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Understanding the Difference between UI/UX

In today’s creative and rather technical world of application design, the terms “UI” and “UX” have thrown around more often than not. The concepts of UI (User-interface) and UX (User-experience) are specialties and ideas that have indeed existed for years before the abbreviations have been popularized. But today, these concepts stand for something much more than just being complex terms and are becoming buzzwords of late.

This can prove to be quite costly in the sense of their usage in terms of defining objectives. This means that by using the terms imprecisely or in inappropriate situations could prove to be problematic for designers and developers alike. Therefore, it is essential to understanding the aesthetic differences between the two.

UI vs UX

The most common misconception today in terms of app development and app design is the inadvertent interchange between user interface and user experience. Many tend to confuse the two as one and the same from a development standpoint. The misconception here is that many blindly expect that an interface designer by default will understand the ideas of user experience because they work in direct contact with the user. WRONG!

It is a simple fact that interface and experience are not the same thing. The confusion could be caused by the fact that the two abbreviations begin with the letter “U” or that the skill sets required for such disciplines are to an extent similar. There’s no denying that the two are very much related but are also very different in terms of overall functionality to say the least especially in terms of objectives and scope.

User Interface is focused on actual elements that a user may be able to interact with within the app. These are more or less the technical aspects that involve both input and output. Putting it simply, UI is the aggregation of all these elements within an interface that quite easily allows the user to interact with the overall system. This would refer to basic ideas of intuition within design for easy understanding and accessibility.

How the user reacts to this form of a system is the User Experience. It serves as a wide extension to what a User Interface strives to be. It is usually the sum of experience the user has with the brand or the app in this case. While interface is a key objective in app development, User experience needs to be the overall goal as it aesthetically provides a close end interaction between the user and the brand overall. When such an experience is achieved, positive effects tend to flow from it eventually. UX is therefore the sum of a whole. The idea is to leave the user with a memory, a good one at that.

Two Sides of the Same Coin

From a developers view, every detail contributes to the ingredients of what makes up the overall user experience. But when it really comes down to reality, many remember such things in a rather skewed manner. UX relies on the sum of many details that make up the UI and therefore acts as the overall big picture. UI on the other hand, relies on the smaller details that drive it. This is the case that many developers and designers keep in mind. A reality that so many others seem to forget.

In Conclusion

Communication can sometimes be complex and even confusing to some degree. The use of precise and specialized terminology for such cases can go a long way and save valuable time and resources during development cycles especially when it comes to defining basic goals and objectives in terms of User experience and User Interface.

Companies and recruiters must understand the amounts of time and money that go into such cycles and furthermore, how much is wasted on incorrect focus. Such improper application can lead to disasters. In the end, it is essential to understand what really needs to be done. Understanding the differences between UI and UX can prove to be quite fruitful.

From hiring the right person for the job to understanding the basic approach required for an objective, a good knowledge and understanding of the UI and UX terminology can surely facilitate better communication, better solving of issues and moreover, a better development of app interfaces.

Karan Kumar