User Interface and User Experience (UI/UX): What's the Difference?
As a working UI/UX Application Designer in the mobile space, I continually find it amazing that mobile plays such a huge part in the daily lives of people around the globe. Developers and designers are creating apps in an every changing world that's constantly evolving and improving. With change comes innovation, drive and passion.
Though confusion can also arise.
In this dynamic mobile space, the terms UI and UX are constantly used interchangeably. While the two go hand-in-hand, it’s important to understand they are very different.
UI: User Interface
The interface is where designers create tangible elements that users can interact with when using an application. This is where designing the look and feel of the application by filling out the wireframes and following the user flows.
UX: User Experience
Designers are responsible for the way a user experiences the application. It’s personal and provokes a reaction. This is where wireframing and creating user flows, in addition to researching.
So here’s the question: Why is UX and UI so important? The answer: no one is going to use an app that is not user friendly and intuitive.
The best way I can answer this is by a few examples.
Angry birds is the most downloaded and played game in the app stores today. Infact, there has been so much use, they were able to brand another version based on seasons which hit top in the markets. Would users keep playing and downloading the game if the UX wasn’t fulfilling? Or if the UI didn’t match the UX?
Thousands of users use this app to get messages out there, fast. The design of the app is quick and easy to use which is why you continue to see the growth of both old and new users over time.
Another great example of simple UX and UI that is easy to use. The experience of the app is compelling partly because of content, but mostly due to the ease in sharing, posting and navigating through the app experience.
Bottom line: Solid UI and UX design will ulitmately result in continued use of the app, topping the charts in downloads, and giving companies an edge (and revenue) because of a positive user experience.