December 18, 2023

3 mins

AI email copywriter

UX versus UI The Real Difference No One Talks About

Stefanie Leung

Design Manager

UX and UI have different roles that play in a user’s overall experience and interaction with your company. Here’s how to differentiate yet unite them.

UX vs. UI: The Real Difference No One Talks About

Companies usually hire one person to do both User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI). They do this because UX and UI work together—that’s true. However, they are completely different.  

Imagine that you want to renovate your home, and you hire a contractor and an interior designer.  

The contractor will consider the overall structure of the home, like how to do the renovations and construction. However, the designer will choose furnishing to make the space more comfortable. It seems obvious that you would never ask someone to do both.

And the same is true when it comes to UX and UI design. You can’t have one without the other, but you can’t muddle their roles together, too.

So, let’s break down the differences between UX and UI. We’ll see how each of them work and support each other to create the perfect interface and overall experience a user will have with you.

What is User Experience?

UX is the entire experience users go through from start to finish. This experience includes how a user interacts with a product. UX includes user flow, information organization, interaction system, website design, and more.  

Some of what UX designer includes the following:

  • They focus on the overall user experience and the impression it leaves on users.
  • They ensure everything is clear and intuitive—nothing is confusing, clunky, or frustrating.
  • They conduct and apply research into analyzing and understanding user needs.

UX design encompasses every aspect of your company and offering and considers how everything fits together. It also encompasses both digital and non-digital human experiences and interactions.

What is User Interface?

UI is an artistic discipline that enhances the aesthetic and usability of the digital interface. It’s all about the visual communication and design systems your company has to engage with the audience. Moreover, UI is one part of UX—it only covers the interaction between humans and computers.  

Beyond that, UI design then refers to the process of designing how your product or digital interfaces look and behave. With that in mind, a UI designer does the following:

  • They concentrate on the visual appearance of a digital product’s interface.
  • They manage the touchpoints where users interact with digital systems.
  • They plan and create visual and interactive designs that support the UX design.

The best UI allows users to move seamlessly from point A to B, where all the buttons, swipe motions, menus, typography, imagery, and animations move logically and according to the master plan.  

Cracking the Code of UX and UI

Good UI can boost conversation rates by 200%, and good UX can double that increase to 400%. It’s not just about flair—you can approximate the revenue increase that UX and UI can generate. That said, the real difference between UX and UI that is sometimes overlooked is the depth of their involvement in the user journey and the scope of their responsibilities.

Here are the differences between UX and UI.

  • UI Is Part of UX: While UI focuses on the visual and interactive elements of a digital product, it's essential to recognize that UI is just one component of the broader user experience. UX encompasses a wider range of considerations, including user research, information architecture, content strategy, and the overall flow and functionality of the product.
  • UI Requires Constant Attention: While UX designers may shift their focus to research and planning after defining the initial user flow, UI designers must continually refine and adapt the visual elements as the project evolves. This dynamic nature of UI work can be challenging and often requires quick adjustments.
  • UI Can Influence UX Significantly: The aesthetics and microinteractions designed by UI specialists can have a profound impact on the overall user experience. A well-crafted interface can enhance user satisfaction and engagement, even if the underlying UX structure is sound.  
  • UX Is a Holistic Approach: UX designers take a holistic approach to product design, considering the user journey from start to finish. This involves understanding user motivations, pain points, and goals and ensuring that the product aligns with these factors.  
  • UI and UX Should Collaborate Closely: The boundary between UI and UX is not rigid, and there should be a close collaboration between the two roles. Effective communication and collaboration are key to bridging the gap between the visual and functional aspects of a product.

While UI and UX have distinct roles, they are intricately connected and complementary in creating exceptional digital products. Recognizing the interplay between the two, understanding their respective scopes, and fostering collaboration can lead to more successful and user-centric design outcomes.

Make a Real Difference with Perfect UX and UI

True magic unfolds when the two disciplines of UX and UI come together in perfect collaboration, harmony, and partnership. While they are separate roles, they share a common goal: to create a product that looks beautiful and functions flawlessly, leaving users with a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.  

Need experts to help with your company’s UX and UI?

At HyperPop, we’ve curated a team of expert marketers, writers, and designers with decades of experience. Reach out and let’s hype up your marketing.  

About The Author

Stefanie Leung

Design Manager

Stefanie is a visual designer passionate about creating products and services that empower businesses and customers. After working at multiple international creative firms and companies, she has now settled in Vancouver Canada for her next adventure at HyperPop—helping businesses to optimize the customer experience while driving business success.