In our field, terminology like “UX Design” and “UI Design” are often misunderstood.
It’s common for job listings to refer to “UI/UX” interchangeably. “They simply kind of joined the vernacular and no longer had any distinct significance,” said Don Norman, a UX specialist. It’s common for people to use them without any understanding of what they signify, how they came to be, or what they’re about.”
As a result, how do UX and UI vary from one another? What does “good UX” or “bad UI” mean?
A lot of people don’t understand the difference between UI and UX. First, let’s take a closer look at what each of these words entails.
Where Does UX Stand in Relation to UI?
Defining User Interface and User Experience Design
What is UI UX Design?
In user interface design, the visual aspects through which consumers interact with a product are described, such as buttons, icons, menu bar designs, typography, and color schemes, among other things.
User experience (UX) design is concerned with the feelings that a user feels while engaging with a product or service.
UI vs UX is often considered to be one and the same.
Person experience (UX) refers to how a user interacts with a product as a whole, as opposed to just what they see when they look at it. Visual and information design for the interface is a major part of the UI. When it comes to UX, it may not even be about the interface at all. They must work together in order to provide a great overall experience.
Think of a rollercoaster at a theme park to help you grasp the concept. UX is all about building excitement before you go on the journey. It’s the sensation of elation and elation experienced throughout a journey. It’s the desire to give something a second chance.
The way the ride is constructed is called the “user interface,” or “UI.” Materials used to build the ride, the quality of the ride (how durable is it?), and where the loops and twists are placed.
There are many aspects to the riding experience that aren’t covered by the UI yet they are critical to the overall experience.
Remember that an excellent UI doesn’t always equal great UX. And terrible UI doesn’t always indicate horrible UX.
Despite their aesthetic appeal, some websites are difficult to navigate, take a long time to load, or crash often.
While some sites have terrible text-based user interfaces, the UX on such sites is amazing due to the fact that they perform precisely what the users want them to do.
Simple text interfaces with no fanciful buttons are common on websites like Craigslist and eBay. However, they continue to get millions of daily visitors. The ease and speed with which tasks may be completed is appealing to users.
UX is influenced by a slew of things. In addition to UI design, outstanding user experiences need consideration of many other factors, such as content, information architecture, and user interaction design. An understanding of the user’s perspective is required for each factor, which has its own set of processes.
When thinking about UX, keep in mind that not only does the look and feel of your site or product play a role, but so do the end-interactions users with your site or product as a whole.
Related reading: 5 Steps of the Design Thinking Process
What’s the difference between UI and UX?
UI is made up of all of the pieces that allow a user to engage with a product or service at its most basic level. When it comes to user experience (UX), it’s all about what the person who is using the product or service gets away from.
In the words of Don Norman and Jakob Nielsen:
It’s important to distinguish the total user experience from the user interface (UI), even though the UI is obviously an extremely important part of the design. As an example, consider a website with movie reviews. Even if the UI for finding a film is perfect, the UX will be poor for a user who wants information about a small independent release if the underlying database only contains movies from the major studios.
Let’s say you’re a fan of Google. A fantastic experience doesn’t need a lot of bells and whistles, as shown by its notably pared-down UI. By concentrating on the user, Google understands that the purpose of their visit to the site is to gather information. They want it fast, too.
This illustrates how successfully the corporation delivers on that experience—and expectation—by making ‘google’ a common word. Almost everything you’ve ever wanted to know can be found within seconds on Google, and there are only a few other search engines left today to compete.
Imagine not being able to receive an answer to your query right away if every time you searched on Google, it took 15 seconds to get a result. Even if the look and feel were the same, the way you interact with Google would be vastly altered.
The opinions of UI/UX specialists are sought.
Unsurprisingly, various individuals have varied perspectives on this subject. As a result, we enlisted the take of several esteemed veterans in the IT community.
What they had to say about the distinction between UI and UX is summarised below:
- UX is concerned with the path a user takes to find a solution to a problem, while UI is concerned with the appearance and usability of a product’s interface.
Start with an issue we’d want to address. An important consideration in the design of a user experience (UX) is whether or not anything on or off the screen influences the user’s path to solving their issue. UI design focuses on how the product’s surfaces appear and work. However, the user interface is simply one part of the whole experience. I like the restaurant analogy that others have used: UI is the table, chair, plate, and cutlery. Everything from the cuisine to the service, parking, lighting, and music is considered part of the overall user experience (UX) at the restaurant.
- A UX designer is focused on the intellectual components of the design process, whereas the UI designer is concerned with the more concrete aspects.
You’re a User Experience Designer when people interact with your product via your design, according to common sense. In addition, this implies that constructing your own house makes you an architect, and repairing a faucet makes you a plumber.
Often, terms used to define a discipline lose their original connotations when they are used to describe a discipline. Examples include “architect,” “plumbing,” and the more general term “lead worker.” Two titles that plainly do not convey what the job entails.
When used in a professional setting, the term “User Experience Designer” refers to someone who has a certain set of abilities and a defined role. UI designers concentrate on the more physical components of the design process whereas a User Experience Designer focuses on the more intellectual aspects of the design process.
