The Difference Between UI and UX Design - MRS Digital Media

The Difference Between UI and UX Design

The Difference Between UI and UX Design

What is the difference between UI and UX? To have a functioning website, one will hear the terms UI and UX in conversation, and in the marketing world, there is an increase in demand for workers with the skillset. So, why is this important to know?

What Is The Difference Between UI and UX?

The terms UX and UI are often used interchangeably but incorrectly. Making this error between the two is not just by those unfamiliar with it but by companies, hiring managers, etc. Fundamentally, one needs to understand that not only are User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) two different things, but one cannot work without the other. Think of it like trying to use a smartphone with a blank display. As a user, there likely will be little progress in making a call. And the experience would likely be highly frustrating. 

Let’s break down the difference between UI and UX.

User Interface (UI)

So, what is UI design? According to Adobe, User Interface is the interaction between a machine and a human to reach a particular output. Think of what is seen and used while online shopping as an example. First, the user would use a keyboard and mouse to guide their way to a series of screens on a monitor. Then, at some point, the UI design will allow the user to successfully print a document or listen to music on Spotify using a device like a keyboard or a mouse.

To further explain, there are three types UIs. They are the command line interface, graphic user interface, and voice-enabled user interface.

Command Line Interfaces came into existence simultaneously with computers in the 1970s. Computers were initially huge and too complicated for everyone to use. Since the computers at the time were complex, it required the user to understand Machine Learning programming language to execute commands successfully. For example, to receive output through a printer or a monitor, the operator would input a command to receive a response from the computer.

Graphic User Interface (GUI) allows users to interact with technology through visual elements. It is safe to say that GUIs are more of what modern computers are today. In 1984, when GUIs were invented, they allowed anyone to use computers, opening the door to technology for many people who otherwise would have no access. There are static and active elements through various screens, such as text and buttons, that the user can click.  

Voiced-based interfaces are the only devices proven to have a bit of a learning curve. Usually, when learning to use specific software, the user follows a tutorial and spends time pressing buttons to understand what each one does. However, most of this process is eliminated when using a voice-based interface. A perfect example of a Voice-Based User Interface is the Google Home Smart Home System.

UI designers take pride in potential testing users to create the proper prototype. The users who test this are the same ones that represent the mass market of users. Testing makes it easier for the testers to identify potential issues they can encounter and improve things.

User Experience (UX)

When asked what User Experience or UX design is, one should immediately consider the big picture. UX Design determines what the user’s experience would be when they are using your product and how the product serves them. The User Experience term was created in the 1990s by Don Norman, a cognitive scientist, and Jakob Nielsen, a co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group.

The goal of the UX designer is not to create an aesthetic for the website. Instead, their goal is to ensure that the buyer enjoys the shopping experience and is more likely to return to purchase again. So how can a UX design team do this? They often begin by creating a user persona. Similar to a marketing persona, this ideal user represents the target audience and the exact needs of the target audience. These personas help the design team set goals and have a direction to design the flow from the homepage to an end goal.  

The user’s emotions must be considered to achieve good UX design. When interacting with a product, designers must think about whether the experience was positive or negative. Did it have any emotional impact on the user at all? The focus needs to be more journey-oriented to reaching the problem-solving goal than anything else. Users will want something that fundamentally functions but is also reliable and usable.

Their goal was to create an enjoyable experience for the users visiting a website. The website design is to make a user reach the desired objective, whether to click for ad revenue generation or make a purchase through a digital shopping cart.

How They Work Together

Both user experience and user interface are needed to be successful. Having one on with the other would be like having a computer but not a website or shop. It would be ultimately incomplete and would not solve the consumer’s problem. For a website to be successful, it will need to implement both UX and UI.

According to, the best example of the workings of UX and UI is Youtube. The homepage design allows a user to easily see the search bar at the very top and the recommended videos pulled by the algorithm below. Additionally, on the left pane on the homepage is the from clicking on a video to begin watching it. It is a speedy process. The search bar successfully pulls information submitted to enhance the user’s experience. Youtube’s layout creates the ultimate user experience.

Keep Us In Mind

Knowing the difference between UI and UX design is vital in today’s business world since it is essential to have a digital presence. In addition, understanding the difference between UI and UX allows you to hire an employee with a suitable skill set and helps a business understand where a website might be lacking.

MRS Digital Media’s team is excellent at creating website interfaces that are not just visually appealing to a customer but also functions to promote easy access to products or services provided. Contact us today to discuss overhauling your site to reach its optimal potential.

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