What’s The Difference Between UX vs UI

In the online realm, you are likely to come across terms like UX and UI and plenty of talk about related technicalities. If you have limited knowledge, such seemingly complex jargon may tend to confuse you. It’s important to understand the difference between UX (User Experience) and UI (User Interface) to better understand their respective scope, usability and applicability. Here are some of the key differences between UX and UI.

What comes first – UX or UI?

Yeah, the usual chicken and egg conundrum, but it’s important to know the answer to the question. In most cases, the UX design part comes first, followed by UI. However, the UI team may be consulted depending on requirement, especially if there are certain doubts about the implementation of specific UX components. Some things seem perfect in theory, but when it comes to actual implementation, they may fail to have the desired effect. So, in such cases, the UX team might take inputs from the UI team.

Point A to Point B

From the user’s perspective, a product or service is simply a means to achieve a desired objective, which we can refer to as the journey from point A to point B. Now, let’s consider an analogy, wherein you are travelling in your RV (recreational vehicle). In this case, the roads, freeways, bridges, and your RV will be the UX whereas the road signs and the scenery outside would be the UI. Without the UX, it would be difficult to reach your destination, whereas in the absence of a good UI, you may get lost and certainly bored. So, it’s obvious that both UX and UI need to work together to ensure the best possible user experience.

How it’s derived?

UX works best when it is based on user testing. Usability testing is something similar to cutting and polishing a rough diamond to bring it to its desired shape and brilliance. On the other hand, UI design would be based on the brand design guidelines or any other specific inputs provided by the client. UX would be time consuming and costly to modify after implementation, whereas changes in UI can be done fairly easily, especially with the help of advanced Content Management Systems (CMS).

UX and UI are two separate fields of knowledge, but they work together to provide the best experience to the users. These need to be designed and implemented in such a way that they are in perfect sync with each other, just like the various parts of an automobile. Or the artistic, captivating and graceful moves of two ballet dancers. In short, UX and UI is a purposeful marriage of two entities, which aims to optimize user experience, thereby improving the marketability of products and services.

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