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What it is: UX and UI

23 maja 2018

You've probably heard the terms UX and UI, but what do these two acronyms mean, which have become so fashionable in recent years? In order to notice the difference between UX and UI we first have to understand what each is.  

What is UX?

UX is what a person perceives when interacting with a product or service. We achieve a good UX by focusing on designing useful, usable and desirable products, which influences the user's satisfaction, happiness and delight. Usability is an attribute of a good user experience and the UI is what you interact with. Let's see it in the following example: • UI, there is a button that allows the user to interact with the system (buy). • Usability, there is a button that allows the user to return, also tells me in what currency the price is and allows me to select the quantity (preventing errors). • Good UX, makes me say Wow! because it has a description that tells me what ingredients it has, how many calories and also allows me to add it to my favorites to buy it fast another time! In EVERY case there is UX, the difference is that we can INFLUDE in creating a good UX when we plan for the optimal experience. UI allows me to buy, Usability allows me to prevent an error, UX is what I perceive.

But how do you get this experience?

A good UX is achieved through Human Centered Design, which is the focus of knowing the needs of the users and aligning them to the business objectives also taking into account the technical limitations. The person who performs UX, is known as a UX Designer and as part of their responsibilities is to investigate what people need to meet their goals and resolve their pain. Among the activities performed by a UX Designer, are: • Research (with stakeholders, ethnographic, 1 to 1 interviews...) • Evaluation (heuristic evaluations, benchmarks, usability tests) • Data analysis (KPI's, metrics) • Information Architecture A person who serves as UX Designer usually has general knowledge of: • Psychology, Sociology or Anthropology • Technology, Development of Digital Products • Communication, Marketing • Business, Sales • Industrial Design, Graphics  

What is UI?

UI is the view that allows a user to interact effectively with a system. It is the sum of an information architecture + visual elements + interaction patterns. The UI gives the 'look & feel' to the product with the structure and interaction of the interface elements. An UI Designer is in charge of creating visually the interface of the product so that it goes according to the experience of the user. In addition, it creates interactive elements and makes sure they look good on all platforms (mobile, tablet, web). A UI Designer works closely with the product development or design team providing style guides and usage patterns. Among the activities carried out by a UI Designer, are: • Interaction design (how the system responds) • Interaction guides (system states) • Design of elements (buttons, forms) • Visual design (icons, images) • Style guides (color palettes, fonts) An UI Designer usually has studies in: • Graphic Design, Visual Arts • Industrial Design • Technology, Development of Digital Products  

In conclusion

UX is what makes you feel a brand or product when you interact with it, while UI is a visual layer of colors, textures, shapes and elements. That's why UX is not the same as UI. Behind an incredible product or application there had to be previous research work and a correct strategy that resulted in an attractive interface. UI is not, nor will it ever be by itself a solution.