What is UX vs UI Design? UX vs UI: What’s the difference? Should I be UI Designer or UX Designer or UX/UI Designer?

Nowadays, a lot of people are confused about the fact that should I show myself as a UI Designer or UX Designer, or UI/UX Designer. So, this short article helps you to understand your role and also explains the different steps it involves. It's hard to explain it in a short description but I will provide an idea so you can get a clear picture.

So, UI design is a part of UX design. There are many steps in UX which we are going to discuss too, but I must mention here that both need a lot of knowledge and practical experience to be called yourself “expert”.

UX design is a process that has many parts but we are going to discuss an outline to give you an idea in minutes.

Illustration of Process of UX & UI Design

UX process involves the above-shown steps. Let’s discuss each step one by one.

1. Research

We can understand the first step of the UX process by dividing it into further sub-points.

1.1 Understanding

In this step, we need to gather the functionalities, goals, and requirements of users by conducting interviews with different stakeholders.

1.2 User personas

In this step, we use different techniques to further gather requirements of the system by creating user personas and identify their goals, frustrations, requirements, and suggestions for the system that you are going to design.

1.3 Use cases

In this step, you need to identify your target audience that is going to use the product and conduct surveys on how they react to the system when they got interact with it, and record their responses.

1.4 Journey Maps

In this last step, the UX designer takes a closer look at how people interact with system regarding how a user starts and finishes the experience.

2. Brainstorming

Same like we divide the first point into sub-points, we are going to understand this step by splitting it into:

2.1 User Flows

It is a very important and curial step in UX Design, as you need to draw out all the steps that a user took during the experience as they go from step to step in UI (User Interface). You can also take inspiration from other already similar developed systems.

2.2 Wireframes

Being a UX designer, you are going to craft a rough idea of how you want to organize the information. What things would come first and what should come last. You draw out the rough skeleton of UI components and organize them into a meaningful layout (information hierarchy of the design/system).

3. Implementation

In this step, the real User Interface Design comes. Being a UI designer, you need to take a look at all requirements and take out the wireframes and create system (website/app) mockups and prototypes. So, we can split it into further two parts.

3.1 Prototyping

In prototyping, the UI designer takes all the information gathered by the UX designer and crafts out the look and feel of the system (website/app). While creating this you need to take care of different other concepts like Colors, Typography, Spacing, Visual Hierarchy, and Animations. Mostly, Figma is used to design the user interfaces and create an interactive prototype that can be tested and validated through the use of different other tools.

3.2 Front-end and Back-end Development

After the validation and approval of the user interface of the system, it is ready to go to implementation. Now, developers convert it into a real experience where the user can interact with it and final words can be taken, and based on those further testing can be done which is the last step.

4.Reporting

In this final step, we are going to validate all the requirements of the system regarding user experience. It involves the following steps:

4.1 Usability Reporting

Now, as the final product is ready. It is time to observe the user while using the system. It helps to evaluate the product's success in terms of usability.

4.2 Split Testing

It is very important (also called A/B testing) testing as it enables to test the effectiveness of one design interaction over another. It helps to analyze which design can generate more sales/profits.

4.3 Analytics Reporting

After the final launch of the product(website/app), different analytics tools like Google Analytics are used to get insight such as Bounce rate, time spent on the specific page, and click event triggers, etc.

Now, you have a basic understanding of the concept of UX Design and UI Design. Let’s discuss few lines on another part of the blog.

Should I be UI Designer or UX Designer or UI/UX Designer?

Being a freelancer at Upwork, I have seen that most jobs are posted for UI/UX designers. So, I will recommend you to be UI/UX designer as people pay high ($30-$60 per hour). It is important to mention here that each step above explained needs a lot of knowledge and experience. It looks appealing to be UI/UX designer as you got good pay per hour but it also demands to invest more time and have that expertise and extensive knowledge. You also need to have to know the rights tools that you need to start with. I will also write an article on “How to start with right tools being UI/UX designer” and will also explain what the freelancing market demands.

Try to read books, blogs and also take inspiration from different graphical communities like Behance and Dribbble. It will help you to know about the latest trends in UI/UX designing, which indirectly helps you to get jobs on a freelancing platform when you know your clients that you are up-to-date with 2021 design trends and tools.

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Saad Tanvir

Saad Tanvir

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Being a Senior Front End Developer, UI/UX designer and Top Rated Freelancer, I love to share knowledge with others in order to gain more :)