UX AND UI – WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
Communication is the key to any successful business endeavour including communicating your company’s needs to your suppliers; even more so when your company needs a team of bespoke software developers.
Confusion crawls in when people start comparing incomparable things and mistake them for each other. The biggest sinner of them all is the UX / UI misunderstanding – these are probably two of the most confused and conflated terms in website and app design. So much so, it can delay the overall development and blur the expectations for the finished product when the goals and vision for UX / UI haven’t been clearly communicated.
So, who’s who in all this?
Trying to find the difference between UX and UI is akin to finding the difference between the kettle and the tea.
UI and UX crash course
Trying to find the difference between UX and UI is akin to finding the difference between the kettle and the tea – they are just completely different phenomena, inhabiting two different planes with their own goals, and thus it would be simply wrong to compare them.
UI, User Interface, is the graphical layout of an application. Put metaphorically, it is the bridge that the user crosses to solve their problem. It consists of the layout composition and its elements - buttons, text, images, sliders, entry fields, and all the rest you can see and click. Add to that the transitions, interface animations and every single micro-interaction and you get a full understanding of what the UI is.
In digestible terms – UX, the user experience, is the feeling the user gets after crossing the above mentioned bridge. Good UX is the feeling of smoothness and comfort that you get when all the databases easily connect, are easily accessible, and “everything just works”.
UX encompasses the entire experience the user has with the piece of software; the UI is the visual part of that interface. Research is vital for both UI and UX designers. It’s important for the developers to gather as much information as possible to assist them in crafting appropriate designs, and create a unified approach. Depending on how well communicated, planned, tested, how much feedback was collected and incorporated into the UI and UX design, crossing the bridge can be a pleasant walk or an uphill battle.
Find those who will listen
Both the client and the bespoke software developer should to listen and communicate their vision for the product. They should also convey the vision to the designers to ensure that the product both works and looks great. UI design and UX design are incomparable and require two different sets of skills to work in unison.
When inexperienced developers don’t listen to their clients (especially if the clients are not proficient in UI/UX design and can’t clearly communicate their needs) and just do whatever they think is right, it quickly becomes a recipe for disaster.
Only when the goals and vision for the software database have been clearly communicated to the team of experienced developers (like the ones in Tentacle Solutions) they can design both the UI and UX in perfect harmony and deliver that feeling of “everything just works”.