If you look at some designers’ resumes, and then their portfolios, and then their resumes again, you get the impression that they don’t really understand the difference between UI and UX. In fact, this is a common problem not only among designers, but also among employers, from small studios to large corporations.
Now we will try to understand the terms and nuances, but before we go too far, I want to make it clear right away. UI design is quite a “real thing”, UX design does not exist.
So the fancy combination UI/UX designer on the resume means only that the designer hasn’t yet understood the intricacies of his profession.
Now about everything in order.
What is UI
UI – user interface – a tool that allows a person to interact effectively with any product: website, application, software, etc. Moreover, it is important to understand that by interface we mean not only cosmetic, but also the logical component. Many designers prefer to forget about this, shifting the responsibility to the analyst / designer.
So thoughtlessly rendered interface is not a design, it’s a turd. No matter how beautiful it is.
In a nutshell: I specialize in interfaces, as well as addicted to the subject and graphic design, I do: identity, infographics, UX/UI-design of Internet projects and applications.
To be honest, the very combination of UX design – sounds pretty dumb and now you’ll see why.
What is UX
UX is a set of measures aimed at solving a specific user problem. This includes developing user interfaces (UIs), creating information architecture and strategy, usability testing, and much, much analytics.
For the most part, designers deal directly with UI. For everything else, there are specially trained people. Testers, analysts, Internet marketers, and others from the IT industry.
Here’s an example to make it even clearer.
Suppose we have a certain Mr. Bob in our acquaintance. He dreams of upgrading his old car, but he has a little problem – no money.
So let’s also assume that there is a certain Bank, which just happens to have the necessary amount, but there is another problem – there is no Mr. Bob. Accordingly, the task of the bank’s UX specialists is to solve Mr. Bob’s problem, namely, to turn him into a customer and issue a consumer loan on horse-trading terms.
After all the analytical and marketing procedures, Bob ends up on the bank’s website, and that’s where the UI designer comes into play. His task is to make sure that Mr. Bob not only found the “Apply for a loan” button, but also did not “fall off” when filling out the 298 field application :). Moreover, the designer should provide for the collection of Bob’s contact information, before he “fell off”. Then the bank manager can contact him (Bob) and sell the loan over the phone.
A little clarification. Verify the correctness of his judgments designer can only through usability tests and deep analytics. Thus, we can logically conclude that the UI and UX are inextricably linked. UI without UX is just a set of assumptions made by the designer based on his own experience and competence.
13 great books on the subject
At one time, this selection was recommended to me by a very good analyst. Especially for readers, I found the best prices on these books. Enjoy 🙂
- A Mental Hospital in the Hands of Patients – Alan Cooper.
- About interface. The basics of interaction design – Alan Cooper.
- The Laws of Simplicity. Design. Technology. Business. Life – John Maeda. This book is no longer on sale, but is available online 🙂
- Turning Point. How Small Changes Lead to Global Change – Malcolm Gladwell.
- The Human Factor. Successful projects and teams – Tom Demarco and Timothy Lister.
- Deadline. A novel about project management – Tom DeMarco.
- Web design – Dmitry Kirsanov.
- Web design: usability of Web sites – Jakob Nielsen, Hoa Loranger. This book is no longer on sale, but is on the Internet 🙂
- Interface. New Directions in Computer Systems Design – Jeff Raskin.
- Professional Software Development – Steve McConnell.
- Web interface design – Bill Scott, Teresa Neil.
- Design for non-designers – Robin Williams.
- Web Design. Elements of the interaction experience – J. Garrett.
If we conclude from all of the above, then UI is a big part of UX. UI ≠ UX and certainly UI is not the opposite, or an alternative to UX.