UX vs UI

“Something that looks great but is difficult to use is exemplary of great UI and poor UX. While Something very usable that looks terrible is exemplary of great UX and poor UI.”

UI Designer (aka. User Interface Designer)

Well, the title literally says it all, this person designs user interface including any kind of visual layer that stands between the user and a product (mostly digital products). The required fundamental knowledge for this position involves understanding of how human use and communicate with (digital) products to create functional and easy to use interfaces combined with a sense of aesthetic.

“UI” stands for “User interface”. Traditionally, that means the actual buttons, text, and pixels that appear on the screen. So the UI designer would be responsible for everything about how a web site or application appears in the interface — this would include visuals (e.g. “Are the buttons pink or blue?” “Do they have gradients or are they flat?”) as well as overall architecture of the page (e.g. “We should put the Sign Up button at the top of the screen because it’s the most important thing”).

UX Designer (aka. User Experience Designer)

Perhaps this is the most tricky one which makes it often hard to explain to a layman. A User Experience Designer is the one whose responsibility is to make sure that the overall experiences of the target users while and after using the product is positive and fit close to the target's demands. UX designers create mind maps, user journeys and real world usage scenarios to stimulate how would the target users use the product to create a solution which helps the users to accomplish their goals in the best possible way. Thus, their job is to make a lot of studied assumptions for which they design the solution to test and validate.

One of the most important step of the user experience design process is to study the users whose experiences they're trying to design for. In order to do that, UX designers try to collect as information as possible about the target audiences by conducting interviews, making surveys, quantitative analysis etc. Collecting users data is an on-going process that never ends. UX designers collect and analyze the data constantly to create insights which will be the guideline for everyone else in not just the product team to make design and strategic product decision.

User Experience Designer doesn't necessarily possess visual or graphic design skill set, however, an understanding of psychology and systematic design is a must.

“UX” stands for “User experience”. This is a much broader and higher-level discipline than UI, because it includes not just the interface, but also all the systems and interactions that support it. For example, the UX designer should care about what happens when a frustrated user calls the help desk as well as how pixels appear on the screen.

Design is Science

Here is a secret: design employs the same methods as empirical scientific research. As a result, there will and should be failed design experiments before you come to a design conclusion. You create a hypothesis and then test and evaluate it. That is the nature of the empirical method. That is the nature of design.

User experience research is a means to make the design better. Measuring the user experience is a crucial part of a good empirical design process.

UX designer’s responsibilities

Strategy and content:

  • Competitor analysis
  • Customer analysis
  • Product structure/strategy
  • Content development

Wireframing and prototyping:

  • Wireframing
  • Prototyping
  • Testing/iteration
  • Development planning

Execution and analytics:

  • Coordination with UI designer(s)
  • Coordination with developer(s)
  • Tracking goals and integration
  • Analysis and iteration

UI designer’s responsibilities:

Look and Feel:

  • Customer Analysis
  • Design Research
  • Branding and Graphic Development
  • User Guides/Storyline

Responsiveness and Interactivity:

  • UI Prototyping
  • Interactivity and Animation
  • Adaptation to All Device Screen Sizes
  • Implementation with Developer.


Global average UX salaries by country

The average salary across 70 countries is $57,117, with the highest average being in $97,492 in Switzerland.

The average salary for a User Experience Designer is $71,918 per year. USA

The most in-demand UX jobs are UX/UI developer (38%), followed by UX/UI designer (33%), information architect (9%), visual designer (7%), UX researcher (3%), UX mobile developer (2%), and a variety of other UX jobs (8%). To see the salary expectations per job and city, check out this infographic presented by Onward Search.

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