Many people oftentimes tend to mix UX and UI terms, the confusion occurs because there are a lot of crossovers.

Even some employers don’t get the distinction. That’s why in this article, I’ll tell you the difference between UX and UI design.

Simply put:
UI ( User Interface) what the product (app/website) visually looks like.
UX ( User Experience) is what experience the user gets from interacting with your product.

That’s all?
No, let’s elaborate further on what exactly UI design and UX design are, and what is the difference between the two?

What is UX design?

UX stands for user experience and covers several disciplines, like research, competitive analysis, wireframing, prototyping, designing, testing… you get the idea, UX designers do a lot. Although it lacks a standard definition that explains it fully, think of UX design as the practice of making the user’s experience with the product the best it can be. In simple words, a UX Designer’s role is to make user’s experience with the product the best it can be, by attracting the right people to the site and who are interested in this kind of product. Once they are there, make their journey as easy and fun as possible.

You might ask now, does a UX Designer do all that? Research, Prototypes, and Designs? Well, it depends. The job description can differ from company to company and sometimes even from project to project within the same company.

What is UI design?

The focus of user interface design is on the visual elements of an experience or a product. This entails the design of the visual layout of a webpage, buttons, icons, and all other visual experiences a user will perceive and interact through their journey. The goal here should be to create a beautiful and engaging interface that can connect with the user’s emotions to let them observe your product. Besides that, UI plays a crucial role in a user’s decision to stay or leave the website — Would you stay on an ugly website that would take a long time to load?

There is a good analogy by Ken Norton (partner at Google Ventures) to explain the difference between UI and UX:

The user interface is the chair, table, glass, plate, and utensils, while UX encompasses the entire experience including the service, food, music, and parking.

That’s why, when it comes to designing a product, UX and UI should complement each other, getting both aspects right is an absolute must.

Hopefully, you can now distinguish the differences and similarities between those two terminologies.

Always consider your product as a journey for your users that has to be beautiful, easy, and engaging at the same time.