UX Is Not UI: What Is the Difference between UX and UI Design?

Discussion Forum Design & UX UX Is Not UI: What Is the Difference between UX and UI Design?
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UX has been a buzzword that bounces around the design world, endorsed and adopted by designers anddevelopers. In many cases, highly respected developers who claim to be talking about ”UX” in a product demonstration are in fact showing a large number of UI features. I doubt much that the vague definition may account for this kind of misunderstanding. We’ve heard of UI (User interface) and UX (User Experience). When you build an App or a website with prototyping tool, we will talk about both. If UX is not UI, What is the exact difference?

User Research Expert

It’s a funny phenomenon tht developers often talk about concepts, meaning only the part they actually build. For instance, they often talk about a “user” meaning just their ID and, maybe, authorizations. I’ve had systems telling my that I don’t exist, merely because I didn’t have an ID and authorization registered in that system.

Wrt UI/UX, I see it very simple: a user is having an experience when using a user interface.  The UI is merely the part that gets built. In fact the experience when viewing a demo is something quite different from that actually using a UI, so a “UX demo” is inherently nonsense.

It might sound strange but, to some extent, UX requires more creativity than UI. They’re in charge of creating an app concept from scratch. In its turn, the UI designer only has to work out the visible part of the application on the basis of a ready-made wireframe.
In order to create an effective experience, UX designers should study and analyze the behavior of potential users. In the meantime, a UI designer usually works according to the requirements provided by a customer.
UX designers are mainly responsible for scenarios and tasks flows, and UI designers – for colors and typography. UX touches on human-centered design, UI – with visual design. UX lies at the root of doing research, outlining wireframes, and making prototypes. UI stands for creating layouts, composing graphics, and building mockups.
Take a look at future UX design trends that could help you to keep up with the times.
UI&UX Design consultant
SOA People Nederland N.V.

This image sums it up quite nicely:

  • UX is the focus on the user and their needs, doing the appropriate research and validation focused on the end-user.
    • more focussed on workshops
    • research
    • lo-fi prototyping
  • The UI is the layer on top of it, making the wireframes beautiful, fitting to the company his brand.
    • more focused on content creation
    • visualisation
    • hi-fi prototypes (based on the lo-fi prototypes)

Of course their is a gray area between the two. Because a good UX designer needs to understand how colours, layouts and typography work. But UX is in my opinion the higher level, because with UX skills you can make really the difference to make the design a delightful and simplified experience. With only UI skills you could make the most beautiful app ever, but it’s not validated if it fits to the users needs and if it might work as espected.

Though most IT universities (at least in the Netherlands) nowadays educate their designers both in UX, UI and brand marketing. and not only in UI as the traditional art schools would.



“User experience” refers to a person’s interactions with a product, application, or operating system. So designing a user experience – or in other words, creating a UX – means defining the way a product operates and how it meets a user’s needs. It’s obvious that a UX should be clear, comfortable and user-friendly.

User experience design is the process of researching, developing, and improving all aspects of user interaction with a company ’s product to satisfy its users.

UX focuses on:

  • structure
  • layout
  • navigation

Problems that UX solve: improve the user’s experience with the product through test results, ultimately creating a product that is useful and valuable, as well as easy to obtain, pleasing to use.


The user interface is the visual appearance of a product, and UI designers decide how to visually design the product for effective user experience. The User Interface includes all the controls, buttons, blocks and elements of an application – the visual elements which create a product’s feel and its unique image. Developing a UI involves selecting colors, defining corporate identity, and following the latest design principles.

Problems that UI solve: attract users and ensures a pleasant product experience.

Why UI doesn’t work without UX?

UI and UX go hand-in-hand, which is why we always see these concepts written together as UI/UX. In this regard, most specialists agree: no matter how great your UI is, it cannot be effective if it’s not backed up by a satisfying user experience. In other words, there is no point in making a design with high-resolution images, gradients and textures if necessary pages (for example, error page or success page) are missing.

Your design has no value unless it can convert visitors into potential customers. Now, UI design and UX design – these two are two of the most discussed terms in the field of web design. Often, these two terms are conflated and confused in web and application design.


UI Design – a basic idea

How a web application is going to look like – that’s the main concern of UI design. It is the graphical layout or the representation of web and application design. Screen layout, interface animations, micro-interactions, buttons users click on, text entry fields, images, texts -everything is part of UI design.

While designing UI, the main concern of the designers is applying the appropriate theme, making sure all the elements are fulfilling the purpose, how to use every visual element, whether the interface is visually stimulating or not, etc.


UX Design – a basic idea

Any and all interactions between an active or potential customer and a company is part of UX design. It includes different disciplines including usability, interaction design, visual design, and more. UX design is the process of contributing to a product that provides an effective user experience.


UI and UX – complete each other

Now, you can see both UI design and UX design are concerned with the web application’s user interface! This is why people easily get confused with these two terms. So, how these two differ from each other?

UI designers have to take care of how the user interface will look. On the other hand, the UX designers have to take responsibility for how the user interface will operate. Mainly, UX is responsible for determining how difficult or easy it is to interact with all the UI elements.

Even though different skill sets are required for successfully implementing UI and UX design, you cannot ignore the fact that they are integral to each other’s success.

UI is very difficult. The area of ​​responsibility includes the creation of many elements. Here’s what the blog writes about UI https://gapsystudio.com/blog/ui-vs-ux-design/: The basic principles of user interface design are to make an application, website or other product intuitive, attractive and as easy to use as possible using certain graphics solutions.

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