A Beginner Guide to UX and UI Design

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UX and UI are two terms that are often used interchangeably but actually mean very different things.

Read on to hearn what the terms UX and UI even mean, which of the two areas of design are better paid, and how to become a UX designer or UI designer.

What are UX and UI in the first place?

The people you have eavesdropped on are actually discussing two professions that, despite having been around for decades, and in theory for centuries, have been defined by the tech industry as UX and UI design.

UX and the digital world

However, despite being a scientific term, its use since its inception has been almost entirely within digital fields, one reason for this being that the tech industry started blowing up around the time of the term’s invention.

What does UX design involve?

A UX designer thinks about how the experience makes the user feel, and how easy it is for the user to accomplish their desired tasks. They also observe and conduct task analyses to see how users actually complete tasks in a user flow.

For example: How easy is it for you to grip that vegetable peeler? Does your online banking app make it easy for you to manage your money?

What is user interface UI design?

Despite it being an older and more practiced field, the question “What is a user interface design?” is difficult to answer because of its broad variety of misinterpretations.

UI and the digital world

So let’s set the record straight once and for all. Unlike UX, user interface design is a strictly digital term.

A user interface is the point of interaction between the user and a digital device or product like the touchscreen on your smartphone, or the touchpad you use to select what kind of coffee you want from the coffee machine.

What does UI design involve

Like user experience design, the user interface is a multi-faceted and challenging role. It is responsible for the transference of a product’s development, research, content, and layout into an attractive, guiding, and responsive experience for users.

How do UX design and UI design work together?

We’ve explored the differences between UX and UI. Now let’s take a look at how they work together. You might be wondering if one is more important than the other, but the reality is, they’re both crucial.

Allow me to quote designer and expert Helga Moreno, who put it rather eloquently in her article about the gap between UX and UI design.

UX vs UI design: Which career path is right for you?

While UX and UI design does go hand in hand you don’t need to be a master of both. If you want to figure out which career path is right for you, it’s important to consider the key skills required by UX vs UI designers, as well as the typical day-to-day tasks of each.

How do you learn UX and UI design skills?

While there are collegiate institutions that offer interactive design and visual design programs, there are very few official ways to learn either UI or UX Design skills as applied to working within tech startups, or even larger corporations.

What You Should Do Now

  1. Get a hands-on introduction to UX design with our free, self-paced UX Design Short Course.
  2. Take part in one of our FREE live online UX design events with industry experts, and read up on UX graduate Alice’s career change from corporate banking.
  3. Become a qualified UX designer in just 5-10 months—complete with a job guarantee.
  4. New year, new career! This January, we’re offering 100 partial scholarships worth up to $1,535 off our career change programs.

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