What UX and UI means and why are both so important?

Tino Jose
Oct 13 13 min read

You have probably heard of “User Experience” (abbreviated as UX). The term is often used at creative meetings, especially when it comes to web presences, i.e. the conception or revision of websites or web applications. However, not everyone involved always understands the same thing when talking about the term “user experience”. The confusion is when the term “UI”, i.e. “user interface”, also comes into the picture.

Let’s shed some light on this. Because the matter is actually not that complicated. But it is important. That’s why it’s worth taking a closer look at the topic.

UX and UI using YouTube as an example

The best way to do this is to use an example that everyone knows. Look at the YouTube home screen: Everything you see such as the search bar at the top, the “Trends”, “Subscriptions” or “History” categories on the left, or the suggested videos below is the work of a UI designer. This is what it’s all about: the interface. What can be seen, what are the possibilities and functions? In short, UI is the presentation and interactivity of a product. Where is the login button, is it easy to navigate, where is the logo, and when I click on the logo: where do I go? These are all central aspects of the user interface.

Now imagine that every YouTube video you click on would load very slowly or not at all. Imagine you are searching for “cats”, “9/11” or “charts top 10” and nothing like that would appear in the search results. Imagine if you could not search users by their username, making it virtually impossible for you to find the one girl who sang the acoustic version of the Ed Sheeran song you heard on the radio.

All of this would lead them to turn their backs on the platform in no time because it simply doesn’t offer them a good user experience. They wouldn’t bother with YouTube and would look for an alternative. Because the site does not offer you what you want. All these aspects are the responsibility of a UX designer. He is concerned with how the experience on the site is for the user. Basically, you could say: Both areas, UI and UX, have the goal to deliver what the user expects or hopes for. But simply on different levels.

To cut a long story short: Without a UX designer, YouTube would be beautiful and appealing, but completely useless. And without a UI designer, YouTube would be a great idea in theory but would fail terribly in practice. So take a look below at the clear definition of the two areas and learn how they work together.

What is UX?

UX stands for User Experience. It is the process of researching, developing, and refining all aspects of a user’s interaction with an organization to ensure that the company meets the requirements of the user. A UX designer must ensure that users find value when they interact with a company’s products or services. A UX designer is responsible for all aspects of a user’s interaction. This means that a UX designer is not solely responsible for the technology behind a product. He is also responsible for how a user interacts with a company, both online and offline, including services, customer support, and other aspects.

What is UI?

The responsibilities of a UI designer are more cosmetic (you could also say “more superficial”) than those of a UX designer. A UI designer is responsible for the presentation of a product. But that doesn’t mean that a UI designer just chooses a few images and a logo and doesn’t care about anything else. A good UI designer is very concerned with how everything on a page relates to each other. The visual elements you see on a page (such as buttons and icons) and the interactivity of a product are the responsibility of a UI designer. Have you ever visited a website and thought, “Wow, this company is really cool and has a great product,” but what you were equally enthusiastic about was the intuitive and sleek layout of the website? The UI designer did a great job.

How do UX and UI work together?

For example, let’s say your company wants to develop a new website, so your CEO hires a UX designer. The UX designer will first look for competitors’ sites and their strengths and weaknesses in usage. With this information, he decides on the core features of the new site and examines user aspects to create a sitemap and an initial prototype. He tests and refines it usually in close cooperation with other parties involved on the part of the client. In all phases, the UX designer focuses on the structure and how the planned website best meets the user’s requirements. Towards the end of development, a UI designer then takes control of the appearance of the site, including forms, images, buttons, links, and icons on the screen.

So the main difference in the practical work with user experience and the user interface is in the goals: A UX designer focuses on the users’ experience, including everything that might motivate, delight, but also frustrate them. A UI designer gets all the insights from this process including possible limitations. He knows what the new website must include and exclude and how it works. With these guidelines, he works on the design and interactivity to ensure that the user understands the site and can enjoy its use.

Create an optimal experience together with Heyooo

Are you planning a new website? For your company, a specific product, or a targeted campaign? Do you already have an existing site, but it is outdated in terms of design and user guidance? We at Heyooo can help you. With over 20 years of experience, we know what works in the market and what investments pay off for you and your goals. Together we will develop a comprehensive concept and provide you with comprehensive support in the implementation of your web presence as well as in the relevant areas of online marketing. Contact us and take a look at our references. And don’t worry: You don’t need your own UX or UI designer. We will gladly take over this part for you. Instead, you can concentrate on your core business, your products, and your customers. Because without them, even the most sophisticated experience is ultimately useless.

Written by

Tino Jose
Oct 13 13 min read

Related Article