When it comes to typical digital agency abbreviations, two concepts may prove somewhat confusing for both a client with a big project on the cards and an aspiring young creative who is keen to pursue a career at a digital design company. These phrases are UI design and UX design, two interlinked positions that rely on one another but are not the same.

Let’s unpack the differences between the two.

Understanding UX Design

User experience (UX) design puts itself in the shoes of the end-user of a specific digital or hard copy project, from chatbot dialogue and USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) menus to websites and even off-line products like staff posters.

The UX designer will carefully scrutinise every part of the journey that a user would interact with a certain product or digital interface. They will ask the question: will this project solve the pain points the end-user has and will they glean the information they are looking for from the journey that is being created? And will it delight and satisfy users who interact with the content?

Once the UX designer has mapped out a satisfactory user journey, it is time for the UI designer to step in.

Creating a Captivating UI Design

User Interface design – or just UI design for short - entails designing enticing front-end visuals that are user-friendly and effective. A UI designer’s first concern is to ensure the aesthetic of the digital product they are working on appeals to the end-user. Every part of the design, from buttons, screens, embedded location maps and colours to images used, must just click.

And this is where UX design comes in: it provides the road map for UI design to marry the visuals of a project with functionality as much as experience. The UI designer gives life to the vision of the UX designer to create an exceptional end-product that is customer-centered and easy to navigate.

Working Together For Excellence

Once a UI designer has created the first draft of a design, they will sit together with the project team, including the UX designer, to review whether it is on track and in line with the UX design plan. Typically, the design will be reviewed in terms of copy as well as the layout and how it will present to the end-user.

Once the final draft has been created, the design will again be reviewed and, for digital or mobile products specifically, be tested on a staging platform once it is loaded to determine functionality.

Experience and Visuals: A Perfect Partnership

From the above information, it is clear how UX and UI design are different, but also how they are intertwined to ensure product success.

Where UX design is focused on the overall experience of the end-user, UI design supports the end-product with a high-quality aesthetic. And it is the partnership between UX and UI that can ensure project success.

Together, UX and UI can add value to the user experience through a customer-centred product that, to put it simply, looks as great as it performs!

Now that you have the details at hand, understanding the flow of a project timeframe will be a bit more approachable too, as you will understand, as a client, how your project is progressing; and if you are stepping into a UX or UI role, you will better understand your roles’ expectations too.

Need more information? Be sure to get in touch with us today!

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