User Experience Designer vs Visual/UI Designer
The web medium has become so competitive in this era, that just having a website to your brand is not enough to push your brand.
There are so many websites that are visually appealing and designers are looking beyond aesthetics of the web and reaching out on creative concepts to keep the user engaged on the web. This kind of approach is making visual designers take a leaf out of UX designer’s process and methodology.
When I started my career as visual designer, for example if my task was to design a website, my initial questioners were
What color pallet can be used?
What are the brand guidelines?
How many images can be used?
What kind of design trend is the client looking for?
Does the client need animations?
Whereas being a User Experience Designer my questions has changed to
What is the purpose of the website?
Who is the target audience?
What are the business goals?
How to keep the users engaged?
How to make the web more interactive?
Here one can clearly look at the difference between the thinking behind 2 different approaches for performing the same task
We can’t forget about the fact that visual design is an important part in creating user interface, being a visual designer is often about being wonderfully creative and executing something beautiful.
Visual designing helps design a solution which is aesthetically good looking, it is an undeniable part of the way people experience a product or service. It could bring in a different perspective while designing a solution in terms of typography and visual identity, visual designers sweat the small details that others overlook.
User experience designers are more concerned about how to create a prototype that will summarize the actual functionality of the app, does the app provide utmost satisfaction to user , is the app designed in such a way that business goals and user needs are overlapped, how to improve the performance of the app.
UX designers concentrate more on how the end users can perform/achieve their task efficiently and meaningfully, while visual designers are more towards how the users fell about the aesthetics of the app and how the users interact with app
User Experience designers come up with a solution or wire frames based on the research, end user needs, user interviews. Whereas Visual Designers come with the layout based on the branding guidelines, typography, the current design trends.
UX and UI- Which one is More Important?
Here’s a popular saying by renowned designer and expert Helga Moreno:
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.
At this time it is clear that both VD and UXD play a crucial part in achieving success of the product. So, although there’s a very thin line between Visual designer and User Experience designer, my opinion is that these two roles should not be merged with each other, that way User Experience designers and Visual designers can do justice to their role without compromising on the quality of the output.