What Is The Difference Between UX and UI?

This is a great question. The phrase “UX/UI” is often used in job descriptions so it is probably safe to assume they are basically the same thing right? Well, not so much. They are placed side by side because developers and designers often do both as they weigh heavily on each other.

What Are The Key Differences of UX and UI?

  • UXThis refers to “User Experience” and is the art and skill of developing a flow for how someone feels and perceives a product, service or system that is used. This normally comes first in the development process as you work more with colors, flow, design and overall aesthetic. UX is often about solving user problems and engraining the brand and vision into the visitor or user.
    • EX – A website wants to use downward design and layouts to move a user quickly through a website to land them on call-to-action buttons.
  • UI– Also known as “User Interface” is different and focuses on how your user will interact with a product, system or service. UI is dedicated to ensuring the interface is consistent with the UX vision, and that all interfaces are effective and aesthetically pleasing.
    • EX – The buttons you lead people to, dropdown menus or how your online shop will function (product zoom when hovering your mouse, 1-click ordering, etc).

A tip to remember the basic difference between the two:

  • UX – “X”perience of the user
  • UI – “I”nteraction of the user

As outlined above, the overall goal is always to ensure both the UX and UI create a positive experience for the end user. The UI can be interwoven during the UX process as many UI goals align with the experience you want your end user to have from their first use through their entire lifetime use.


What Tools Do UX and UI Developers Use?

Similar to any profession, the tools used are often dependent on a number of factors:

  • Cost
  • Sharing
  • Ease of use
  • Level of support
  • Training (if they were taught on specific platform)

There are, however, a number of common UX/UI tools that many developers will use:

  • Adobe Experience Design
  • Axure
  • Balasmiq Mockups
  • Invision
  • Sketch
  • Figma
  • LogRocket
  • SessionCam

All of these tools are common in the industry and many developers are experienced in more than one. The more tools you know, the more valuable you often are.


Are There Specific Courses to Learn UX/UI?

Yes, there are quite a few. This is a growing industry as a plethora of companies are always looking for talented UX/UI professionals. In fact, a number of reputable colleges and universities offer computer science courses that focus solely on UX/UI. There has also been a surge in “boot camps” offered through various organizations and platforms that offer a much more condensed training for those who want to learn quickly without spending the big bucks on a degree. A number of popular bootcamps include:

  • Springboard
  • Ironhack
  • DesignLab
  • General Assembly
  • Flatiron School

While it is a sound decision to attend a bootcamp to learn key UX/UI skills, there are a host of free materials online. Great UX/UI professionals are always learning and trying new things in their free time. The internet has opened the door for learning as smart developers are constantly sharing their knowledge online. If you want to pursue this craft, you should practice as much as possible on your own!


How Can a Recruiter Help You With A UX/UI Career?

If you have UX/UI experience, a recruiter is a great resource. They are always on the hunt for talented IT professionals (especially in UX/UI) as it is one of the hottest and most sought-after positions right now. A great recruiter will be able to review your experience and help you find a position that continues to challenge you. If you are just coming out of a bootcamp or graduating college, you should also contact your recruiter to see what positions are open for UX/UI designers who are looking to grow and learn. Bootcamps and college courses can put you in the right position to start a great career!

A UX/UI career is a great choice as the demand continues to grow. Gather as much experience and information on a consistent basis as this career and profession is constantly evolving. Odds are the UX/UI training you receive now will be outdated in 10 years so finding ways to always learn and improve is a sound practice. If you have questions about this article or recruiters in general, please don’t hesitate to contact the Talance Group at 713-357-9565.