design for that project ranging from color palettes and typography to interactions and animations.
Now, this may be the most important task of a UI Designer in 2019. A UI Designer is also concerned with the screen resolution and mobile-friendliness of their graphics and product. UI Designers are not only designing one version of a website or app, but they are also designing multiple so it is easily accessible on various devices from tablets to cellphones.
Lastly, the UI Designer works in tangent with the developer to ensure that all of the design elements are being met alongside the UX framework. This is where cross-blending of all responsibilities and tasks come in. Although a UI Designer is not a Brand Designer, they do have to implement a brand’s specific colors or style into the design of the website, app, or product to ensure that it matches the brand’s appeal.
The Most Important Aspect of Both Jobs: Research
Research can be categorized as the most important aspect of both jobs. It is also the first step in starting any website or application or product. Not only does it consist of a website and competitive analysis, but it also involves research utilizing real people and their opinions. This is also known as “releasing a product during the beta stages.” This is where the design company can analyze how individuals feel about a specific product, service, website, or app, and take all of the research and reanalyze the user-experience and user-interface.
- Research for a UX Designer
UX Designer research consists of knowing what users want when they visit a website as far as user-friendly and experience. With that, the primary task during this process is to know the habits of a user and what they expect when they visit a website or application. From here, a UX Designer can input that habit in a way that captures the user. For instance, a UX Designer cannot develop logical interface interactions if it goes against the commonly accepted conventions that a user is used to. With that, users are expecting a user experience that has become like second nature, and anything apart from that can negatively impact their experience. This is where competitive analysis of the competition comes into play and properly wireframing the design to create that same or better quality experience.
- Research For A UI Designer
We discussed briefly above, the research for a UI Designer involves being up to date with specific trends and styles. We want to further enhance this notion by adding that it involves knowing the specific design styles of the competition and understanding what makes them appealing to an audience. With this, a UI Designer will research the aesthetic “rules” to follow alongside what users want to see when they visit a website. Are its animations? Are its patterns? Is it a lot of black space? This and many more questions are involved in the research process for a UI Designer.
UI and UX Working Together
As we said in the introduction, UI and UX Designer are all part of a bigger framework that creates the total design of a website, application, or product. Although they have completely different tasks, they both work in tangent to be able to create a quality and highly appealing product. With this, it is important to evaluate which job is right for you in accordance with your credentials and overall experience.
When choosing a web design company, always ask if they have both a UI and UX designer on site, or if it is one individual wearing both hats. With that, confusing them can be common, but do know they both work towards an ultimate goal, developing a product to it’s fullest extent with quality user experience and design in mind.
If you are looking for a mobile application or a new website, Black Flag Creative is an award-winning, Los Angeles web design agency ready and willing to help your company take it’s digital efforts to the next level. Contact our crew today for more information!