UI design (also known as user interface design) focuses on the way a product looks and functions. UI designers work on the visual design of a product, often working from the wireframes or mockups a UX designer has provided. UX design (also known as user experience design) focuses on the experience of users when interacting with a product.

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To address this issue, UX designers may streamline some checkout steps. There’s more to UX design than meets the eye on a user interface. The UX design process involves market research, wireframe development, prototype testing, and cross-functional collaboration. On the other hand, if you are good with managing user and stakeholder needs, have excellent analysis skills, and understand how user experiences can be improved, UX design would be more suited to you. A UI design might be beautiful, but it can be clunky and confusing to navigate without a good UX design. On the other hand, the user experience of a product can be flawless, but it is nothing without a good looking user interface.

Good UX vs bad UX: An example

Much like an iceberg, visual design is only the surface of user experience. Underneath, there is so much more including skeleton, structure, scope and strategy. These layers are by no means standalone, and influence each other. There will likely be other considerations that emerge later, which might impact the experience. For example, if the team encounters technical challenges or budgetary constraints during development, they might have to revisit some design decisions.

Hopefully, you’re now starting to see how UX and UI design are indeed two very different things. Now we have a clear-cut definition of both UX and UI, let’s consider the key differences between the two. A UI designer will think about icons and buttons, typography and color schemes, spacing, imagery, and responsive design.

How do I know if UI or UX is a better fit for me?

A UX designer’s primary goal is for each user to have a positive interaction with a product or service. Whether the interaction solves a problem, provides entertainment, or helps the user find critical information, the experience should leave the user feeling fulfilled. But for designers and people handling their own digital design, UX and UI seem to be the most confusing because they’re not only one letter apart but also related concepts. When looking at UX vs. UI, it’s crucial to know which is which because, despite the overlapping concerns, each has its own specific issues—and fixing one won’t solve the problems of the other. If you want to figure out which career path is right for you, it’s important to consider the key skills required by UX vs. UI designers, as well as the typical day-to-day tasks of each. As a visual and interactive designer, the UI role is crucial to any digital interface and, for customers, a key element to trusting a brand.

  • Any frontend development and design process should start with understanding the needs of the user.
  • An IxDF membership gives you access to over 35 UX and UI design courses.
  • Each profession’s efforts inform those of its counterpart, benefiting the overall product or service and making a lasting impression on users.
  • Really, UX can apply to anything, even non-digital products, but for this article, we’ll stick to just sites and apps.

Some companies do sometimes look for candidates with both sets of skills. But often when you start looking more closely at these listings, you’ll find the role ui ux designer leans more towards one than the other. With IA sketched out, UX designers can start turning ideas into tangible models, such as wireframes and prototypes.

Research in UI Designs

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the market for all digital designers is expected to grow by 8 percent by 2029, making the field a promising career path for aspiring designers. UI designers build and optimize the individual elements of a digital entity, including typography, color, button design, and other fields contributing to a strong interface. The best UX designs are driven by research, which informs UX designers about their problems and what can be solved by a specific design. UX research can involve questionnaires, surveys, focus groups, product testing, or other research methodologies. The specific research methodologies depend on what a company wants to know about a product or its users. Search for UX on job listing sites, and you’re likely to find companies looking for UI/UX designers.

Using Adobe XD, you’ll apply design thinking, along with information architecture and sitemap planning, to create a dynamic website. Rather, the term refers to a UX generalist who not only has a full set of UX skills, but also excels at graphic design and coding. Mastering all these skills can take time, so start by working toward one role before leveling up to unicorn status.

UX vs UI Design: Which Career Path Should I Take?

In this guide, we take a look at UX vs. UI to clear up the confusion and explain who’s who, so you can optimize both for your website or app. It’s important to understand the difference between UX and UI because, for the best results, you don’t just need to master one or the other, you need to know both. This infographic highlights the main hard, soft, and transferable skills of both UX and UI designers.

Success stories from our course alumni building thriving careers. Understand the fundamentals of UI elements and design systems, as well as the role of UI in UX. This resource from the Web Style Guide discusses the basics of information architecture and wireframing the basic design of a website. We’ve discussed wireframing, planning, and information architecture extensively throughout this article, and this resource discusses the basic process of utilizing these principles on a project. This resource from UX Planet discusses what makes up a good UX/UI design portfolio.

At the same time, you want to make the interface unobtrusive so that the controls don’t get in the way of actual content (think of smartphone keyboards that only pop up when you need to type something). If you like the idea of creating awesome user experiences but see yourself as a more visual person, you may be more interested in UI design. You’ll find a brief snapshot of the UI designer’s key tasks below or a more comprehensive explanation of what a UI designer actually does in this guide. Essentially, UX applies to anything that can be experienced—be it a website, a coffee machine, or a visit to the supermarket. The “user experience” part refers to the interaction between the user and a product or service. User experience design, then, considers all the different elements that shape this experience.

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Still, UI design is more concerned with the quantitative elements, such as how many pixels the width of a button should be, or what precise color code to use for the button. There’s also a lot to be said about the look of the interface, which also fits into UI design. Designers can create controls that fit the mood of the site or app, such as using branded colors or using the brand’s characteristic typography if necessary. CareerFoundry is an online school for people looking to switch to a rewarding career in tech. Select a program, get paired with an expert mentor and tutor, and become a job-ready designer, developer, or analyst from scratch, or your money back. Many companies will deliberately seek out versatile designers who can cover both UX and UI or who at least have an understanding of UX or UI principles in addition to their main skillset.

Dieter Rams: 10 Timeless Commandments for Good Design

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals. When it comes time to begin your job search, pay more attention to the list of tasks or qualifications than the specific job title. All of your work on Figma will be autosaved online, so you can access it from anywhere you have internet access.

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