Unsure About How UX and UI Differentiate From One Another? Teach Yourself With This Guide

Much like Han and Chewie, UI and UX is a dynamic duo that are two entirely solo, unique and unambiguous characters, yet simply are not complete without one another. However, the only difference between these paralleled duos is that the bounty hunter and Ewok are easily unmistakable but UI and UX are two terms that get mixed up frequently.

We aren’t sure what has happened but it seems like our content writer watched Star wars the night before writing this. Oh well, it still works.

Throughout this article, we’ll unravel those mixed-up wires between UI and UX so that you can get a more concrete understanding of the two and know how to differentiate between them.

First things first, what do UI and UX mean?

User Interface (UI) refers to the aesthetic and visual elements of a website. UI involves paying heed to colours, fonts, patterns and imagery, all to make a website look attractive.

User Experience (UX) on the other hand, focuses on the journey and encounters that a website visitor makes. UX takes into account the steps they will take and ensures that their journey from point A to point B is seamless.

UI = Making the website look pretty (aesthetic)
UX = Making the website work well (effectiveness)

How are UX and UI different?

There’s been countless different analogies to help people comprehend UX and UI from the depiction of a house, where the foundation represents UX and the decor represents UI to the human anatomy, where the skeleton and organs illustrate UX and the outer appearance is UI.

As mentioned at the start of this article, both UX and UI are individual principles that have different roles in the website building process.

Let’s use that house analogy to portray the roles that UX and UI have within the development of your website. UX is your trustworthy and reliable construction worker who sets the foundations for your home. The workers will build your home and apply logic when doing so. They’ll make sure to install doors in practical places and making sure the corridors don’t lead to dead ends.

Whereas UI is your creative and imaginative painter who will decorate and design your home. The painter will come in once the structure has been built to add their flair to the rooms by picking colour schemes that breathe life into each room and coordinating furniture with the room styles.

Why is both UI and UX important?

This power couple is needed in tandem to produce the most optimal website for your business. Whilst both play an important role individually, it’s the combination of both that helps the website visitor to have the best possible experience. Your home might be well constructed with easy access to the bedroom, kitchen and toilet, but if it’s decorated horribly, you wouldn’t want to stay there. And vice versa.

Your website is the hub of all your business so making sure it provides the best experience for your customers is vital. If you don’t fulfil this with your site, potential customers will turn to your competitors. In fact, a whopping 88% of online shoppers express that they would not return to a website after experiencing a bad user experience (Amazon Web Services), meaning they’ll turn to your competition and likely forget about you altogether. Why take that chance?

Is it easy to do your own UI or a UX?

The short answer? No.

The slightly longer answer? Well…

UI and UX are hugely varied roles that require a long list of different specialisms and responsibilities. Whilst the basics of both are not that complicated, it’s those core skills that make them slightly trickier to navigate by yourself – from research and strategy building to wireframing and extensive testing.

Both roles require a degree of being able to understand and analyse your customers, but each has its own respective duties including:

UI designer:
  • Branding and graphics
  • Prototyping
  • Animation
  • Responsiveness

UX designer:

  • Content development
  • Wireframing
  • Testing
  • Project management

What does Good and Bad UX/UI look like?

What better way to get an understanding of good and bad UX and UI than with some real-life examples?

Bad UX

WhatsApp’s old feature of displaying a non-discreet notice when a message has been deleted meant that anyone could publicly see when someone posted something by accident or that they didn’t want to be seen – meaning that you couldn’t send those embarrassing messages on your night out and delete it when you’ve sobered up without it causing some curiosity amongst your group peers.

Good UX

There’s no doubt that a lot of Apple’s products seem to get confused between one another, after all, to anyone who is not an avid lover of the tech giant, they all seem the same.

With their product comparison feature, you can select 3 products from a category, such as iPhones, and be shown the different specs at a quick glance along with a price tag so that you can quickly select the one that works best for you without having to memorise the details of each individual one you’re interested in.

Bad UI

IMDb is an example of not quite understanding the user’s intent when searching for the answer to their query. Whilst the homepage isn’t terrible, some of the other pages are certainly not the best.

It’s always been known for having a slightly chaotic grid-style format that just is a bit too busy. This adopted format can make it quite the challenge to know where to start when looking at the content of the site.

Good UI

Pinterest’s mood board layout makes it easier to digest content that’s been picked by the algorithm. The interface is designed to make it easier to find the content the user wants without having to jump through hoops by simply related searches at the top of the page.

Considering the platform knows that its users are there for images, they make sure that this is the focal point of the content it displays and doesn’t bog a user down with details or lots of text.

So after all this, do you really need good UI and UX for your website?

Ab-so-lute-ly! As we’ve covered, both are crucial and needed to produce the best possible website for your business. As we highlighted at the start of this article, if you care about your business then you will need a site that’s taken UX and UI properly into consideration.

But the challenge of making sure your website is fully optimised can be quite a tall task. So if you need help with this then we are your team. We have a great design and website team, as well as amazing marketers who can help create the perfect user flow. If you would like to speak to us you can call us on 01249 847 447 or email us at studio@milkandtweed.com

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