UI vs. UX: The Perfect Web Design Cocktail?


Marketing Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for Marketing pros

Monday, June 21, 2021

Despite the terms UI design and UX design often being used interchangeably, these two elements are different yet related.

Article 3 Minutes
UI vs. UX: The Perfect Web Design Cocktail?

User interface design (UI) and user experience design (UX) are two elements that are important to your marketing efforts. But despite being vital in delivering your strategy, some marketers use them interchangeably.

To ensure you’re making the most of their potential, you need to know the difference between UI and UX design and how they work together. Get this right and you’ll achieve perfect design equilibrium - something that not only looks great but works well too.

What is user interface design?

UI design refers to the look and interactivity of a website, connecting the user with a digital device or product. Its main goals are to ensure barriers are reduced and the interface is as intuitive as possible for the user. This can be achieved through optimizing every element, from typography and color schemes to icons and buttons that make users want to click on them.

What is user experience design?

Ever since the term user experience was coined by Don Norman in the 1990s, it has been putting humans first in the way that products are designed. Deployed within the world of web design, UX focuses on how an experience makes the user feel and the ease with which they can accomplish their desired tasks.

The difference between UI and UX design

There are a plethora of analogies that have been used to describe the difference between UI and UX design. It’s best to think of UI as being the paint on a canvas and UX is where the paint should be applied.

In short, UI refers to the look and function of the interface, while UX describes the feel of the experience. It’s therefore up to UI designers to consider how to make the user journey work and to address the pain points that have been identified by the UX designer.

“Something that looks great but is difficult to use is exemplary of great UI and poor UX. While something very usable that looks terrible is exemplary of great UX and poor UI.” - Helga Moreno, marketing manager at andcards

How do UI and UX design work together?

Rahul Varshney, co-creator of Foster.fm, summed up the symbiotic relationship between UI and UX design when he said:

“A great product experience starts with UX followed by UI. Both are essential for the product’s success.”

A marketing team that invests time and resources into either UI or UX and not the other will find it does not fully achieve its potential. While the product or service you’re trying to provide via your website could genuinely fulfil a niche in the market, focusing on UX and neglecting UI could mean its usefulness is not properly communicated to the audience.

Conversely, good UI design can’t make up for failings in the UX department, as users will quickly discover that well-chosen fonts and clickable buttons don’t always equate to the best experience. Specialists in the two areas must work together to deliver the best outcome for users, which in turn will serve the marketing team and the business well.

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