UX vs. UI Design

Lena Wesche

Lena Wesche

software development



Have you ever heard someone use the terms UX and UI in a discussion? These are not abbreviations for fantasy worlds or anything like that, UX and UI are among the most important components of product development.

UX stands for user experience, while UI design is used for user interface design.

Often the terms are confused or the lines between the two processes become blurred.

This article will give you an overview of the differences between user experience and user interface design, why it is important not to confuse them, and why you should never try to save money and time on them.

User interface design focuses on the visual design of an interactive application, while user experience focuses on creating a great usability of the product and a high user satisfaction.

...A great product experience starts with user experience, followed by the user interface design. Both are essential for the product's success. -- Rahul Varshney

This tells us what the main difference is between UX and UI design. To truly differentiate the two, it is necessary to gain more detailed knowledge of both, especially what tasks are involved.

UI is the saddle, the stirrups and the reins. UX is the feeling you get being able to ride a horse. -- Dain Miller

User Experience Design

User experience refers to anything that can be experienced. A website, a coffee machine, the visit to a supermarket. User experience takes into account all the different elements that shape any experience.

As a user experience designer, you must consider the entire experience from the user’s first contact to their last. Structural design solutions are created to solve problems that the user encounters throughout the process.

In summary, user experience design is:

  • The process of developing and improving the quality of interaction between a user and all facets of a company
  • Not about visuals, it focuses on the overall feel of the experience
  • In theory, a non-digital practice, but used and defined predominantly by digital industries

User Interface Design

User interface design is a purely digital practice that considers all visual, interactive and efficiency aspects of the product.

It is often mistakenly thought of as the task of making a product pretty, nevertheless, creating an aesthetic design plays an important role when working as a user interface designer. The goal of user interface design is to visually guide the user through a product's interface. It is about creating an intuitive experience that does not require the user to think too much. The work of a user interface designer cannot be underestimated. It is important to stay on top of the entire product while making every step simple, intuitive, and efficient. A great user interface is a combination of efficient visual touchpoints that allow for easy interaction with the product, as well as a combination of typography color palettes, buttons, animations, images and responsive design.

In summary, user interface design is:

  • The aesthetic design of a product that allows the highest usability
  • Consideration of the user experience “but in pretty”
  • An exclusively digital practice


Now, when you hear UX and UI being discussed, you should be able to join the conversation. Before you do, however, it is important to consider why UX and UI are always discussed together. User experience and user interface design should always go hand-in-hand with the same goal: to create a product that delights users.

When developing a new product, it is highly recommended to have a kick-off meeting with the UX and UI designer to quickly agree on a working level, This can help determine a common direction for the product from the beginning, which will help the user achieve the goal of the product efficiently with an aesthetically pleasing user interface.

Kerstin Manninger

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