What do UI and UX designers do? UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) designers are both in the field of web development, but the roles are not interchangeable. In fact, these two titles are often used interchangeably by businesses seeking designers, and many new designers have trouble understanding the differences between the two. The confusion comes from the fact that UI and UX design often overlap in terms of what they do for businesses, so it’s crucial to understand exactly what each one does in order to find the right fit for your company’s needs.
What do UI and UX designers do?
- Describe User Interface Designers
- Talk about User Experience Designers
- Bring them together
- How you can be a part of this world
Describe User Interface Designers
A user interface designer is an individual who is a member of a development team that works on various aspects of a website or software program. In some cases, a user interface designer will have strong visual skills, meaning he or she can create visual representations of concepts for other members of the team to consider before work actually begins. User interface designers are typically members of larger design teams and often report to individuals who are tasked with overseeing design elements across multiple projects.
A user interface designer must have an eye for detail and understand how different pieces work together to form an effective design. The ability to collaborate with others throughout all stages of a project is important in order to get buy-in from others, as well as make sure each piece adds up when it comes time for integration testing.
Talk about User Experience Designers
First, let’s talk about what user experience (UX) design is. UX is a lot of things, says Bridget Kromhout, designer at Hello Focus. It’s not just graphic design or visual design or usability testing. It’s much broader than that. Basically, user experience designers are concerned with how users feel when they interact with a product — be it an app, website, or something else. They make sure everything looks good and is easy to use, in addition to testing out prototypes with real people to see how effective their designs are.
They also take care of the small details that users might overlook: for example, the text on buttons needs to be large enough for people who wear glasses, but small enough so that the person holding the phone doesn’t have trouble reading it. And while you may think this would require formal education and years of training, all you really need is basic skills in common design programs like Photoshop or Sketch. There are tons of online courses available now too, so you can learn these skills from home
Now, let’s talk about what user interface (UI) design is. It’s similar to UX but focuses more on how users interact with software rather than how they feel. UI designer Eri Noguchi describes it as the look, feel and flow of a product. Unlike UX designers, they aren’t concerned with what people think of a product. They’re only concerned with making sure everything functions well in order to solve a particular problem or meet specific needs — it can be anything from making sure your music app is easy to navigate while you’re driving to ensuring your news feed updates fast enough for your morning commute.
Bring them together
It’s easy to assume that User Interface (UI) design and User Experience (UX) design are two different things, but in reality, they’re on a continuum. On one end of that continuum is interface design, which dictates how an app or website looks; it also includes interactive elements like buttons. On the other end is user experience, which measures overall engagement with an app or website. While user experience design can include both visuals and interactivity, it mainly focuses on content: users’ ability to access information clearly, quickly, accurately, efficiently, and with as little friction as possible. It’s all about helping people understand your message—not just making them notice you.
While not every design project requires a full-scale, end-to-end redesign, it’s a good idea to ask yourself if you need one. If your current website or app isn’t performing well—whether it has low conversion rates or customer satisfaction scores—or if your business is growing and you plan to expand into other markets, it might be time for a complete overhaul. However, that doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch; many redesigns start by refining existing designs and adding new features. By staying consistent with visual elements like color schemes and fonts, you can create an experience that makes people feel at home when they see it across different platforms.
How you can be a part of this world
There are various ways that you can be a part of User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) design. It’s good to know there is plenty of opportunity out there for everyone to have a place in it. Before we get into that, however, let’s make sure we understand what these two fields mean. If your computer science degree didn’t include much training in art, you might be wondering just what it is exactly that interface and user experience people do anyway. Don’t worry; although they involve different skill sets than coding or business, they still require a lot of creativity.
Let’s take a look at each one so you can get an idea of what sorts of jobs are available – User Interface Designers: They create the designs for the screens users will interact with on websites, mobile apps, and other products.
User Experience Designers:
They make sure those screens work well with human beings. They’re responsible for everything from data gathering to prototyping to testing – anything that has to do with how the product feels when it’s used.
They handle all the aspects of physical products like hardware and furniture – things like ergonomics, materials, style guidelines, etc.
Graphic designers often focus on web graphics – think logos and branding – but they may also be involved in print design as well as packaging or illustration work.