It’s common to use UI and UX interchangeably, but they are actually two different things.
UI (user interface) design is all about what users actually see on the application’s screen – text, colors, backgrounds, icons, and moving elements like animations. That’s why UI design overlaps with graphic design. The career path in UI design is quite similar to graphic design – graphic design education and experience in product development projects are a big plus for UI designers.
UX (user experience) design focuses on studying how users move through all the different elements of the UI. For UX designers, it’s all about the flow of the user experience and eliminating any sources of friction during these interactions. That’s why UX designers need to know the methods and tools for studying user behaviors – and then translate their insights into design guidelines or principles. A UX designer is responsible for making products usable, enjoyable, and accessible to users.
While UI handles the look of a digital product, UX handles how all of the UI elements work together to create a seamless user experience.
A UX/UI designer combines these two areas by carrying out user research first, and then implementing the findings in the visual design in the form of mockups, wireframes, and prototypes. These are then tested, and user feedback is gathered to inform further changes and bring the product to the greatest possible shape before the launch.