UX or UI, where to focus?

Few see them separately and few see them as one. Let’s clear the air!

Avinash Bussa
Oct 2 · 4 min read
Half immersed iceberg, stating smaller piece on top is UI and larger piece in water is UX
Half immersed iceberg, stating smaller piece on top is UI and larger piece in water is UX
Make digital group

There are humans around the world who call themselves as UI/UX Designers and not sure who has the major stake, UX, or UI. Let’s take a look at it.

In the industry, there are UX Designers and UI Designers, and both of them have their responsibilities. Instead of comparing each other, let’s take a look at who is capable of what.

A skeleton.

Yes. If we consider the human body as a product, the skeleton is what gives you stability and shape. This is what a UXD in a product does. There are other parts in the human body like heart, kidney, liver, lungs, etc. which can relate to user personas, user scenarios, competitor analysis, information architecture, task flows, wireframes, user interface, prototypes, etc.

If a body part is malfunctioning, it surely affects the function of other parts too. Similarly, one wrong step in different stages of UX Design can leave a critical impact on other stages of design. For Example, Your actual user is a 50yr old with poor eyesight, and you considered a user persona of 21yr old Rock band artist in your research. The needs of both are entirely different, and if not corrected before going to the next stage, your final product may not serve the needs of your 50yr old target.

The beauty not admired is a Sin.

At some point in your life, you must’ve told yourself that “She is beautiful or He is hot”. It’s a human instinct. It happens when something tickles your eyes. Similarly, UI is what makes someone say “This is cool, awesome, smooth, or even disgusting” about a product. In the example of the human body, UI components like layouts, colors, inputs, buttons, lists, typography, etc., can relate to makeover elements like a shirt, pants, top, jackets, watches, shades, etc.

No matter how good the groundwork (UX) is, people always judge just by looks. So, UI is important. But that doesn’t mean beauty without brains will work. UX is needed too.

“You can attract users by showcasing extra-ordinary visuals in UI, but you can’t make them stay unless your product is usable.”

This makes me think of “why dribbble has so many shots that are most liked but never implemented in any apps”.

Two coffee cup illustrations, one with just outlines stating UX and other with all colors & design stating UI.
Two coffee cup illustrations, one with just outlines stating UX and other with all colors & design stating UI.
Berkeleysquareit

The balance of both is the key to awesomeness.

If you notice clearly, UI is a segment of the UX Design Process. And it is the medium through which you showcase your entire hard work.

As a designer, each stage of the UX Design process helps you make decisions that make a difference.

  • User persona tells you who you’re designing for.
  • Competitor Analysis tells you who you are competing with and how to make yourself stand out.
  • User Journey tells you how to keep the digital journey intact with the real world.
  • Sketching allows you to validate your research and conduct rapid brainstorm sessions
  • Wireframes help you craft your successful ideas on a design tool to test with your focus groups.
  • User Interface is the stage when you implement your visual design skills into the given wireframes.
  • UX Writing lets’ you create a copy that engages users to stay on your product.
  • Interaction Design, let’s you define the smooth transitions and micro animations in the UI to keep your product engaging.
  • Prototyping, helps you validate your design decisions with your focus groups, stakeholders, and test participants. This can be done in different stages of design.
  • Usability Testing is where you verify whether you’ve reached your goals in terms of product usability or not by testing it out with a prototype or even your end product.

If you are keen on any of the UX specializations like UX Research, UX Writer, UI Design, Motion Design, Usability Testing, etc. it is best to ace your interests. But currently, only a few organizations and design studios are staffing designers with such specializations.

No matter your role as a designer, it is better you stay in the loop with every aspect of the UX design process and ensure your ability to process the results in crafting better UX and UI for your products.

Bootcamp

From idea to product, one pixel at a time.

Avinash Bussa

Written by

User Experience Designer

Bootcamp

Bootcamp

The best resources for designers starting in Design, UX, and UI. Bootcamp is a new product publication from the team behind the UX Collective (http://uxdesign.cc). To submit your story: hello@uxdesign.cc

Avinash Bussa

Written by

User Experience Designer

Bootcamp

Bootcamp

The best resources for designers starting in Design, UX, and UI. Bootcamp is a new product publication from the team behind the UX Collective (http://uxdesign.cc). To submit your story: hello@uxdesign.cc

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