Many of us in the IT field pick up conversations with words as UI and UX without fully understanding the purpose/functions of either. Lately, the terms are often misinterpreted, tailoring around needs and requirements of a specific set of mediums. It is critical to grasp the correct understanding of these terminologies now more than ever as they are showing major signs of impact in modern technological media due to the ever growing usage of smart phones and with it, applications & websites.
UI – User Interface
Let’s keep it simple and get right to it, UI stands for User Interface, which comprises of all the elements that are designed, most often in an informative device, with which a person can interact. In other words UI is the interaction between a user and computers, mobile phones, home appliances and other machines. Currently, you are reading this article on a web page on your computer or smart-phone; the positioning of the “add comment” button; the design and placement of the “follow us” links, are some of the UI elements of this web page.
In media’s such as smart phone applications or websites, UI has a broader spectrum to cover, but that’s a title for another day. UI broadly consists of factors such as Visual design, colors, layouts and graphics with mix of textual content as to create interaction between the user and the machine. An effective UI can easily create an emotional response from a user through a series of interactions with it, leading to form a positive opinion of the product.
ux – usER eXPERIENCE
UX on the other hand stands for the overall experience of the interactions with an application or a website. User experience design can be plainly put as all the efforts that go in to making the experience of user as simple and enjoyable as possible. Interaction design, user research (target users), prioritizing information and user profiling are some of the factors that are kept in mind while designing a good UX or even just to understand how a good UX should perform. Consistency in the form and function of the web page or application is a major criterion to adhere to in order to derive a positive experience from a user. So the next time an application or a web page asks you for permissions, is simple to use and makes information easy to process, stop to see and understand how UX works.
Now that you know the difference between the two, the next time you happen across a conversation about how good the interface of a website is and or how great the experience of using a certain app was, feed your own inputs into how those experiences differ so that a broader understanding of UI and UX is created.