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What’s the difference between a UI and a UX Designer?

What’s the difference between a UI and a UX Designer?

The term UI Designer stands for User Interface Designer and UX Designer stands for User Experience Designer, and although they sound similar, they have very different job roles. In this article, we take a look at the different responsibilities and skills needed for each role.

What is User experience (UX) design?

User experience encompasses all the processes that involve an end user’s interaction with a brand. Whilst the most common focus of UX is digital it can also include offline interactions and any interfaces that negotiate an end-to-end user experience.

According to a study from the Oxford Journal Interacting with Computers:

The goal of UX design in business is to “improve customer satisfaction and loyalty through the utility, ease of use, and pleasure provided in the interaction with a product.”

What is a UX Designer?

A UX Designer is responsible for planning, creating, and maintaining an interface that provides the best experience possible for both the company and the user. A UX Designer needs to consider ease of use and enjoyment when using a system as these are the key components of a strong user interface that will help ensure a smooth customer journey, in turn improving customer satisfaction and loyalty.

What skills does a UX Designer need?

  • Knowledge of wireframes and prototyping
  • Knowledge of using Figma, Sketch, InVision and Adobe
  • User research and user centred design
  • HTML and CSS
  • Information architecture
  • Usability testing
  • Communication skills
  • Marketing skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Business Acumen

What is User interface (UI) design?

User interface design is the process of designing the look, feel, and interactivity of a digital product. User interfaces are the access points where users interact with designs, this includes:

Graphical user interfaces (GUIs)

Users interact with visual representations on digital control panels, this includes computers desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobiles.

Voice-controlled interfaces (VUIs)

This includes devices where users interact through their voices, including most smart assistants such as Alexa on Amazon devices or Siri on iPhones.

Gesture-based interfaces

Users engage with 3D design spaces through bodily motions such as virtual reality (VR) games.

What is a UI Designer?

The main responsibility of a UI Designer is to design an attractive and simple user interface for users of websites, applications, or even games. They manage the various touchpoints that individuals use to get from A to B. This includes everything viewed inside an app, such as game inventory screens or menu bar options, their main focus is how a user engages with the application.

What skills does a UI Designer need?

  • Visual branding skills
  • Understanding of UX
  • Knowledge of wireframing and prototyping
  • Knowledge of using Figma, Sketch, InVision and Adobe
  • Responsive design and product vision
  • HTML and CSS
  • Interaction design and user flows
  • Animation and interactivity
  • Creativity
  • Communication skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Creative thinking
  • Adaptability

Main differences between UI and UX Designer need?



Focuses on functionality

Focuses on aesthetics

Looks at how users experience a product

Looks at how the aesthetic design can ease users interaction

Solves user problems to help them reach goals

e.g. product purchase

Solves interface navigation to remove pain points

Guided by user research

Guided by design best practice

Competitor analysis

Customer analysis

Content development

Branding and graphic development


Is a UX or UI Designer more in demand?

Currently, there is 38% more demand for UX Designers this is because smaller companies and startups cannot afford to hire both roles. UX Designers have a broader range of capabilities since the UX encompasses every aspect of using a system or service. This includes understanding usability with knowledge from a variety of disciplines, including marketing, product management, business analysis, visual communication, copywriting, information architecture, psychology, and conversion-rate optimisation.

Which is better UX designer or a UI designer?

This depends on the individual and where your skills strengths or interests lie. If you have more of an interest in problem-solving, user research, and product architecture then UX Design could be the career for you. If you are a more visual person who likes to design the finer details and ensure that digital products are both appealing and user-friendly, then UI could be a better career option.

Find UX jobs here

Find UI jobs here