Today, you turned on your laptop/tablet/mobile phone and accessed the Internet. Perhaps you logged in to your browser or email platform, did a few things, then came to this site, found this article, and started reading it.

A user interface (UI) facilitated every step of that activity. Your ability to easily navigate the various choices and functions was due to a good user experience (UX). That's what we're covering here today. That’s what we’re covering here today.

UX and UI design are used interchangeably so often (and they shouldn’t be) that many people may not be aware of the UI and UX difference. But now the truth can be told!

This article delves into the difference between UI and UX, touching upon the meaning of UX and UI, how they work together, the UI/UX designers and what skills they need, and career details such as salaries and career paths.

But before we look at the UI and UX difference, let’s take care of a few basic definitions.

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What Is UX Design?

UX design involves designing the app's user experience, mainly how they interact with it. Is the navigation intuitive, or is it nonsense? Is the experience easy and smooth, or is it confusing and clunky? Do users feel that they are getting things done, or are they flailing around hopelessly? Is the app enjoyable?

These are the kinds of questions a UX designer must face. UX designers are responsible for the app’s structure, functionality, organization, and how its different elements work together. Ultimately, the UX designer’s job is to give the user a good experience with the app.

What Is UI Design?

UI design deals with the user interface and the app's graphical layout. This design covers the buttons users click, the text they see, text entry fields, images, sliders, etc. UI covers any item the user interacts with, including transitions, screen layout, interface animations, and every micro-interaction. Any part of the app that the user sees and interacts with must be designed, and that's the UI designer's job.

What’s the Difference Between UX and UI Design?

All dogs are animals, yet not all animals are dogs. Similarly, all elements of user interfaces are part of the user experience, but not all aspects of the user experience consist of the user interface. This chart lays out the differences between UX and UI design.

 

UX

UI

Purpose

Design a complete product from a human-first perspective.

Create a product’s aesthetic experience from a human-first perspective.

Application

Digital and physical products

Digital products only

Focus

A fully immersive, pleasant user experience from start to finish.

A series of visual touchpoints that let users easily interact with the product.

The Creation Process

Developing structural design solutions that address potential issues consumers may encounter with the product.

Combining buttons, color palettes, images, and typography.

The End Result

An effective overall product that pleases users.

A visually appealing, easy to use product.

Remember, the user interface is just one element of the overall user experience, a single part of a larger machine. The user experience improves the interaction quality between the user and every applicable part of the company, and it’s not limited to digital assets. For instance, a vending machine, a self-service grocery checkout station, an ATM, and an information kiosk are all examples of user experiences.

When you open Google’s front page or visit your favorite app’s landing page and click on something, you are engaged with the user interface.

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What’s the Relationship Between UX and UI Design?

If we took the app process and turned it into an exercise of designing an automobile, the UI designer would be responsible for developing the steering wheel, dashboard, and any controls found in the driver’s seat. In addition, the UX designer would be responsible for ensuring that the customer has an excellent and smooth driving experience from start to finish.

As you can infer from that example, the UX aspect isn’t limited to digital assets, but takes into consideration all parts of the product or service.

Let's look at an app that sells running shoes. You click on the app, and it looks great. There are lots of splashy colors and animation, and the buttons even look like little sneakers. Great! That's a beautiful user interface! However, the shopping cart makes no sense; it doesn't figure out sales tax and shipping, the site doesn't send out confirmations of the purchase and shipping ETAs, and the product takes forever to arrive. That is a poor user experience!

So, you could have the most beautiful and entertaining landing page, but if the overall site doesn’t work correctly, it’s all for nothing. On the other hand, you could have a superior product with prompt shipping and easy access to customer service and FAQs. Still, the user is subjected to amateurish images, clunky animation, and irritating sound effects. You won’t win any customers that way.

Who Are UI and UX Designers, and How Do They Work Together?

