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UX vs UI: What’s the Real Score?

There is sometimes a false impression among people in workplaces regarding the difference between ‘User Interface’ and ‘User Experience’. Many are asking about UX vs UI. What’s the difference between the two, anyway?

Whether you are in a client’s meeting or looking at any job description, chances are, you will find these terms interlinked. It is often expected that the interface designer knows the mechanisms of user experience.

Due to some common characteristics of skill sets mixed up in both concepts, an interface designer can be taken as the right person for user experience work. But, both terms are totally different from each other in terms of objectives and scope.

The term user interface is more focused towards actual elements that any user interacts with, whereas user experience is more than just the end result of user interface. User interface allows the users to easily interact with the system. User experience focuses on the whole part of giving the best experience to the user in every element of the site

In today’s article, you are are going to understand the difference between these two terms. Let’s start by their meanings.

User Interface (UI)

user-interface

 

Wikipedia defines user interface as:

In the industrial design field of human–machine interaction, is the space where interaction between humans and machines occurs. The goal of this interaction is effective operation and control of the machine on the user’s end, and feedback from the machine, which aids the operator in making operational decisions.

In simple words, user interface is actually the system through which users will interact with the machine. There is hardware and software included in the user interface, hardware in the physical form and software in the logical form.

The existence of the user interface gives us the input and output.

  • Input allows the users to modify the system.
  • Output allows the system to point out the modifications which user performed.

The purpose of this interaction between the user and system is to provide the users effective, friendly and enjoyable experience, thus, producing the desired results.

User interface is the visual part of computer application through which users interact with computer. It decides how the command to any computer will be given and how the information will be exhibited on the computer screen.

With the increase in usage of personal computers, the word user interface is generally considered as the means of providing graphical user interface. But this term gets clearer when we see its types.

User Interface Types

There are different types of user interface; however, we will discuss only those which are important.

1. GUI (Graphical User Interfaces)

gui

You have probably heard about this term. The GUI accepts the input through the computer keyboard and mouse and expresses the final graphical output on the screen of your computer.

2. WUI (Web User Interfaces)

wui

Web user interfaces or the web-based user interfaces accept the input from your keyboard and mouse and generates the output in the form of web pages, which can be passed on to the Internet and made available for the users to browse.

The new implementations use JavaScript, AJAX, Adobe Flex, Microsoft .NET, and other comparable technologies to give the same control in a separate program. This removes the requirement of refreshing the HTML page like we had to in old days.

3. Touch Screens

mobile-phone

Touch screens accept the input from user through touch of a finger or the stylus. This type of usage is increasing every day and being used in large number of mobile phones, industrial processes and machines, self-service machines, etc.

It is all about user behavior

The user interface design is best suited for giving a pleasurable and rewarding interaction using your product. A good technique is by carefully observing the user behavior.

You base your decisions according to the user behavior data you collected, giving you better designs.Some experts have also said user interface as crafting because web designers have to create something that should be liked by the users.

For this purpose, many user experience designers use tools such as:  Photoshop, Illustrator, Fireworks, Cinema 4D, ZBrush to get their desired results. However, keep in mind that you cannot achieve great user interface without knowing what user experience is about. So, let’s talk about it.

User Experience (UX)

user-experience

 

The definition of user experience that we find on the Wikipedia states that:

User experience (UX) involves a person’s behaviors, attitudes, and emotions about using a particular product, system or service. User experience includes the practical, experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human-computer interaction and product ownership’ Additionally, it includes a person’s perceptions of system aspects such as utility, ease of use and efficiency.

Interface from a user experience starts out when you have knowledge about setting some requirements for your project. It is about providing the experience to the user for your product.

Here is the step-by-step process that you will be performing after gathering the data for the user experience:

  1. First, you need to figure out the information on hand.
  2. Create a data inventory and organize the information accurately. This gives a solid start in going for prototyping process.
  3. After that, select the prototyping method that suits your project.
  4. Make sure to consider the cost and characteristics of the prototype.

Prototyping allows you to collect the feedback from the users in such a way that information is processed in a very fast and easy manner.

Conclusion

I hope you have understood the actual difference between both terms. Although both UI and UX are different concepts, they can be combined for the best results. They will certainly help in conveying your message to the users and collecting information from them.

Now that you understand the real difference between them, it will be easy for you to hire the right person for your project. Both UI and UX concepts provide simple way to make better communication with the user and helps to solve the issue for properly.

Do you think that both the terms are completely different and should be used separately? Or do you think that both are two branches of the same tree? Do you think that having a good UI designer makes it not necessary to have a good UX designer?

Please share your thoughts about what you think of it. If you have any question which you want to ask, just put them in the below comment section. I would love to answer them.

via 1stwebdesigner

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