Potential clients ask me all the time:
So, do you guys have a great UI/UX guy?
To most, this will seem like a simple enough question: it’s either yes, or no, right?
In fact, we get asked this question so often, that we felt compelled to write a blog post on the subject.
UI = User Interface
UX = User Experience
User Interfaces are characterized by the various elements of graphic and visual design that go into designing them. User Experiences are characterized by the many aspects which define the qualitative experience of using a product, including, in part, its User Interface.
The UI of a product is one of the many components which contribute to the particular UX of a product. They are both equally fundamental, however they are not the same, and they are not done by the same people.
User Experience Designers spend their days defining user types, sorting tasks, making wireframes, organizing sitemaps, and designing everything else that goes into the creation of a cohesive experience for the end user.
What do these things even mean? It’s all about strategy.
Often times, the hard work that goes into UX design is never explicitly seen by the end user, as it is an early-stage component in the lifecycle of application development. This can be ironic, as each task directly affects the experience of the user—without each component there wouldn’t be a cohesive experience.
User Interface Designers spend their days creating pixel perfect designs that are ultimately what will come to be intimately known by the user as “the application”. UI design occurs later on down the pipeline, once all the UX-work has been completed.
The work of a UI designer can be boiled down to one fundamental task: bring to life the vision of the UX designer.
So, the next time you want to ask someone about their “UI/UX” guy, remember, they are two different people.