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UI vs UX Design: Which career is best?

User interface vs UX Design: Which career is best?

This guide will help you make a big career decision: choose to become a UX Design or User Interface (UI) designer. You’ll learn the difference between job roles and skills, and find out which is right for you. You’ll learn what employers are looking for, and also get tips on how to launch your career in UI and UX design.  The future of technology is at hand – it’s time to create the user experience!

Have you ever confused UI design with UX design? Currently, UI designers and UX designers all over the world have a key role in web and mobile application design. Many companies are keen to promote the work of their respective representatives. This article is intended to clarify the fundamental difference between the two specialties so that you can choose more appropriate professionals in your next hiring process. Let’s start!

“If UX is a brain of a product, the UI is its soul.” Anton Mikhaltsov, Design Director @Awsmd

UX designers are all about the experience.

User experience design (UX design) is a process for designing user interfaces that create the best possible experience for users. The goal of UX design is to make a product easy to use and enjoyable for everyone who will use it. A UX designer uses a variety of methods and techniques to understand how users interact with products and how to improve them.

UX design (also known as user experience design) focuses on the experience of users when interacting with a product. Much of the work of a user experience designer happens in the early stages of creating a new product, focusing on figuring out what users want and need.

“UX design is a constant exercise in empathy and understanding. As a designer at Evernote, I’m always trying to put myself in our user’s shoes to get at what they’re thinking and feeling at important moments during their experience with our product.” — Natasha Noltimier, Design @Evernote – dribbble

UI designers focus on aesthetics & function

User interface design (UI) focuses on the way a product looks and functions. A user interface designer works first by interpreting UX goals and objectives into wireframes and mockups. They then take those wireframes or mockups and make them beautiful, drawing in pieces of brand identity and information architecture to create visual designs that are both aesthetically pleasing and functionally understandable.

UI design is the way a product looks and functions. UI designers use visual design to make a product look clear and easy to use, while also employing user experience (UX) design principles to create simple interactions. Where UX design considers how users interact with products, UI considers how products interact with users. The end goal of both of these forms of design is to create a great experience for the user.

“UI design is more than just pretty visuals and more than just capability. It’s about combining exceptional strategy and compelling visual cue points to solve problems. It’s about making the complex simple through pixels, and focusing solely on user needs.” Corey Haggard, Head of Design @Mossio – dribbble

The major difference between UI and UX.

What’s the difference between UX and UI?” While both designers work on the same team, UX designers and UI designers are two different types of specialists. Both roles design digital interactions, but their areas of focus and processes for getting there vary greatly. Before you decide what role you are interested in, you should know the key differences between the two so you can determine where your passion lies.

Solutions and Aesthetics.

UX design is more process-oriented, with the goal of building well-designed solutions that increase user satisfaction and productivity. It incorporates multiple skills such as research, information architecture, service design, interaction design, usability testing, and evaluation. By contrast, UI design is more outcome-oriented, with the goal of building beautiful and functional interfaces that enhance users’ experiences.

Individual parts and user workflow.

A UI designer’s main focus is the individual parts of a digital product. They pay attention to things like color schemes and iconography, and how this helps create a visual hierarchy on individual pages across an app or website. 

UI designers are responsible for the layout and visual design of an interface. They’re concerned with typography, icons, graphic design, branding, and other visual elements. UI designers work with business stakeholders to understand the goals of a product or application and ensure that the user interface supports that goal.

UX: User Experience design involves the operation, structure, and experience of products. It seeks to find a sweet spot where product features, commercial viability, and customer satisfaction intersect. The best product decisions are based on solid research.

UX Designer – must work well with everyone, have insights into all aspects of the product and its users, must be able to communicate and translate the company vision, need to sell their ideas using data.

User Interface Designer Responsibilities.

As a user interface designer, your main responsibilities on a digital product will generally include tasks like user research, subject matter expert interviews, brainstorming sessions, creating use cases and user flows, and wireframes.

  • One of the most important aspects of being a UI Designer is ensuring that pages are both functional and visually appealing. Although there are various standards on the level of complexity to follow when it comes to wireframes and prototypes, you will be in charge of creating finished layouts which incorporate UX (user experience) wireframes and prototypes. Ensuring that the look and interactivity remain consistent across all pages adhering to our brand standards while meeting user needs is also a responsibility.
  • You’ll be in touch with both the UX team and the engineering team to make sure that user needs are met and that the design functions the way it’s intended. You will also be involved in problem-solving if a particular function isn’t feasible from an engineering perspective.
  • Analyze competing products and think critically about how their visual style impacts the way the product is used and perceived by users. This is also a chance for you to figure out better ways to do things than what the competition has done.
  • Responsive design allows you to create a website that will look good regardless of screen size. With tools like resizing your browser window and using the mobile simulator, you can make sure your work will have a seamless transition from desktop to phone.

While the creation of wireframes and prototypes is often primarily the responsibility of UX designers, UI designers should always be involved in the process prior to that point. Only by doing so will they be able to validate (or invalidate) potential design issues as early on as possible.

Responsibilities of the UX designer

UX designer is responsible for all aspects of the user experience, from concept and strategy to prototyping and testing. That includes conducting research and planning design, creating wireframes, conducting usability testing, developing mockups, redesigning screens and information architecture, designing and building prototypes, helping to develop the project plan and design specification document.

As a UX designer, you are responsible for ensuring that products are designed in such a way that they function smoothly, and provide satisfying experiences for the users. You need to consider all possible challenges that may affect these experiences, and choose solutions based on detailed research and knowledge of design patterns.

UX and UI are complementary to each other.

UX and UI design are complementary because both seek to determine how the user interacts with a product. While UX designers use research and analytics to understand user needs, UI designers use visual interaction methods such as prototyping, flow mapping, and contextual inquiry to create interactions that create the desired effect on users.

“UI and UX play a fundamental role for our business. When we start designing the UI of a product, we take into account everything that we’ve learned during the UX process, but also adapt the style to the corporate identity of the client. User Interface is the ‘look & feel of the product with the structure and interaction of the elements of the interface. In other words, a good user interface is an instrument to support a good user experience.” — Mariano Sanchez, Design Director @BrandBox – dribbble

UI vs. UX: What is your career path?

Regardless of whether you go into UI or UX design, learning the roles and basic skills for both will set you up for more career success and opportunities. Ready to launch your UX or UI design career? Browse tons of great jobs on Dribbble.

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