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Basic features of UX and UI design, and Is there any difference between these definitions?

24.08.2016 Lyudla Volk
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Basic features of UX and UI design, and Is there any difference between these definitions?

Every day even without knowing that we are dealing with many interfaces on different gadgets: mobile phones, tablets, laptops and PCs. We chat with friends on social networks or using instant messaging apps, booking a hotel in a foreign country via Expedia or Airbnb, or only ordering pizza in the nearest restaurant. The list of the ways of interaction between person and systems is endless.

Sometimes it goes smoothly. One tap on the needed button and your problem is solved. But sometimes, the interface could be similar to a complex puzzle. Some interfaces make it almost impossible for us to book a cinema ticket or make an appointment with your doctor.

Why some interfaces are convenient and straightforward, while others are not? Who is responsible for it? The answers lie in the sphere of UX/UI design. In this article, we are going to clear up what UX and UI designs are.

A few words about UX/UI

UX and UI designs are popular in the IT world. The most usual misconception is that UX and UI mean the same. But it is not true. In this article, we will try to describe their basic features and trace the differences between them.

If you want to find an example of UI and UX designs not far from you, look through the well-made mobile patterns in your phone. Or try to follow mobile app development trends via the internet. Everyday mobile app designers and UI developers design mobile apps are working to make your life easier.

UX is the user’s action

First of all; let’s try to clarify its meaning. UX (or user experience design) is individual experience through the interaction with the product, whether we talk about mobile app development, web -site or any other software.

About UX components

UX has the following components:

–         Information architecture (IA) (menu, navigation and their implementation);

–         Content;

–         User interface (UI);

It means that UI is a part of UX. And UX is broader and deeper concept than UI.

The main aims of UX design are usefulness and availability. It is made up to help users achieve their goals and solve their problems. UX is focused on product usability, convenience and ergonomics. UX at the same time should be not only useful, usable and desirable as well as valuable, findable, accessible and credible.

A striking example of a competent usage of all the mentioned above characteristics is the Apple design. The company has followed its path and won the hearts of millions of people by their eagerness to meet the customer’s needs.

UI is the tool for users action

UI (or user interface engineering) is a powerful UX tool.
Any interface is an efficient method using by the companies to interact with their customers.

When UX designer’s work is associated with the conceptual aspects of the design process, the UI designer focuses on the material elements. There are some features that any UI design should possess:

1)    Interface elements should be well-organized. It means that they should be logically structured and interconnected;

2)     All elements should be grouped in logically connected systems (menu, forms);

3)    All interface elements should be aligned;

4)    The style of interface elements should have a total look. Styling plays an important role, because it is stored in the user’s memory;

5)     Free space on the page is necessary. It helps to focus on essential things.

UI includes the basic principles of design and structure, forms, buttons, screens, pages, icons, drawings, visual elements and all things.

What are the tasks to be solved?

One of the primary purposes of UX is to connect business goals to users’ needs. UX is responsible for:

1)    what we will achieve in the end;

2)    selection of suitable UX tools;

3)    development of convenient product;

4)    analyses of the final result: whether the product meets customers’ expectations or not.

And what is the level of user’s satisfaction?

What concerns UI, it is made up of:

  1. Layout and visual hierarchy
  2. Colors and typography
  3. Graphic design
  4. Branding

So, as you see UX and UI designs is not the same and the most efficient way to use them is to apply together as they truly complement each other.

UX vs. UI. What is the difference between them?

User’s interface and user’s experience are both important to the software design, websites, applications and web development in bulk.

Product’s functionality and ability to solve user’s problems depends on UX. UI is responsible for how the product is laid out and its good looks.

Usually, UX design comes before UI, because the first step is to examine how the program is functioning. It is a logical assumption that UI is often the final product of the UX process.

In other words, UX refers to the technical sphere; UI is closer to graphic design.

If we compare these two terms with the process of how the house is being built, we will find out UX to be its foundation, and the walls and UI are the decorations and matching color.

It is possible to use only one of these elements, but UX without UI means that you lack beautiful design in your substantial house. And UI without UX could be compared to papers on the walls,  painted ceiling and flower pots all around your house but the conceptual part of it, the ladder to connect both floors of your construction will be missing.

In a nutshell

In conclusion, I want to add that UX and UI are inextricably linked. An excellent result can be achieved only in the unity of these two elements. As you can see, UI and UX also differ from each other. The most talented and creative designers in the tech industry understand the difference between these definitions.

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