What is UI/UX design?

What is UI/UX design?
AutorIlona LeoniewskaKwiecień, 2022

Designing digital products takes place in several stages, the most obvious of which seems to be the one responsible for the code layer. However, what a user of your application will see on a computer, tablet or phone screen also has to be carefully designed and executed. This is where the skills of UX (user experience) and UI (user interface) designers are necessary.

What do UI design and UX design have in common?

UX and UI have a bit in common. You'll read on about the differences, but let's look at the points of contact first. In both cases, we are dealing with disciplines that incorporate:

  • design thinking, which is design and functional thinking;
  • insight into user needs, and thus the ability to identify them and create a useful response to them;
  • the goal of creating a product that delights users and meets business expectations.

It might seem that there is a lot of overlap between these two roles, but each is responsible for a different stage of product design. So they don't so much overlap as they complement each other and together fulfill the next stages of the project.

What is UX design?

User experience focused design is a way of looking at design through the lens of quantitative and qualitative research. UX design is the process of creating products that aim to provide the best possible experience for the product user.

What does a UX designer do?

It is a person who focuses their work around user needs and behaviors. One of the primary tasks of a UX designer is to find out the needs of future users of an application. Other tasks that belong to UX designers are:

  • planning the content strategy and information architecture, that is, the placement of specific descriptions, features, and content in the application or on the website;
  • testing and prototyping to find the layout of content and features that is optimal for users;
  • analyzing, researching, and coordinating the design of the product through the various stages of development.

What is UI design?

User interface design is the process of creating the final look of an application. At this stage of design the tiniest details like typography, iconography, images, interactive elements, their positions and animations are taken into account. It is at this stage that an accurate visualization of the previously designed experience is created.

What does a UI designer do?

The UI designer's tasks follow the UX design. It is the UI designer who creates the styling of the product, its visuals, colors, and typography. Moreover, UI design includes:

  • creating the interactions between the various elements of the system and how they work and transition between views;
  • designing responsive elements and the way they will be displayed on different devices.

Why should designers know both UX and UI?

In theory, these two fields work independently, but a general knowledge of how both work is useful at every stage. A UX designer who knows what UI design is all about will more easily design the user experience in a way that is graphically feasible. The same goes for UI designers, graphic design doesn't always execute well on the capabilities or needs of users, so it's good to know what the UX designer had in mind.

One person as UI and UX designer

Experienced UX designers often develop their skills in the UI direction. A UI designer, on the other hand, should not discard knowledge about UX. That's why you can often find designers who combine these two roles and are responsible for the design of an application or a website from the very beginning to the end. They often do it as efficiently as people specialized in one field, which is why companies often look for people with a full cross-section of design skills.