Every user interface designer has heard this term before:

User experience.

In fact, it’s what they’re working towards building. Here’s the thing; having a UI designer on your team does not mean you will have an effective user experience.

Remember that UX and UI are not mutually exclusive. They have to work together to build effective products. Think about UX and UI in relationship to each other. Here’s how we define them:

  • UX design is a process that involves research, frameworks, modeling, design, and testing. It’s there to define or inform product strategy by solving the right problems at the right time. Essentially, understanding the experiences that should exist in a customer’s world, and designing a path to deliver those solutions.
  • UI design is just a sliver of the design phase. It’s detailed wireframes through to the final touches of high fidelity design. A UI designer is trying to account for branding, correct hierarchy (color and visual), animation, etc. The UI designer is responsible for bringing the product to life through emotional design.

User interface design falls under the ‘design’ phase of the user experience process. We always build a product with three aspects in mind: being useful, usable, and desirable.  When thinking about a product being designed in this way, it’s generally the UX designer responsible for the useful and usable, while the UI designer focuses on the desirable aspect.