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What's the Difference Between UX and UI?


“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” – Steve Jobs

The end goal is essentially the same for UX and UI – brand influence on the users’ head and heart. Both UX and UI are integral to good website design but the two terms are different.

I read a brilliant analogy recently, where the writer illustrated the difference between UX and UI as such: Imagine walking into a bar and spotting someone who you think is uber attractive. They’re well-groomed, you like their style – their whole user interface looks great. You muster the courage to walk up and say hello. When they open their mouth however, you’re met with really rank bad breath and the experience is well – a bad user experience.

The User Interface (UI)

is what the user interacts with. The UI designer is concerned with how a product is laid out, how a webpage visually communicates a path for the user to take by way of its design. The design of the interface should facilitate user interaction with the desired functionality. A well designed interface will present itself as clear, obvious and intuitive to the user resulting in a good user experience…

The User Experience (UX)

is more encompassing and is primarily concerned with how the product feels when used by the user. The UX designer develops a system for how the user interacts with the product so that one step logically flows to the next. Your ideal UX designer will anticipate user behavior to design a system that influences the end-user accordingly, making navigation through the website seamless if you will. Each click of a button on a web page naturally flows to where the user wants to go – the UX designer facilitates the easy transition from one page to the next by understanding the user’s behavior and thus incorporating this into the design.

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