UI vs UX: A Detailed Comparison with Analogies


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User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) are two terms that you will hear often in the world of design.

But, what do they mean?

UI refers to how a site or app looks.

UX is about how it feels.

There are many different aspects to both, which we will discuss throughout this blog post.

The first thing you should know is that UI deals with all the elements on the screen including fonts, colors, buttons, and so on, whereas UX deals with everything else like navigation patterns and animations.

Now, let’s have a detailed understanding and differences of both UI & UX.

What is UI?

The user interface is a set of interactive elements, such as menus and buttons that the users can see on their screens. It includes all visual design aspects including layout, color, fonts, placement of graphics, and more.

It is a digital interface that is interactive and looks at elements of a product interface such as buttons, texts, and other elements on a page or screen.

It sets apart a product accordingly by how aesthetic, appealing, and pleasant to use its design is.

In simple terms, UI may be defined as the front-end part or layer which helps to interact with customers/users through an application or a website.

The main purpose of UI is to guide the user about how to use the product which can be visual through options, modes, and features.

A Glimpse of the History of UI

In the earlier days of computing, a command-line interface was used to interact with computers.

It is commonly referred to as UI and it performs all actions from opening programs, selecting files for editing, and so on, through typing in commands on a keyboard attached to the computer system.

In the late 1980s, GUI or Graphical User Interface gained attention because of its ease to use and visually simple nature. The rise of Apple Computers and Microsoft Windows made GUI the standard for all other companies.

Now, UI is generally referred to as any front-end part or layer which helps to interact with customers/users through an application or a website.

The user interface (UI) design has become increasingly important in web development since it can enhance its usability by attracting.

With evolving time and technology, the UI designs have now evolved up to augmented reality, virtual reality in smartphones and other devices.

The user interface (UI) design has become increasingly important in web development since it can enhance its usability by attracting the users and encouraging them to stay longer on a page, click more links or spend money on eCommerce pages.

With evolving time and technology, UI designs have now evolved up to designing of Virtual reality, Augmented reality, in smartphones and other devices.

What is UX?

User experience origin was in web design and mobile app development, but its influence is growing in every other industry.

UX refers to how users feel about a certain product or service when they use it.

The main goal of user experience is to improve customer satisfaction by improving ease of use, attractiveness, and functionality for all aspects of the business model.

The UX has a perception in many minds of being in connection to usability which refers to the   ease of using the product and how usable it is. User experience is just a subjective experience and so it can be of any type, design, or emotional form.

Peter Moreville, who has a renowned visual in this field, defines the factors which add up to an effective UX design. They are:

  • Usability
  • Desirability
  • Value
  • Credibility
  • accessibility
  • findability

Over time, this framework named "Usability Honeycomb" became the base for the UX designers to craft up the product development in alignment with.

In a nutshell, UX is not just about the visual part of it but all moving parts that contribute to the overall experience of a product. It’s the theory part for the practical usage of UI and UX both.

The focus of UX is not on visuals but an overall experience which a user has while having hands-on with the product.

Now as we have clearly understood what UI and UX are, let’s move on to the differences between the two.

What Are the Differences Between UX and UI?

  • UX is the initial journey that we get on to solve a particular problem. It includes trying every possible way where the UI is the best solution that is presented. Thus, UX focuses on input in the product through various solutions and pathways to a particular task or problem while UI guides the way to them for the user.
  • UI is like a grocery list that you make to buy all the items needed for cooking your favorite dish while UX is enjoying your meal when it’s served on the table in front of you.
  • When it comes to conceptual and theoretical aspects of a particular product, the UX designer is the one who gets the job done, and when it comes to visual, usable, and tangible aspects that's where the role of a UI designer comes in.
  • UI is like the concept of a book and UX is reading it which again leads us to a clear idea that the visuals, introduction, and design are part and parcel of UI whereas the knowledge, lessons, and experience are all wrapped up in UX.
  • UX is a feeling of security and satisfaction that a user gets when they are using a particular product whereas UI could be defined as the aesthetic of the product.
  • UX is the strength and the power of a product whereas UI is what attracts and makes users attracted towards it.
  • If we consider UI like a bridge then UX is the destination that it takes us to.
  • UX is like a road that leads users towards an end whereas UI is just one of its many steps in this process.
  • In a nutshell, we can say, a UX designer thinks about what should happen and how it will happen while a UI Designer creates a visual manifestation of these thought processes to make them visible to users.

The Loophole in These Differences Between UI and UX

We might have looked upon different analogies to make a difference clear between UX and UI but there were not many points to differentiate them by their differences on a particular constraint.

Do you know why?

Because that doesn't exist.

UX and UI are the most confusing terms. That's why it is necessary to understand the differences between the two. Ironically, they lack clear distinction because they are not the two things to be put on the comparison list.

UX and UI are different from each other yet dependent on each other. If collaborated, the output with the two together has the potential to touch new heights as they contribute to the product development individually and equally.

They have nothing to do with each other yet they can't work without each other.

UX is the reason why designers are so much in demand, it's because of their magic touch.

It makes everything beautiful and useful with the kind of skills that can't be learned but acquired over time by experience.

UI, on the other hand, deals more functionality-wise than anything else.

To put things straight, UI doesn't directly affect UX.

Instead, UI helps UX indirectly through minimalistic designs in which users access what you've designed for them while UX enhances the user experience of your product.

This creates a clear distinction between two different areas of the design industry where both bring something new to the table every time coming together like Yin Yang.

Simply put, comparing UX and UI is like comparing the keypad and the laptop.

This analogy clears up the fact that UI and UX are different. UI is certainly a part of UX but that doesn’t mean that UX and UI are the same. They are just two distinct aspects working in sync for the product and on some constraints might look similar but are not.

Conclusion

This blog helps to clarify why these two terms, UI and UX, are confused even though there is nothing to confuse them up.

We helped you get an in-depth understanding of both by presenting you the analogies to differentiate between the two.

We are certain that the analogies would have shown you how they both work independently for a product and how there is no particular dependency between them.

Also, it brings out why not every aspect of UI works to be part of UX and vice versa.

This blog has highlighted differences to help you understand UI and UX better to avoid confusion next time.

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