What is the difference between UX and UI design?

The difference between UX and UI Design

User Experience (UX) design

“User experience encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.”

– Don Norman, Cognitive Scientist & User Experience Architect, co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group Design Consultancy, and credited with coining the term “user experience” in the late 1990s

UX is not limited to the digital environment, it encompasses any and all interactions between a potential customer and a company.  It is not about the look but more about the ‘feel’ of the entire experience. It is about the journey not the product.

A UX designer seeks solutions and will question whether it is; useful, desirable, usable, findable, accessible, credible and valuable.

UX ensures the customer enjoys the feel of the experience as well as the aesthetics. but will not work in every situation for every user as we are all different with different tastes. What works for one person might have the opposite effect on another, therefore any design must be tailored to the values of a business and their clients.

User Interface (UI) design?

Unlike UX, UI is only referring to the digital interaction between a customer and a business.  A user interface is the point of interaction between the user and a digital device or product—like the touchscreen on your smartphone.  It uses UX principles to ensure a seamless feel for the customer.

In relation to websites UI design considers the look, feel, and interactivity of the site.  It’s all about making sure that the user interface is as intuitive as possible, and that means carefully considering each and every visual, interactive element the user might encounter. A UI designer considers fonts and colours, white space and imagery.  They look at the placement and design of buttons and text and how this enables greater usability and comfort, therefore attraction, for the customer.

UI is therefore more about the product than the journey.  The immediate visual and sensory attraction.


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