UX is not UI
“UX and UI are essentially the same thing.”
While this is commonly heard through the over-designed halls of most creative and technology firms, it is totally and completely WRONG.
UI and UX are most certainly not the same thing. While UI (User Interface) design plays a role in the overall UX (User Experience) they are different disciplines with different specialties all together.
UI deals with visual design like the color, tone, treatments, fonts, and layout as it relates to a product. UX deals with the ‘feeling’ the customer gets from interacting with your product. This includes the UI, the functionality, the efficiency, the experience and the value of the product to the end user. It is a culmination of all of the above. A car, for example, may look sleek and fast, have a gorgeous paint job, sweet rims and killer sex appeal. But if that same car is uncomfortable, is sluggish and breaks down all the time the user’s experience is going to be sad and regretful – as demonstrated by this sad emoticon 🙁
Everyone wants to ultimately feel happy when they use a product – whether it be a mobile application or an electric toothbrush. That feeling of happiness is the end goal of every user experience. Successful UX == customer happiness. So the next time you hear some Red Bull-infused designer or engineer use UI/UX interchangeably, you stand up and say “nay, nay good sir”, and educate the good people of the land.
Check out this PDF comparison.
In case you are not a programmer, ‘!=’ is a comparative symbol for ‘does not equal’.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR| MICHAEL J. SMITH
Michael Smith has an arsenal of interactive design and user experience skills, combined with an entrepreneurial spirit, and leads the charge for Raster Media, one of the most proficient interactive teams in the land. As a Silicon Valley transplant, Michael set out to build a software development firm unlike any other. Today, Michael oversees the operations and direction the of the business and remains active in the creative direction of UX and visual design at Raster Media. Follow Michael via Twitter @RasterMike Find Michael on Google