What is the difference between UI and UX Design?

What is the difference between UI and UX Design?

The importance of UI and UX for Business

“88% of online customers are less likely to return to a website after a poor experience”

“94% of a website’s first impressions are design related”

These statistics demonstrate how UX drives the ROI of any business in today’s time.

UI and UX are undoubtedly the essential components of a website and it is crucial that businesses invest in good UI and UX so that their services can be easily accessible to the end user.

With an ever-increasing number of websites, the need for UI and UX is more than ever, because the competition is very high. Today, website owners prefer to hire people who have both UI and UX design experience, as knowing both provides the person better insights and facilitates more creativity.

But most often, people think UI and UX are similar. Through this post, we aim to change this notion and dive in deep into the differences.

UI and UX design

UX and UI are Different

User experience and user interaction are two very different components of the design. The user experience of a site involves scooping out the general logical flow of a website, while UI  deals with the visual designs and graphics that go into design.

For example, when you access Gmail, it asks for your id and password, and only then it allows you to log in. This is the flow that Gmail follows or the UX of Gmail.

UI, on the other hand, is the website layout and visual designs that a user sees. This includes things such as interactions, themes, text areas, fonts, color schemes etc.

For example, in Gmail components such as the login button, your photo beside the mail id, text box, etc. are components which fall under UI design.

UX and UI roles on a website

The job of a UX designer is to basically study the market, analyze the competition and design a game plan that finally puts together a functional and cost-effective website. A user must be able to easily navigate through the website.

A UX designer concerns himself with the macro concepts of the site and makes sure that it is not cluttered or distracts the user from performing the main call-to-action such as: signing up for a service, downloading a guide, sending an inquiry etc.

UI designers, on the other hand, are more inclined towards creating an attractive and beautifully designed website for users. Also, UI design requires that you help users navigate by designing buttons in different sizes to show priority. Basically, UI designers concern themselves with the micro concepts of the website, like minute visual details to make the site look attractive.

Dropbox is an excellent example of UI/UX experience. The strong graphics and visuals on the website provoke the user to explore the website longer and browse through. The UX design of Dropbox was spot-on and it focused on encouraging the user to make just one action – to use dropbox’s cloud service for photo and document sharing.

However, in late 2017, Dropbox went through a major re-branding exercise where they moved away from the neat clean iconography and embraced a more retro-themed design which got a lot of mixed reviews. But, that is what it all boils down to – Design is not a software, it is more people-centric and hence it is important to have empathy for people when you design.

Which comes first? UX or UI?

The primary objective of any website is to showcase the products and services of any business in the most direct and innovative way. There are millions of websites that get published on the internet every hour. Hence it is necessary to create a website that is on par with the current design trends, competition and has a logical flow of the whole process.

For this purpose, UX is the first thing that designers dive into. They do a competitive analysis of the market and come up with insights which improve site functionality. UI design comes much later after all the wireframes are in place. Here is where the creative spirit of designers is put to test.

Thus, UI and UX are important components of design but play a completely different role. They are essential to drive user engagement and enable conversions.