UX Design focuses on how things work. UI Design concerns itself with how things look.
UX and UI Design are often confused, even sometimes by employers when hiring. And while they are best deployed in combination, it is important to know the difference to achieve best results.
In this article, we will define these two partners in design, highlight where they intersect, and explain the importance of their relationship with each other.
UX or User Experience design looks at how things work. It’s a Human-Centered Design approach, focusing on the user journey as they interact with the product.
Typically this will be digital, however UX principles can also be applied to physical experiences too – think the signs and layout of a large train station, guiding passengers and maintaining the flow of people.
UX Designers utilise a toolkit of techniques that help them to suss out the truth of a problem and find a solution. This will then be mapped out in the form of a wireframe.
The goal is to guide the user though the product’s interface without them having to think too much!
UI or User Interface Design is concerned with how things look and feel. UI Designers aim to craft slick, beautiful interfaces that are a pleasure to use.
When talking about look and feel it is easy to confuse UI with Graphic Design, however UI is critically different in that it focuses not just on aesthetics but how intuitive the product is. This is done by playing around with elements such as placements, spacing, button sizes and colour combinations.
UI without UX is like a painter slapping paint onto a canvas without thought; while UX without UI is like the frame of a sculpture with no paper mache on it.
A great product experience starts with UX followed by UI – UX bakes the cake, UI handles the icing. In reality this means that the UX Designer will map out the skeleton of the user journey, conducting research and interviews to define the problem, and provide a solution which informs the UI process.
The UI Designer will then run with that skeleton, fleshing it out with visual and interactive elements that both represent the brand’s style and help guide the user along the journey laid out by the UX Designer. They’ll conduct customer analysis and design research before prototyping – delivering an MVP (Minimum Viable Product).
Both disciplines are crucial to the construction of a successful product. Something that looks great but doesn’t solve the problem is exemplary of great UI and poor UX. While something very usable that looks and feels terrible represents great UX and poor UI.
Become a UX UI Designer
UX and UI Design skills are in ever-growing demand across all industries as more and more people see their value, understanding the importance of putting their users at the heart of the product design process.
On average UX and UI Designers earn around $100k per year in Australia. Making the investment in training well worth your while. Our UX Transform (10 weeks full-time) and UX UI Online Transform (24-48 weeks) courses even come with a Job Guarantee!*
Both these courses provide you with the toolkit, hands-on experience through real live client projects, career support and portfolio, to land your dream role. These courses will also give you a strong understanding of both disciplines – crucial to success in the workplace.
If you are thinking of making a career change or simply want to upskill in UX UI Design, check out our range of courses via the panel above and get in touch with a Course Advisor on live chat.