Lately, there’s been a lot of talk within a small circle of me peers about UI and UX. Seemingly, they were being used somewhat interchangeably within the context of the conversation. One colleague even noted that a recent class they attended dismissed the possibility they were different subject matters altogether. This honestly ruffled me a little.
The endless cycle of idea and action, endless invention, endless experiment, endless hope and endless disappointment. and I thought all I needed was just one breath to stay afloat…i never thought that this would capsize, but this isn’t a boat
– Norma Jean
As a Product Manager I focus on UX (User Experience) as a major component of my interpreted job function. UI (User Interface) is one component of the overall user experience I seek to create. Getting this point across though seems difficult at times when people are constantly seeking the mysterious technology unipegacornus who’s abilities accomplish everything.
UI and UX are not synonyms and their functions are not interchangeable, even if they are interdependent. No matter how hard some might wish otherwise, just because they share some of the same skill sets to be successful in enacting they are justifiably separated.
User Interface in my daily technology life is the interaction point between the user and that which they are using. It primarily exists in what we refer to as the “Front-end” world of our product It encompass the practices of visual layout, soundtracking, haptic feedback, graphical/ visual design, coding language and display infrastructure choices which facilitate the human-computer interaction. For some this also includes some additional platforms for capturing user feedbacks from within the interface such as analtyics dashboards and related usage reporting mechanisms. UI therefore is greatly influenced from direct end-user interactions.
User Experience is the more holistic view of the relationship between all of the products parts to fulfill the value proposition. UX specialists bring together the database structure, content management, API integration behavior and overall architecture decisions along with the generalities of user interface in their desire to accommodate user needs. This broader view touches on a number of influencing aspects of how the overall product responds to the user needs, not just the immediate (physical) touch points, but the entire underlying structure that supports the feeling the user gets as they use the product.
If UI is picking the right paintbrush, paints and canvas then UX is also having the right room, with the right lightening and temperature and ventilation
For our team, UI spends expends a great deal of their effort on A/B or multivariant testing of pages. They look at the copy in terms of words used, type face, point size, color, contrast, relative positioning, etc. They analyze the overall schema of the page, the context of the images, the background, the delivery of the marketing message, etc. The consider the user’s eye movement, their swipe and click patterns, their general reaction to how the page reacts to them. They investigate how load times and transitional animations and other elements impact usages as well as the funnel effect for the flow.
While the UI team is delving into the micro-details of the interface the UX team is busy considering