UI vs. UX: What’s the Difference?
User Interface (UI) is to User Experience (UX) as a restaurant menu is to a fine dining experience. The former is the physical manifestation of the latter. A beautiful, well-designed menu can make a big difference, but it’s not what makes customers come back for more.
Similarly, a beautifully designed interface will get you into an app or website, but won’t necessarily keep you there. Great user experiences turn users into fans and even evangelists who spread the word about your product to their friends and networks. That is how we create brand loyalty.
We use the term “user experience” because it emphasizes the fact that software isn’t just about technology, but about people.
What is the difference between UI and UX design?
Here are some examples of UI design elements: fonts, colors, button styles, positioning of navigation tools within a site’s user interface, and so on.
By contrast, UX relates more to how users interact with an application or website and can include such things as ease-of-use and overall usefulness – both of which will impact how likely someone will return to use the site or app in the future.
For example, the UX of a website might involve how easy it is to find and use information in the site’s menu, or how quickly and easily someone can add an item to their shopping cart.
Clearly, there's an interplay between the two when it comes to designing digital interfaces. For example, a site that is highly concerned with the aesthetic and ease-of-use of its user interface may sacrifice utility for appearance. The opposite may also be true – an application that focuses purely on usability may sacrifice aesthetics.
So, how do you create good user interfaces?
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to creating good user interfaces. But a few basic principles apply across the board for any type of digital interface.
Consider the target audience and their needs, wants, and motivations when determining what information to display on a screen. Ask yourself: “What is most important from your users’ perspective?”
Keep it simple. Make sure that the number of screens people have to navigate through before getting what they need is kept as low as possible. Keep things consistent – don’t make people wonder where things are or why certain features don’t work or work as expected.
Also consider what additional info may help people make informed decisions about their options (for example, if you see someone hover over an item in your product menu to read the description, consider adding that info to the item tooltip).
What are some good UX design principles?
When creating digital products from scratch, here are some good UX design principles to follow.
Consider the overall goal of the product – what do users want to achieve with using the product? This will influence how you design each element of a page or interface.
For example, if a site’s goal is to sell a house, then it might be beneficial to have a tool that allows people to estimate mortgage payments based on information about their property taxes and home values.
Think about the features that people will use and how they will be used. Consider including only the most essential functions and features on each screen and avoid creating unnecessary steps in your user’s journey.
For example, if someone wants to change their shipping address, then it might be better to allow them to do so within your checkout flow rather than forcing them to navigate away from the checkout process and find an external location where they can make changes.
How to find the top UI/UX designers?
Finding a great UI/UX designer is no small feat. There are so many out there, and it can be difficult to sort through the noise.
The good news? Our team at Devsu has already done the legwork for you. For over nine years, we’ve helped top brands like Netflix, Toyota, and Volkswagen find talented designers with our process that integrates the latest research on user behavior and provides recommendations based on each client’s unique goals.
By outsourcing your UI/UX design to Devsu, you can boost your scalability, save time, and focus on your core business.