User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) are two terminologies often used interchangeably, referring to the ultimate aspect of any digital product - user-centric design. A modern design tends to be highly user-centric, which is probably why there is so much emphasis on web and mobile apps' UI/UX design. But for a reputed UI/UX design agency, both UI/UX design plays the most crucial role in shaping the success of a digital product. 

But to achieve perfection with UI and UX design, a UI UX design agency needs to understand the differences between these aspects of user-centric design and their respective scopes. Throughout this post, we will explain the differences between UI and UX design and the key steps and principles leading to successful UI/UX design. 

UI/UX Design Screenshot

What is user experience (UX) design?

User experience (UX) design is a comprehensive approach centered around natural human inclinations, interactions, and behavioral patterns. The popular term first coined by the cognitive scientist Norman Nielsen Norman in 1990 has become almost the watchdog design principle for product design across all niches and platforms. According to Nielsen, all users' interactions with the product, the business brand, and its services and footprints are part of the user experience. 

So, perfecting user experience is not just about the look and feel of the product; it is also how your brand, through multiple channels and platforms, impress users, how it allows user interactions and makes an impact on the user perception of the product, services, and the business brand.

In the context of digital products such as software, web, and mobile applications, the User Experience (UX) similarly refers to a broader field involving all ways of user interaction, look and feel of the products, ease of use, purpose, relevance, and impact of the digital products and services. Since digital products such as software, web, and mobile apps virtually come into contact with people, the user experience (UX) attributes play a bigger role in impressing the users here.  

No wonder, despite being a scientific concept referring human-centric principle of design for practically any product, service, and business brand, UX is most commonly and widely used mainly to refer to the satisfaction level of the users of digital products and app solutions. This is why you can easily find hundreds of expert-written or expert-created content on the UX of digital products.  

The critical attributes of UX design 

The UX designer considers a product's aesthetic look and feels and the ease of use, interaction, and effortless ways of getting things done through a digital product. What users feel and how easily users complete any task while using a digital product remain the central focus areas for UX designers. 

Any UX designer's key focus is ease of use and smooth user experience. For example, when buying a knife, do you consider how ergonomic the design of the handle is and how easily it can be used? Similarly, how effortlessly shoppers can checkout is a key UX consideration when shopping in an online store. 

So the job of the UX designer is to design a product to ensure optimum ease of use, relevance to the purpose, effortless interactions, and a seamless process to start and finish using a product. All significant differences between UI and UX design resemble appearance, on the one hand, usability, and ease of use on the other. Here are some aspects that describe the core attributes of UX design. 

• User Experience (UX) design focuses on enhancing the quality of user interaction with a product, service, or business brand. 

• User experience design as a principle can be applied to both digital and non-digital products and services. Still, the concept of UX design is most familiar in the context of digital products, especially the web and mobile apps. 

• UX design is far from only aesthetics and visual design. Apart from taking into account the visual feel of the invention, it deals with the overall impact and impression a product or business creates on the end users. 

Mobile App Prototyping

What is User Interface (UI) design?

As we have already said, User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) design are often misconceptualized to be the same. But they differ in many ways despite having a mutually shared connection. 

While user experience (UX) focuses on the broader context of user interactions, ease of use, and design impact on the user behavior, User Interface (design) is about the look and feel or, more precisely, the product's appearance. This appearance is just a small part of user experience design attributes. 

So, UX is the more extensive umbrella term for all user interactions, use cases, design elements, and design impact. On the other hand, UI design just deals with the visual look and feel of a digital product. UI designers mainly deal with graphic and animation elements, while UX designers focus on user flow, interactive features, user engagement, and the product's overall impact on users. 

Another significant difference between UI and UX design is that, unlike the latter, the former is not a broader term referring to real-world and virtual digital aspects. UI design deals strictly with the user interfaces of web and mobile apps. The user interface is the interaction point between the user and a digital app or device. This interaction point can be just the touchscreen of a smartphone, the touchpad of a remote monitor, or the interactive screen of a software application. 

The UI design focuses on the product's visual appearance and interactive elements regarding web and mobile apps. A UI/UX app development agency with quality UI design can contribute heavily to better UX design, but it is not the only corresponding factor to impact the UX design. 

The key aspects UI designer deals with

Though user interface (UI) design comparatively has a smaller purview of scope, good UI design through appropriate visual design elements and interactive attributes significantly impacts the acceptance and appreciation of any digital product. UI design is equally a challenging role with several aspects to deal with. 

Let’s now have a quick overview of what is involved in User Interface (UI) design. 

• User interface (UI) design entirely focuses on shaping digital interfaces, and it does not apply to the design of real-world products, services, and interactive elements. 
• UI design is all about perfecting the visual interfaces of digital reduces and services through appropriate design of fonts and typefaces, buttons, icons, and use of space, color, and layout. 
• The main objective of UI design is to provide visual guidance or clues to help users interact with an interface and get the intended things done. In this respect, UI design is vital to every digital product's great intuitive user experience (UX). 
• UI design through various visual design attributes helps transfer the brand-specific design attributes and visual messages to the interface of digital products and ensures a consistent and aesthetically appealing look and feel.

Laptop Screenshot with different section

How can you ensure UI and UX design stand out? 

Now that you comprehensively understand the differences Between UX and UI Design and the mutual role of UI/UX design in software, web, and mobile apps, it is essential to understand how UI/UX design helps brands stand out from the competition. Well, based upon the UI/UX design success of leading app solutions, here we provide some key points of consideration. 

 • Instead of reinventing the wheel for interactive elements, stick to the convention so that users can quickly identify the familiar ones and make faster interactions.

 • Does the design provide users enough freedom of choice and control to achieve their goals? This is a key thing to consider. 

 • Is the UI/UX design self-explanatory enough to engage users without leaving any room for confusion? 

 • Does the UI/UX design ensure easy interactions leading to enhanced business conversion? 

 • Does the design, in most cases, leaves a pleasant impression on users, and I make them return to the app frequently? 


Summing It Up 

Let us be very clear on one point. Most apps do not know whether they stand out from the UI/UX design competition. This happens because when every app adheres to the advanced design principles for its products, there is hardly any recognizable difference in taking a call on design excellence. Almost every app does the job perfectly in terms of color scheme, layout, and distribution of negative space. 

But even in such a competitive era where UI/UX design excellence is rampant, Uber, Airbnb, and a handful of others stand out in terms of ease of use, visual appeal, and usability. These apps show how creative design excellence can take your UI/UX design beyond the average level.

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Written by
Tech entrepreneur & Founder of Impero IT Services - an award-winning software development company! Raza has worked with 500+ clients, from Startups to Enterprise levels. Raza's key expertise is around tech consultation, where he assists businesses by creating a roadmap for their digital journey. Raza and the team at Impero are also greatly recognized by Forbes and Clutch for their outstanding services!

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