You may often hear designers and developers refer to UI and UX design when discussing your website—but what do these letters mean? In a nutshell, they are digital industry terms, or “buzzwords” if you will, that refer to User Interface (UI) Design, and User Experience (UX) Design, respectfully. Still confused? We thought you might be, so here’s a bit more detail on each term:
UI: User Interface Design is a concept that is most often used when referring to digital products—i.e. websites and mobile apps—and refers to the way your users navigate through the product. This can include things like placement of menus, buttons, and other interactive elements. A good UI will present your company in a way that leverages your strongest assets, and visually guide the user navigating your site. The well-designed UI should gently steer your visitors toward the action you want them to take, whether that’s making a purchase, sharing a video, or listening to a podcast.
UX: A “fuzzier” concept than UI, User Experience Design is the process of building your website from the perspective of the people who will be using it. It’s a more subjective process than UI design, since it takes into account the thoughts and feelings of people as they interact with your site or product. As the name suggests, it’s designing the experience of your user. UX is also a much broader concept that UI, as it can encompass more than just interaction with your website or app—it can also include any interaction a customer has with your company, including customer service, technical support, the lighting in your brick-and-mortar shop, and so on. This short video by CareerFoundry, comparing the user experience of a banana and a pineapple, is a wonderfully simple presentation of the concept.