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Blurred lines - What’s the difference between UI and UX and what does their future hold?

04 Jul 2017

 

At Upnetix we believe that a successful product starts with an outstanding UX, followed by a beautiful UI, and one cannot go without the other. Yet there are many misconceptions when it comes to understanding the difference between UI and UX design and their importance for getting long term success.

 

Defined very simply, User Interface Design is the part of the product that faces the user when they look at the site or product. User Experience is how the user feels and their impressions of interacting with the product.

 

What is User Interface (UI)?

 

User Interface Design is focused heavily on the visual and graphical elements of an interface, and the features a user interacts with. A UI designer is mainly responsible for applying graphic elements on top of the functional structure, whether it be a website or some sort of software, covering the code skeleton into the visually stunning interface (buttons, fields, icons etc.).

 

Why is it important?

 

We might not like to admit it, but people do judge a book by its cover. It is quite natural that a good software or website needs a good visual and functional style, to ensure its survival and likability in the digital jungle.

 

Respectively, UI is a consistent theme from screen to screen, which includes graphics and animations, uniform layout, and ease of use. The similarity on every screen builds credibility and keeps users from getting confused.

 

What is User Experience Design (UX)?

 

User Experience Design is the area of design which aims to boost a user’s overall experience while interacting with our product. By focusing on the ease of use, as well as improving the overall pleasure in the interaction customer ↔ product, good UX increases customer satisfaction and loyalty.

 

UX encompasses a lot of factors, some that are controllable by designers and developers, and some that are environmental or just a preference. These factors include usability, accessibility, performance, design/aesthetics, utility, ergonomics, overall human interaction and marketing.

 

 

Why is it important?

 

User Experience does happen, no matter if we have planned it or not. What we can do is prepare for it the best way possible. If UX designers fail, the user walks away feeling frustrated or confused after interacting with an app or website. The user’s emotions are then intertwined with their opinion towards the software solution that he encountered, as well as the company itself.

 

The way to avoid this is to create an experience that is as simple, seamless and satisfying as possible. This includes executing important steps such as: user research, usability tests, persona map-building, wireframe creation, prototypes.

 

What does the future of UI/UX design hold?

 

The importance of UX has become more apparent than ever before - as standards for good UX continue to grow, users are getting used to better experiences and becoming less tolerant to bad ones. Тhat means the practice of UX is expanding. Initially, it was focused primarily on digital experiences. Now, UX has quickly branched out into the physical world. This rapid expansion in understanding the user, has a positive influence on technology, artificial intelligence, and it is the foundation of the ‘Personality Responsive Design’ development.

 

Additionally, human-computer interaction is set to become more intuitive through cutting-edge Natural User Interface (NUI), innovative Brain Controlled Interfaces (BCI) and Head-Up Display (HUD). A typical NUI features intuitive actions built around natural human behavior and a few of them comprise gesture recognition and voice recognition.

 

Of course, following all these facts - the industry is viciously discussing if software interfaces will be designed in the future or rather generated on the fly by artificial intelligence. With the proper AI, the UI layer of a digital product/service might be able to automatically re-render content to accommodate a user’s unique tastes & dispositions.

 

Ui, UX and Upnetix

 

Both UX and UI are very essential to the Upnetix team’s DNA. Whether we are working in the e-commerce sector to redesign customer interfaces for greater ease in selling clothes or building personas for a global clinical research leader, our software engineers are always aiming at creating remarkable client experience. From building entertaining video portals, to helping our clients mobilize their services, you can always rely on our collaborative team of UX professionals and UI designers, committed to building products with the customer in mind.