The UX designer asks, "What issues and difficulties will users experience with the product overall, and how can we make sure the customer enjoys using this product? Finally, a UI designer asks, "How will the user interact with the actual product, and how can we make it a smoother, functional, and visually appealing process?"

So, the UX designers are working on how the app flows and how the different controls send users to various tasks, and the UI designers are developing how those elements will appear to the user on their screen.

Both parties need each other to ensure a complete, enjoyable product. Thus, they must work together to provide a positive result that works right and looks good. If both teams wind up on the same page, they will create a valuable product that will thrive in today's competitive market.

The UI and UX Designer Required Skills and Career Paths

UI development employers usually want candidates to have at least a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, Software Engineering, Web Development, Mobile Computing, Human-Computer Interaction, Graphic Design, or similar field of study.

UX development, however, doesn’t have the same extensive list of possible degree demands, although it’s useful for the candidate to have completed a bachelor’s degree in something remotely associated with any aspect of UX development. Fortunately, UX development candidates can manage very well with a handful of online courses, adult ed, associates studies, or certification bootcamps.

Prospective UX professionals begin as UX Designers and can move into the role of UX Manager and perhaps beyond to UX Director. This trajectory could eventually lead to an executive position like Vice-President of User Experience.

Ultimately, your UX career path depends on whether you want to focus on the technical or managerial track.

Would-be UI professionals start as developers and programmers, working on concepts such as front-end development. On the other hand, you could begin as a general UI designer, then specialize as a Visual Designer, Motion Designer, or Interaction Designer.

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Here are the skills that UI and UX designers need:

UX

UI

Business knowledge

Programming languages

Understanding information architecture

Visual branding (color theory, typography, icon design)

User research/analysis techniques

Animation/Interactivity

Critical thinking and problem solving

Creativity and problem solving

Wireframing and prototyping

Wireframing and prototyping

User/usability testing

Responsive design knowledge

Collaboration/communication

Collaboration/communication

Continuous learning/curiosity

Adaptability

Customer service

Customer service

Project management

Project management

Empathy

Coding/web design

What Are UI and UX Designer Jobs Like, and What Are Their Salaries?

The UX designer's job combines marketing, design, and project management elements. It's a challenging role involving customer and competitive analysis, user research, content development, and product structure and strategy.

UX designers are expected to work closely with UI designers, coordinate with developers, and track goals. Ultimately, the UX designer must create a well-tested experience that both satisfies the user and aligns with the company’s goals.

The UI designer's job combines customer analysis, design research, branding, and graphic development. In addition, the role demands the designer to conduct UI prototyping, screen-size adaptation, interactivity and animation, and work with developers to implement the finished interface.

The UI designer is responsible for what the customer sees and is a brand representative who gives the user their first impression of the application. As a result, UI designers must work closely with their UX counterparts to ensure that the UI design fits the positive user experience the UX designer is shooting for.

Glassdoor reports that UI designers in the United States earn $109,536 a year on average, while a similar position in India pays ₹687,000. Indeed shows that UX designers in the United States make an annual average of $92,861, while their Indian counterparts earn an average of ₹623,055 per year, according to Payscale.

Are You Interested in Becoming a UI/UX Designer?

Whether you want to become a User Interface or a User Experience Designer, Simplilearn has what you need to get your career started. The UI/UX Design Expert Master’s program covers comprehensive approaches to all stages of UI/UX design development. In addition, you will learn the concepts of UX research, design thinking, UI prototyping and styling, information architecture, usability, and testing.

The course offers you a design-centric approach to the user interface and user experience, including the User-Centered Design process, wireframes and prototypes, and other design-related concepts.

As more organizations appear to be blurring the lines between UI and UX, clever designers will seize the opportunity to become proficient in both career choices and cover all their bases. Simplilearn is a great resource to have in your corner when navigating the UI/UX job market. So check out Simplilearn today, and start mastering those valuable skillsets!

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Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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