UI vs UX - The Ultimate Takedown!

Published on:
January 19, 2024

Dain Miller had once referred to it as, “UI is the saddle, the stirrups, & the reins. UX is the feeling you experience while riding the horse.”

What does it mean? UI is the interface itself: the components that make up the design. UX refers to how people engage with all those components and use the design itself! However, it's typical for people to use these terms interchangeably or erroneously.

Did you get confused, "What’s UI, UX & their unique features?"

In this MarsDevs guide, we'll delve further into UI and UX to better grasp their contrasts.

So, let’s get rolling!

What Is UX Design?

What Is UX Design?

UX design (user experience design) concerns how users interact with a product. Much of a user experience designer's work occurs in the early phases of developing a new product, focused on determining what consumers want and need.

While UX designers care about how a product appears, it is about how the product's visual design affects the user's experience. User experience designers focus their design selections on how the product will perform for users & the feelings or behaviors the visuals will elicit in the person using it.

As Natasha Noltimier explains, “UX design is a constant exercise in empathy & understanding. As a designer at Evernote, I’ll engage myself in our user’s shoes to witness what they’re assuming and feeling at vital junctures during their experience with our product.”

Good UX vs. Bad UX

Let’s talk about good and bad UX.

Effective UX design aims to create intuitive and easy-to-use experiences with which consumers like interacting. However, this is frequently easier said than done, and bad UX design might often find its way into finished products.

The good news is that we can learn from excellent and horrible user experiences. While good UX shows us what to strive towards, bad UX shows us what to avoid. 

Take Netflix, for example. It is the most popular streaming platform out here. But it doesn’t mean they get everything right in UX. Netflix's autoplay previews function is one example. When customers visit Netflix's site, the top-of-the-screen promo for a movie or TV program begins playing automatically. 

Trailers for additional movies and TV series that come farther down the page autoplay when visitors hover over their thumbnails. It makes accessing information about a certain title only possible by activating a loud video preview.

Good UX vs. Bad UX

The feature's commercial purpose is to entice consumers to interact with Netflix's content by capturing their attention. However, the function could be more distracting & contribute to a better user experience.

What about a good UX, then? The landing page for Google's search engine is a famous example of excellent UX. Whatever your opinion of Google is, their Search landing page is a marvel of simple UX.

Its major attraction is a large text entry box in the center of the page, surrounded by white space. While Search was Google's first product, the design has mostly stayed the same in the last 25 years, except for extra product and information links at the top and bottom of the page. 

Good UX vs. Bad UX

It is due to Google getting it correctly the first time. The landing page does what consumers expect it to do: it does a web search.

What Is UI Design?

What Is UI Design?

Now, let’s move to UI design. 

UI design (user interface design) concerns a product's appearance and performance. UI designers work on the visual design of a product, frequently using wireframes or mockups created by a UX designer.

While user interface designers are largely responsible for a product's appearance, they do not disregard user experience. Many popular design patterns are built on providing satisfying user experiences. These patterns are intended to engage consumers in certain ways, make interactions more intuitive, and make digital goods more user-friendly.

So, even if a UI designer isn't consciously thinking about user experience, they generate good user experiences if they apply several known design patterns.

Corey Haggard puts it beautifully - “UI design is more than pretty visuals & capability as it combines exceptional strategy and appealing visual cue points to resolve issues. It’s about simplifying challenging ideas via pixels and focusing solely on user demands.”

UX Design vs UI Design - Watch Out For These Key Differences!

UX Design vs UI Design - Watch Out For These Key Differences!

So, how is UX different than UI? Developing the appearance and feel of a product is known as UI design, whereas designing how consumers interact with a product is known as UX design. UX and UI designers frequently collaborate to create visually appealing and user-friendly products.

Still, both are different. Here’s how experts put it.

  1. The Central Focus

UX design is concerned with anything that has a good or bad impact on the user's journey to solve the problem, both on and off-screen. UI design is concerned with how a product's surfaces seem and work. The user interface is merely a small part of the adventure.

Ken Norton exclaims, “I love the restaurant analogy that others incorporate: UI is the chair, table, glass, plate & utensils. UX is a whole package from serving the food to the customer service, music, parking & much more.”

