UI and UX Design

Understanding the Difference

Creating a user-friendly experience is at the root of all areas related to marketing and business. From in-store to social media to offline brand activations, the main focus of companies is to ensure that the needs of the consumer are placed first. For social media, this can be seen in prioritising content based on what consumers want to see. It extends even further to have a plan in place for responding to engagements via messages and comments. 

For website design and website development, the focus on the user experience is often discussed through two terms, UI and UX. While these terms are frequently confused for the other, they each play a vital role in creating a user-friendly experience on a website. An oft cause for this confusion is that while separate items in design, they have to work in tandem to achieve their ultimate goal. For those that understand both terms, there is a discussion between which is more important. To fully understand this question, one must first understand which each of them is and how they are connected.


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What is UI Design:

UI stands for User Interface. The buttons that you click on, the placement of certain headers and tabs, even the use of animations all falls under UI design. Essentially, User Interface (UI) refers to the layout of the website or application. UI design combines visual design, graphic design, typography, and information architecture.  A simple way to think about UI design is that it’s concerned with aesthetics. UI designers are answering the questions of “How will this look,” and “Does it properly reflect the client’s goal?” This task may sound simple but it’s incredibly complicated as the designers also have to ensure that their visuals are consistent and clear. It’s been established how design can impact your website and it’s necessary for having quality SEO. This is because of the role that visuals play in people’s ability to engage and remember content. 

What is Good UI Design:

When discussing what encompasses good UI design, it is often mentioned that good UI will “humanise” the technology. It’s finding a way to use the visuals to best highlight the products by building an emotional link. To achieve this feat there are some simple tips to remember:

  • Create Clarity
  • Make it Accessible
  • Think About How People Will Interact with It
  • Be Consistent
  • KISS: Keep it simple stupid


The opportunity for UI Designers is to help people understand and trust the underlying tech through user experiences while embodying the values of brands constructing them. ~ Nathan Burazer, Principal Product Designer, Eventbrite


UI UX design - izest marketing

courtesy of Eventbrite

Don’t miss out on your chance to enhance the way people experience the content with poor UI design.

What is UX Design:

UX stands for User Experience. This is in reference to the overall experience that the user has while using your website or application. Whether or not this experience is positive all depends on the interaction that is had with the content. If the content is difficult to navigate and hard for users to find what they’re looking for, then the experience is bad resulting from bad UX design.

A UX designer will be considering the entire process of how people will interact with the content. In essence, it’s their job to answer these 4 W’s:

  • Who will be using this content?- This means identifying the target audience and how comfortable will they be using this technology. Older users might need something more simple versus younger users that are more engaged with technology
  • What are they using this content for?- Designers need to understand what the actual goal of the content is to ensure that it’s placed where users are able to easily access it
  • Where will they be using this content?- Is this an application for mobile, or a website that will be primarily used on mobile? Answers to this question are vital to understand how the technology is designed
  • Why are they using this content?- Designers need to understand the intent of users and the goals of the client. Pages set up for eCommerce will differ from pages that aren’t selling a product or service. This is why these pages have their own set of best practices.

This is all used to understand the context in which people will be using the technology. This will allow the designer to focus on the values and the message of the content. It’s their job to provide solutions to any design issues that may arise. 

UI UX design - izest marketing

“Design is not just what it looks like & feels like. Design is how it works.” (Steve Jobs)

For UI design, the designer will want the user to notice the colours and create that connection with the content. Again, they are focused on “humanising” technology. In the case of UX design, the opposite effect is what is desired. The main factor in identifying good UX design is that the user won’t notice it. The effort put in the design should be seemingly invisible. Why? Because if the user can’t notice it then it shows that the design is good. Users will notice if the website is functioning incorrectly or creates a negative experience. They won’t notice when everything goes right. 

When all of the right factors are combined, you’ll know that you have good design, or maybe you won’t.

The app from Coursera, an education app for those interested in higher learning, is an excellent example of good UX design. The application is easy to navigate as their library of courses is easy for users to browse through. A simple and sleek design lets users quickly find the course and content that they are looking for.

courtesy of Coursera

Why Both Are Important:

“If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.” Dr Ralf Speth, Chief Executive Officer of Jaguar Land Rover

If your design functions perfectly but looks unappealing, users won’t use it. If your design is attractive and inviting but hard to navigate, users won’t use it. In today’s world, design needs to look and act the part. It’s a pretty simple concept. This is why design that doesn’t incorporate both elements is set up to fail.

So what does this mean? That when it becomes time to create a website or any type of application, make sure that both elements are equally considered. Ensure that the UI and UX designer is able to work together in order to create the best design.

Creating a user-friendly experience is at the root of marketing. In website design, it’s is often discussed through two areas, UI and UX design. While these terms are frequently confused for the other, they each play a vital role in creating a user-friendly experience on a website. This is why it’s important to understand the difference between UI and UX design.

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