Mesut’s “double diamond” model best explains the distinction between UX and UI, as well as the overlap. These designers have a thorough understanding of strategy and research, as well as information architecture and interface design.
The UI designer (now renamed a digital product designer in Silicon Valley) also has expertise in Interaction design. However, they tend to concentrate on things like information design, motion design, and brand design instead of more traditional forms of creative expression.
However, it is quite uncommon for a person to have extensive knowledge in all of these areas. If you’re an expert in everything, you’re probably an expert in nothing, too.”
- UX and UI design can’t be compared, hence there isn’t any distinction between the two.
Every day, I’m asked this question, and I’ve already answered it several times.” I’ve finally come to this decision…
Because they are not comparable, there is no distinction between user experience (UX) design and user interface (UI) design.
How would you describe the distinction between red paint and the ingredients it’s comprised of? There isn’t a difference at all. Red paint is made up of a variety of ingredients that when mixed together produce the color red.
Similarly, the user experience is made up of a number of various components, including user interface design, that when joined together form the overall user experience.
As an example, I’d want to ask you the following questions:
Is there any difference in the design of the keys between a MacBook and a traditional laptop keyboard?
What is the difference between tea and the material used to make a teabag?
An automobile is only as good as the color it is painted.
UI is the frosting, the dishes, the flavor, the cutlery, and the presentation of a great cake (and why wouldn’t we be?). Because of UX, people prefer cake over hamburgers, which is why we’re even providing it.
Top UX Design Trends of 2022
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1. Dark Mode
Dark mode and dark themes are making an appearance as one of the top trends in UI/UX in 2022 if 2021’s trends are any indication.
It’s nothing unusual to have a dark mode. Toggling between a bright mode and a dark option with great contrast is becoming more common in applications and websites. Whitehouse.gov’s main website, for example, has a low contrast light mode and a high contrast dark option that may be toggled by visitors.
In the year 2022, why would you want to choose a dark theme? Some visually challenged people benefit from a dark theme with contrasting colors. The accessibility audit includes a checklist item for this. In addition, a dark theme for smartphones with OLED panels saves battery consumption.
Your applications and websites may be missing out on potential customers if they don’t provide a dark mode or dark theme.
2. Animated and 3D graphics
As one of the most important UI/UX trends in the next few years, the 3D design will give your interface a major boost in the year 2022. The world is rapidly becoming more competitive, and this is just what your company needs.
Create 3D animations if you can! For many designers and developers, animations used to be an impediment, as they might slow down loading times of websites or applications and use up a lot of data, but this is no longer an issue.
However, the introduction of 5G technology allows for faster data transfers. Users will be able to access files, documents, and programs more quickly, including 3D animations.
More screen sizes and pixels are optimized for.
As a newbie in the field of graphic design, UI/UX design, you may think that a designer’s day-to-day work consists only of generating a collection of adorable icons.
There are a variety of screen sizes and pixels to consider while designing an interface. Designing for wearables, mobile devices, tablets, tiny screens, foldable devices and laptops, desktops, huge screens, extra-large screens, and televisions is as important as designing for the standard breakpoints of 480px, 768px and 1024px, and 1280px.
If you’re a designer, expect to hear more complaints about having to design and optimize for an ever-increasing number of screen sizes and pixels in the years to come. This UI trend is anticipated to continue when additional goods and devices, like in-car displays and AR & VR gadgets, are introduced.
Another significant development. Don’t make things more complicated than they need to be. You might easily go overboard in your efforts to adopt the latest interactive trends. Take a moment to browse your website. You may want to pare down your design a little.
Not at all. We’re not urging you to give up on other trends. The primary goal of your UI Design is to make it easier for the user to engage with your website. To do this, all you need to do is to make the functionality you currently have simpler.
The more time passes, the more apparent it becomes that everyone is attempting to live a minimalist and simple lifestyle.
Read more: Top 5 Frontend and Backend Technologies
4. Abstract design
Today’s world is a strange place to be. Projects that use more surreal aspects are becoming increasingly common. Users tend to prefer and demand this portrayal of UI design trends, therefore this trend is likely to continue. Experiential and non-reality-based experiences appeal to them most. That’s precisely what abstract and surreal design do.
With this style of design, viewers are more likely to have an emotional connection with the content. Animation, artwork, and a lighthearted tone are common features. Viewers are made to feel as though they’re a part of the project using this method. Because of it, they’re always interested.
5. Split Screen Design
For a long time, the split-screen design has been popular, and it will continue to be popular in 2021. There is a primary reason for the 2022 UI design trends since the website design has to be adaptable to mobile consumers. Mobile devices are becoming more and more popular, thus a design like this continues popping up.
When viewed on a tiny screen, the split-screen is collapsed into a single vertical block. It gives you the ability to create content that is not only functional across several devices, but also visually appealing.
Many of the split-screen designs have identical side-by-side displays. Even on mobile devices, it may emphasize the significance of the bigger item
Thoughts and resources for future exploration
It’s my sincere hope that this article has helped to dispel some of the long-standing myths around the difference between UX and UI. There’s a lot more to UX and UI than what we’ve discussed here, so it’s worth digging further to gain a better sense of what each area entails and how they vary.