UI and UX are often interchangeable, but they mean entirely different things. While both designs are usually placed on the same level, they are different, and beginners should learn the difference between them. Read on to learn what UI UX design means.

What is UI Design?

mobile phone illustration

A user interface (UI) design deals with the process designers use to create interfaces in software or applications focusing on style or looks. These include the screen layout, buttons, animations, transitions, etc. 

UI design comprises the following formats: 

  • Graphical User Interface (GUI). GUI design involves how users interact with a system’s visuals and digital control panels. The computer’s desktop is a form of a graphical user interface. 
  • Voice-controlled Interface (VUI). VUI design focuses on the interaction between a user and the system through voice. Smart assistants like Siri for iPhones and Bixby for Samsung mobile devices are examples of the voice-controlled interface.
  • Gesture-based Interface. This is primarily used in VR (virtual reality)and other gesture-based designs, dealing with users’ engagement within 3D spaces. 

Characteristics of a good UI design:

  • The design should assist users in completing tasks efficiently with minimum effort. UI design aims to allow users to complete projects with a seamless experience.
  • UI should be satisfactory, fun, and hassle-free.
  • The UI design should convey the brand value of the company or organization.

What is UX Design?

designer working

A user experience (UX) focuses on how users interact with the system. Think about logical navigation and a smooth experience – these things fall under UX design. This means that this kind of design assists the user in having a positive experience while using a system or software. 

The UX design involves the following process:

  • Interaction Design means how users can complete their projects effectively. The process is done by using the interactive parts of a system, such as animations, page transitions, animations, buttons, and more. 
  • User Research involves extensive research, generating feedback and ideas from new or existing customers, understanding end-user needs, and making informed design decisions based on these parameters.
  • Information Architecture deals with organizing information and content that users require to complete their activities. This way, UX designers need to understand the link between two ranges and show them in the most understandable way possible.

Characteristics of a good UX design:

  • The product should be easily logical and 
  • The product should solve users’ issues
  • It should be accessible and valuable to a wide range of audience.
  • It should leave a positive experience for the user while completing tasks without frustration.

What Are the Main Differences Between UI and UX Design?


As we’ve mentioned earlier, UI and UX design are often used as interchangeable terms. While the end product needs considerable input from both design processes, the steps in designing UI and UX are entirely different. 

UX design mainly deals with the user’s journey to solve a problem. On the other hand, UI designs focus on how the product looks when the issue is being solved.

Here are the critical differences between UI and UX design:

  • Main focus. The main concern of UI designers is to work with the quality and visuals of the end product. UI designers use hi-fi models as prototypes. Similarly, UX designers devote more time to the purpose and functionality of the end product. They pay more attention to logic. In short, UI designers work on the technicalities of the product design. In contrast, UX designers focus more on analysis and project management.
  • Use of color. UI designers design full-color prototypes, while UX designers do it in black, white, or gray.
  • Tools. UI designers use tools like InVision, Principle, Sketch, or Flinto for the collaborative design process. On the other hand, UX designers use wireframe-based prototyping such as Mockplus.
  • Artistic Element. UI designers must include a creative component since it relates to what the end user sees, hears, and feels. UX design has more of a social element because it requires you to understand the user requirements very well. 

How do UI Design and UX Design Work Together?

UX UI designers

You might wonder if one is more important than the other, but they’re both critical. UX and UI go together. While millions of award-winning products have one design type, it could be more advantageous when strong in both areas.

UI design is the icing on the UX cake. You have thought of a fantastic idea for an app. However, there is always something missing from the market that could genuinely change people’s quality of life. 

You can hire a UX designer to perform user research. It will help you trace the features your app should have. From there, the concern is how the user journey should be laid out.

Your app offers something your target audience needs and wants. But, when they download it, the text on each screen may be barely readable. Plus, the buttons need to be closer to each other; they keep hitting the wrong button by mistake! This is a classic example of a UI that destroys the sound image by killing what would have been good UX.

Have you encountered a stunning website only to find that, beyond the excellent animations and color scheme, it is hard to navigate? So, a good UI design can only compensate for a good UX design. It is likened to a beautifully decorated cake but tastes awful. Therefore, UX and UI complement each other. And in today’s competitive market, getting both aspects in one go is a blessing. 

Get the Best UI/UX Designs from Penji

Penji is the last design service you’ll ever need! We only hire the world’s top 2% of talents in the field of graphic design. Start UI UX design today by signing up through this link. You may also test the Penji service risk-free for 30 days. Grab this incredible opportunity now!