UI vs UX: Top Differences between UI and UX Design

Peter Martinez updated on 2024-06-06 13:48:04

In web and app designing, some of the most commonly used words are UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience). These are two confusing terminologies that most people think are the same, but they are not. In most cases you will find them placed together as UI/UX design and looking lightly, you might think they describe the same thing. It is good to look at UI vs UX so that people can understand the role they play and their differences. This article looks at their differences and some other aspects between the two.

Differences between UI and UX Design

What is UI?

UI design refers to a user interface, which is the graphical layout of an app. It is comprised of buttons that the end-user of the app click, the text they read, sliders, images, and text entry fields. UI design also includes other items such as interface animations, screen layouts, transitions, and micro-interaction users usually interact with. When creating a user interface, all visual elements, animation, and interaction are designed. The job is usually done by UI designers who make the decision on how the app will look like, button shapes, color schemes, fonts, and width of lines to be used on the text. The major role of a UI designer is to design the feel and look of an app's user interface. UI design is mostly concerned with aesthetics, which is the overall appeal of the app interface. The designers ensure that the application interface is themed well and visually stimulating to match the overall personality of the application. They also ensure that each element is united, in purpose and appeal.

What is UX?

UX refers to user experience, which involves the way that users interact with an application. The experience might be smooth, positive, confusing, or intuitive. It might also involve whether the application feels arbitrary or logical. User experience mostly focuses on whether the user feels that the app is helping them accomplish the objectives they want to achieve efficiently, or they are just struggling. UX is usually determined by how hard or easy it is to interact with the interface elements created by UI designers.

UX designers focus more on an app's user interface, and this is one of the reasons most people get confused regarding the difference between UI and UX. While UI designers focus on the look of the interface, UX designers focus on how the interface operates. If the user interface feels seamless and well, then it means that it offers a smooth experience to users. UX designers work hard to ensure that the interface is not complex or unintuitive.

What are the differences between UI and UX?


UX and UI design usually overlap, but there are several distinctions users should know. So, what is the difference between UI and UX? In simple terms, UX design is the user experience design while UI is the user interface design. Both are closely related but play different roles. One of their major differences occurs in terms of their functionality. While UI focuses on how the interface looks, UX focuses on the way the interface works. UX is more of a process, while UI is a deliverable.

Major focus

Another UX UI difference is in their focus. UI is more focused on the interface, which is the front end, while UX pays more attention to the back end. UX designers will try to make the app look appealing to the users and allow it to attract more visitors. On the other hand, a UX designer will focus more on the value the app will bring in to the users.

Colors used

When looking at UX design vs UI design, it is also worth checking at colors used since they are also different. UI designing involves creating prototypes in full color, while UX design mostly uses three colors, i.e. white, black and gray. This difference is mostly seen in designing and using icons. For instance, as you develop the bottom navigation bar, the UI designer does more work in making it more realistic by applying the button color before and after clicking. On the other hand, a UX designer only inserts the button in the right place and leaves a note.

Tools used

The tools used in UI and UX are also different because of the distinct roles involved. For UI designers, image is critical; thus, they require more tools than their counterparts. UX designers may prefer a wireframe as it makes designing more efficient and helps save time.

How do They Work Together

As we look at UX design vs UI design is also worth looking at how the two works together in making an application be of value to the end-users. A designer must ensure that both UI and UX are well integrated into the app. UX designer makes the decision on how the interface operates, while the UI designer is concerned with the look of the interface. The process involves collaboration, meaning that the UX designer and UI designer must work together. The UX designer should work on the smooth flow of the app design, improving how the buttons navigate through tasks and how the interface offers the information the user requires. At the same time, the UI designer should be looking at how all these elements will look on the screen.

For instance, let's say that at one point during the design process, extra buttons need to be added to a certain screen. This will require changes on how the buttons should be organized and might require them to be changed in terms of size and shape. In this case, the UX designer will focus on looking at how the buttons need to be laid out, while the UI designer will focus on adapting their designs to ensure they fit the new layout. They must work together to make sure that the final user interface has a good look while at the same time, it is working intuitively and efficiently.

For both UX and UI designs, research is critical as it helps in gathering vital information to help in creating the right designs. Research in both areas adheres to a similar approach, by trying to look at information regarding what the end-users want. The research process involves usable sessions whereby the users have a chance to interact with the visual designs and functionality of the app being tested to look at whether the designers are on the right path or not. In both UX and UI, feedback is integrated. Both UX and UI designs require to be executed in a flawless manner and aligned with the expectations of the users in order to create a positive experience and excellent interface.

The Best Tool for UI and UX Designer

As you look for ways to create UI and UX design, it is good to use the best tool that makes the work easier and spend less time. There are several tools you can use, but Wondershare Mockitt remains the top tool you can use. It is easy to use the tool with its features that also make the designing process smooth from the start to the end. It allows you to embed your app design whereby you can do so in the forum of MB, or you can select any other page to do so. You can also switch screens and choose text copies by use of the sharing and preview mode. In case you are not designing the UI or UX interface alone, the tools allow for team support. You can work on the designing process with your team fast. As you create animations, you will find the tool even more useful since you can create them with state transition of the same screen.

Here is the best tool to use in 2021 for user interface & user experience projects.

This tool is rich in icons and widgets, found in the icon library, and rich templates for quick prototyping. There are more than one hundred icons you can choose to apply as you do the designing work. Another big Wondershare Mockitt feature is that you can have all screens in a single place. This feature allows you to view the entire workflow, do editing and sharing of the URL of flows. Most of the other tools used for UI and UX design have rulers, but this tool has a more unique ruler that makes the wireframing process more efficient. There is also the rich text editor, which helps designers select bold or italic, change the text color, or create other styles. The tool has a picture filter that makes it possible for you to make adjustments to graphic effects such as brightness, blurring, and many others. Some other major features include a detailed user guide, forum, material design shadow support, and many more.

ui vs ux