  1. The Designer’s Role

UX design is concerned with anything that has a good or bad impact on the user's journey to solve the problem, both on and off-screen. UI design is concerned with how a product's surfaces seem and work. The user interface is merely a small part of the adventure.

"User Experience Designer" has a distinct definition and set of abilities in a professional environment based on a way of practice dating back over 20 years. A User Experience Designer is challenged with the conceptual components of the design process in this environment, leaving the UI designer to focus on the more tangible elements.

  1. High-Level vs. Details

Another distinction between UI and UX designers is the amount of detail in their work. UI designers refine and functionalize individual pages, buttons, and interactions. UX designers take a broader picture of a product or service, ensuring that the whole user flow of a website, service, or app is completely realized and consistent.

How do UX and UI design work together?

How do UX and UI design work together?

Don Norman claims in his book “The Design of Everyday Things” that explains:

“Design is a way of interacting! i.e., an intense connection with the individual where the designer converses.” UX & UI design are 2 sides of the coin. Both are (or should be) concerned with empowering the user and making an accessible product. But they can only succeed if they collaborate.

A website's UI may be visually appealing, but if there are broken links and you can't find the checkout button, the awful UX will result in no sales and unhappy visitors. Similarly, an app that is simple but needs an appealing and engaging UI would be less enjoyable.

Essential UI-UX Design Tips

Now that we have cleared the basics, let’s unlock effective UI/UX design secrets for the best designs!

  1. Choose The Right Colors

Knowing color selection is one of the finest UI design ideas for evoking emotions, building brand identity, and improving user experience.

  1.  Pay Attention To Typography

Your digital product's typography influences its tone and readability. Fonts, sizes, and spacing all impact the user experience. Clear and legible font improves information hierarchy and provides a consistent visual language throughout the interface.

  1. Use Pictures Where Words Fall Short

Images can quickly express complicated thoughts and emotions. You may boost engagement, clarify content, and create a visually attractive user experience that resonates with your audience by using relevant, high-quality pictures.

  1.  Create Buttons That Stand Out

Designing visually distinct, clearly recognized buttons and delivering clear feedback upon activation allows users to traverse the interface effortlessly and motivates them to do the intended action.

  1. Keep It Simple and Clean

A clutter-free simple design reduces cognitive load, improves usability, and ensures a consistent user experience. You may build an aesthetically appealing and user-friendly design by reducing extraneous components and focusing on vital functions.

  1.  Less is More

Sticking to the minimalist design principle ensures a simplified and efficient user experience. Simplifying layouts, reducing visual noise, and deleting unnecessary items declutters the interface and increases usability, allowing users to execute their tasks simply.

Which is a better role for you?

If you want to pursue a career in design but are still deciding whether to focus on UX or UI, you'll need to consider your interests and what you're naturally excellent at.

UX and UI design are highly collaborative, diverse career options that put you at the forefront of technology and innovation. There are some significant distinctions between the work and the skills necessary.

Of course, if you're interested in a job that mixes UI and UX, you can still be a design all-rounder!

Wrapping Up:

While UX and UI may appear the same at first look, they do not. UX design is focused on product functioning, whereas UI design is concerned with the appearance of a product. They collaborate to develop a product that delights users.

How you combine the two to maximize your product design ultimately relies on the industry you operate in and the particular demands and desires of those you serve!

Need help starting with UI-UX design? Let MarsDevs help you. Reach out to us today!


  1. Which is better - UI or UX?

UX is mostly focused on user demand research, analysis, and comprehension. UI is user-focused as well, although it emphasizes visual and interactive design. UI is unquestionably the more aesthetic profession of the two, whereas UX is more concerned with problem-solving.

  1. What is the difference between UX and UI developers?

UX designers seek to enhance user pleasure by increasing interface usability. UI designers use verbal and visual input to transform the brand identity into a smart and fluid webpage.

  1. Does UI/UX require coding?

UI/UX design is one of the non-technical roles in technology that doesn’t require coding or programming skills. However, prior coding knowledge or programming abilities are helpful because they simplify developer communication.

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