UI UX Design – what’s the difference?

UI and UX are acronyms which seem to be used by interchangeably, especially when you put the word designer with them. So what’s the difference?

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When you hear someone talking about UI and UX interchangeably then you know they have not quite understood what the two terms actually mean.

UI UX design agency – what’s the difference?

UI stands for user interface and defines the elements of a website or application such as page layouts, buttons and icons which the user will interact with.

UX stands for user experience and, in the context of web design at least, defines the whole experience the people who use the website or application will have including (but not limited to):

  • the journey they will take through the website
  • the content they will see along the way
  • the way they will interact with the system to complete tasks.

People involved in UX often go further than the digital experience users will have with a product or service but for the purposes of this post, we’ll keep it focused on UX in the context of websites. Anything that goes beyond the website experience is usually considered CX which stands for customer experience.

So UI design sits within UX design because you can’t define user experience without defining the interface the user will see, but the interface is just one aspect of the overall experience a user will have.

UI and UX skillsets

UX designers tend to have skills in web analytics analysis, user research, information architecture (IA), and interaction design. They are able to use findings from research and analysis to inform user the user experience and often communicate the experience they have designed through wireframes and prototypes.

UI designers tend to work on the aesthetic elements of the experience. They design the interface that has been presented in the wireframes as grey boxes and placeholder elements. They tend to have skills in design software like Photoshop or Sketch.

This means that if you meet a UX designer who spends their days designing interface elements and styles, they would more accurately be described as a UI designer.

If you would like to help with the UX or UI design of your website or with testing the impact of changes to your user interface, please call  0161 713 2434 and talk to our award-winning team.    

Nina Mack

4th December 2019

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