They’re the buzzwords dominating the tech era. Pinned on every job bulletin and the subject of constant conversation: UX/UI design. But what exactly does UX/UI mean? And what is the difference between the two? Below, we’ll break down everything a beginner needs to know about UX and UI.
What’s the difference between UX and UI design?
Despite having some key differences, the terms “UX” and “UI” always seem to come as a package deal. While both elements are critical to a successful digital product, the roles they play are different.
User experience (UX) design is the process of designing products that are easy to use and provide a meaningful and relevant experience to users. UX design starts with a solid understanding of your customer and their goals. You’ll notice this definition doesn’t even mention tech or digital – UX design just means designing for how people think.
In contrast to UX, UI is a tech term. User interface (UI) design is the visual layer of a digital product. UI complements UX. UI designers focus on the look and feel of the website. When you think UI, think colors, typography, spacing, illustrations and more ways to set the tone, showcase professionalism, establish trust and invoke emotion. Without UI, UX would fall flat.
Still a little confused? Think of it this way:
UX is like an architect‘s blueprint – it lays out the structure and function of a project. UI is like interior decoration – incredibly important, but can only be well-executed after the blueprint’s implementation.
Why is user-centered design important?
User-centered design is the core of a successful interface. Having a well-designed website or app used to be a noticeable competitive advantage, but that’s no longer the case. In today’s world, quality designs and user-friendly experiences are what consumers expect. Experiences that have not gone through a proper design practice are frustrating for users. In the digital era, questioning whether design is necessary or affordable is beside the point: design is inevitable. The alternative to good design is bad design, not no design at all.
How Avionos approaches user-centered design
Companies struggle separating UX from UI and hire hybrid designers to do both. We know the skills required to be a great UX designer: conducting and analyzing customer research, wireframing and user-testing tools, as well as understanding business requirements and technical restraints. We also understand how to be a great UI designer: keeping up with visual design and marketing trends, design systems, graphic design and animation tools. People hired to execute both skillsets very rarely excel at both roles, resulting in sub-par UX and sub-par UI. At Avionos, UX design and UI design are separate roles and separate processes that work together closely over the course of a project.
Companies also fail to recognize the important role engineers play on design teams and more often than not, their design and engineering teams are separate practices. We reject this structure. Our UX team at Avionos has as many engineers as designers. They are in the same team meetings, report to the same managers and are aligned with one shared goal: building optimal user experiences.
Our design-centered attitude differentiates us from competitors and allows us to deliver polished and professional interfaces in the browser that match the quality you’d see on paper.
Want to learn more about how we can help you deliver superior UI and UX design? Contact us here.