We all have heard of the conversations or discussions about how great a UX product is or rather how poor a UI product of a website is. UX and UI are some of the most conflated and confused terminologies that are used in web and app design. They are more often than not placed together as a single term UI/UX design and is viewed from the surface as describing the same thing.
Brief history of user interface
Back in the 70’s in case you wanted to use a computer then you had to use the command line interface. The graphical interface that is found in most computers today did not exist commercially; users were required to communicate through programming languages which required seemingly infinite lines of codes for them to complete the task.
The first graphical user interfaces started to appear in the 1980s and was developed by computer scientist at Xerox PARC. Through the ground breaking innovation, users are now able to interact with their personal computers by submitting commands visually as well as submitting commands through icons, menus, buttons and check boxes.
The shift in technology meant that more people could use the computer since no coding was required and that was the beginning of computer revolution. Apple computer was the first computer to be released in the market that was using graphical user interface successfully. The prevalence and accessibility of computers meant that the interfaces had to be designed with the user in mind. Incase the users were not able to interact with the computer then there was no way that the computers could sell.
It is not surprising that people have different perspectives in regards to the topic of user User interface and user experience. Graphic design experts have split opinions when it comes to picking the one that is important between User interface and user experience. User experience design is focused on anything that plays a role in solving the problem which either be positive or negative. User interface design is focused on the way the surface of the product looks like.
What is UI design?
UI stands for user interface design and refers to a graphical layout of an application. The user interface consists of texts, images, sliders, buttons, text entry fields and other items that users can interact with including screen layout, interface animations, transitions as well as every single micro-interaction. Any form of visual element, interaction or animation has to be well designed. It is the responsibility of the user interface designer to decide how the application will look like. As a designer you will have to choose the color schemes, button shapes as well as the width of the lines and fonts used to make the texts. User interface designers simply create the look and feel of an application of user interface.
They are often concerned with the aesthetics and it is up to the designer to make interface attractive, themed appropriately and visually stimulating so as to match the personality of the App. The designer needs to make sure that every single visual element serves both aesthetic purposes.
What is UX design
UX stands for use experience and is often used to determine how the users will interact with the application. Is the experience intuitive, smooth, clunky or confusing? It is logical or arbitrary to navigate through the app? Does the app give the user confidence of accomplishing what their tasks or does it look like they are struggling? The experience of the user is determined by how easy or difficult it is to interact with the interface elements and the UI has designed and created. It is important to understand that user experience can be different for different people including users from different countries. This is why large adult dating sites and hookup apps have different versions of their sites and apps for users in the UK and the US than for users in non english speaking countries.
Most people get confused between the difference of UX designers and UI designers. UI designers are usually tasked with deciding how the user interface will look like while UX designers are charged with determining how the user interface will operate. There task basically entail the structure of the interface, and its functionality. Simply put they decide the mechanism of operation of the interface. In case navigation is complicated then a lousy user experience will be very likely.
UX designers also play a role in the creation of wireframe that renders the interface interactions and helps to get the user feedback. It is highly recommended for users to have an understanding of the way users prefer to interact with their applications.
How they interact
User experience and user interface work together in a collaborative process where the user experience enhances operation while user interface creates the appeal. The task of the UX designer is to ensure the work flow of the application while buttons helps in the navigation process and how the interface serves up the information required by the user. The team of UI basically work how the elements of the interface appear on screen.
For instance, let’s say that the design process needs extra buttons on the screen. This basically changes how the buttons will be organized and could require changing the size and shape of the button. The UX designer will determine the best way in which the lay out buttons will appear while the UI designer will design the layout of the design. Constant communication as well as collaboration is required between the UX and UI designer so as to ensure the final look of the interface is clean and operating efficiently and intuitively.
Research very important when it comes to user interface and user experience. It is very important for them to gather as much information as possible in order to assist them in crafting the most appropriate designs that follow a similar approach. Both the UX and UI designers have to carry out thorough research of the sort of applications that needs to be developed. This kind of research is often very involving and interactive and it requires usability sessions where real users will interact with scaled versions of certain functionality as well as some of the visual designs being tested. Simply put, research helps designers build their contributions however, the information UI and UX designers are looking for is might be very different.