What is it? UX vs UI Design

Oliver Higgins

Issue 2, August 2017

What’s the difference between User Interface (UI) design and User Experience (UX). Both elements are crucial to any modern product and they both play a role in each other. However, despite the close relationship, they both differ in the roles they play; UX is analytical and technical, while UI is more aligned with graphic design, but can be more complex to use.

UX is a way of designing products with the human element at the forefront. It is the process used for enhancing user satisfaction, by improving the usability, ease of use, and pleasure for the user when interacting with the project. Essentially it answers the question “how does the project make you feel?” Modern research shows the brain releases dopamine whenever we see a notification that someone has liked a post on Facebook or Twitter, or the like. Therefore, if such notifications distract users from the main task, you may want to consider minimising the number of notifications they receive.

UI, on the other hand, is the way in which the elements are drawn and laid out for the user. It is used to determine how many clicks or touches required to make something happen. What areas of your phone are easy to touch with your thumb? Is your project going to be an environment where access may be difficult? Do you need to put large buttons or a big readout? UI focuses on creating an optimised interface, which primarily achieves your business objectives over the human objectives.

Wireframing and prototyping is a fast and efficient way to test your user interface. Screenshot Wireframing allows you to create different unique interfaces and get immediate feedback from the user. Try

In short, a good interface is one that makes it easy for the user to tell the computer what to do. It makes the task of getting the processor to ask the user for information, and returning equally simple and understandable information back to the user. Clear communication between the computer and the user is the underlying goal when it comes to interface design.

For most of our projects in DIYODE Magazine, we'll focus purely on practical UI/IX layouts that are raw function. We want to demonstate how something works with the shortest, most clear route possible. If you were trying to commercialise a product however, it's probably worth paying further attention to the user experience and interface.