It’s common for folks to use the terms UI and UX interchangeably, or often incorrectly. If you’re at the start of your product journey and are wondering, “What’s the difference between them?” – today we’ll dig a bit deeper into UI and UX to get a better understanding of the differences between them.

What is UX design?

UX stands for ‘User Experience.’ The term User Experience was coined in the 1990s by Don Norman, a reputed cognitive scientist; he describes UX as:

“User experience encompasses all aspects of the end-users interaction with the company, its services, and its products.”

Though not specific to digital experience of present times, he defines UX in the perfect sense. Even today, the prime essence of UX has remained the same- that UX encompasses all interactions significantly between a potential customer and your digital product.

The user experience narrates how a user feels when they interact closely with a product or a service. User experience cannot be limited to only ‘digital’ interaction- it primarily points to the ‘collective’ experience of any product as a whole – be it signing up, the first on-boarding, starting to use your app / SaaS.

What is UI design?

UI stands for ‘user interface.’ The user interface predominantly covers the visuals, specifically screens, buttons, and other interactive features a person might interact with in-between their digital journey, such as while using dashboard or an app.

The user interface predominantly covers the visuals, specifically screens, buttons and other interactive features on your screen.

UI is all-about typography, images, and other visually compelling elements that can turn a primary interface into something extraordinary. UI elevates usability and builds an emotional connection between a user and a product- it can be anything ranging from a website to a product.

A user experience (UX) is therefore made up of many user interface or screens, which come together in a seamless flow to form a product.

To sum up, a user experience (UX) consists of several micro user interfaces – together for a seamless flow to produce a fantastic product suitable for successful delivery.

Key differences between UI and UX Design

Here is an analogy to explain the difference between UI and UX design;

If you consider a cake, UI is the icing, the plates, the flavour, and the presentation of the cake. UX is the reason why you are having cake in the first place, and why rather eat a cake than a pizza.

The prime differentiator between UI and UX design is the area of their focus. UI keeps it focused on visual elements visible to a user, such as typography, navigation, colors, branding and logo, and more. At the same time, the UX focuses on the user and how the design would impact their journey throughout the product experience.

Coming to what steps are included in the UI and UX design process, here lies the second key difference. UX commonly deals with market research, testing, and product development, along with covering content and prototyping. On the other hand, UI guides a user through a product’s interface using interactive elements.

When it comes to experience scenarios. UX design provides a complete experience that, at most times, is broader than just the screen. On the contrary, UI design is designed to surround the visual and information design around the screens.

UX or UI design: What should you focus on?

UX and UI both matter in a product. Both play a significant role in the design, planning and development of products.

If you intend to create a more visual experience, you want to focus on your product creativity. If you are interested in maintaining a consistent UI/UX throughout product, then you must consider user research, prototyping and product architecture.

UI and UX are vital parts of a product design process. Both roles complement each other well and can be performed by the same design team.

The combination of UI and UX also influences your product’s adoption rate and success rate. Both UI and UX are the prime keys behind your entire product experience. There is a high chance of people preferring a better UI and UX product; as it will receive more attention and engagement.

Are you struggling to design your SaaS product?

If so, we can help. With our expertise in designing products that appeal to the right audience, it is easy for you to succeed! Get the right user experience for your valuable customers!

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