The Difference between UI and UX Design

November 3rd, 2015

UI/UX // Sergiy

What is the difference between UI and UX Design?

These concepts are closely related, and rarely intersect exist without each other. That is why they so often confused. In fact, quite difficult to separate these two concepts. UI is often part of UX. Nevertheless, UX may exist even without a user interface.

Briefly stated:

  • UI - User Interface - is what the customer sees (the visual and creative part)
  • UX - User Experience - is what the customer feels as s/he is using your product or service (content architecture, sitemap, and its elements, etc.)

Let's learn about these two concepts in detail. 


By definition, UI is a kind of interfaces through which people (users) interact with the machine. The interaction with the machine (device) always implemented only two in ways:

  • Input, allowing users to operate the system;
  • Output, allowing the system to show the effect of the manipulation made by the user.

To make these simple manipulations, we need the physical component (your equipment – monitors, mice, keyboards, etc.) and logical component (the software through which we can "communicate" with a computer).

Accordingly, here are some basic types of user interface:

  • Graphical User Interface (GUI). The user performs an operation input via devices such as computer keyboard and mouse, and the machine, and provides a graphical output on the computer monitor.
  • Web Interface (WUI). This set of tools with which a user interacts with a website or any other application through a browser. New implementations use Java, JavaScript, AJAX, Adobe Flex, Microsoft. NET etc. With their help can be controlled in real time, eliminating the need for updating, which consists in the HTML-based web browsers.
  • Administrative web interface. Use to work with servers and remote computers. So- called as the control panel.
  • Touch screens. It displays that accept input at the touch of a finger or stylus. Used in mobile devices, outdoor machines of various types etc.

The main purpose of the development of an interface for human interaction with the machine is the creation of UI, which makes it easy (intuitively), effective and user-friendly to achieve the desired results while working with the machine. The ideal result is when the user makes little effort to enter to obtain the desired output of the machine, and the machine minimizes the withdrawal of unnecessary data.


UX user experience involves human behavior, his attitude and emotions caused by and associated with the use of a product, system or service. The experience of interaction includes practical, experience-based, effective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human-computer interaction or product. Furthermore, UX includes characteristics of the user's perception of the system, such as utility, ease of use and efficiency. The experience of interaction is subjective; we are talking about individual perception and evaluation system. UX is a non-permanent concept because its parameters are constantly changing with the system circumstances, technologies. Development UX starts with determining your base contingent and trust "user" and its characteristics. Based on this knowledge you can bring special requirements for development projects.

Developing an information architecture and content designed hierarchy, which is very helpful at the stage of prototyping. Then select the most appropriate method of prototyping. It must be sufficiently economical but effective and so to be able to collect feedback in a fast and easy manner.

The main types of prototypes:

  • Horizontal (implemented by a wide range of functions, but little functionality)
  • Vertical (sold deep functionality, but a narrow set of functions)
  • T-prototypes (most of the design is done on a superficial level, but some functions are implemented at greater depths)
  • Local (used to come up with an alternative design of a particular model of interaction).


Main issues for the UX design:

  • Setting goals and objectives - what we need to achieve in the end?
  • Selection of suitable UX tools for achieving those goals
  • Developing the product which would be the most convenient and easy for the target audience to use
  • Analysis of the final result - did your product meet customers' expectations, what's the level of user satisfaction?

Main issues for the UI design: 

  • UI design deals with a specific user interface, product or service
  • UI can be part of UX, but most of the user experience is not related to UI
  • Design UI largely provides information about the design of UX
  • UI is responsible for the appearance of the site

Do you still have questions? Ask away in the comments!

Let's develop a better future together!

Author: Sergiy

Sergiy is the CEO of KHALABUDA, a design agency located in Kyiv, Ukraine. He and his team are Grossum design partners and share their passion for pixel-perfect precision in UI/UX.

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