Majority of job postings globally, feature job profiles separately for UI and UX designers. Though quite a number of companies are expecting one person to fill in the roles of two, using job titles as UI/UX designers. Are UI and UX overlapping job functions? Is there an actual need for this? Is there a strategy behind all these titular inventions? Here’s an example you can relate to.
This is an illustration of a house party that illustrates a person’s experience that there’s always a Mystery Relative. We feel the same about this UI/UX term!
UX and UI
Multi-dimensionality of the concepts
UX and UI are fundamentally different areas of work. Let us try and understand what these terms mean.
UX Design = How a user interacts with a digital product and feels as a result of that interaction. The user experience is how the user is performing desired functions, the actions she/he is taking and the emotions the user is feeling.
UI Design = The look of the product or what a user interacts with, in a digital product. The user interface is what a user is typing in and looking at.
To give you a better idea of the inter-relation of UX and UI, here’s a comparative infographic.
UX is a vast multidisciplinary field.
UX is a multi-disciplinary field which is inclusive of major design practices. This infographic will help understand the areas of expansion and interaction between different fields. It is crucial to understand that user experience design is not only restricted to digital products or mobile applications. It is a much larger entity.
Daawat – Biryani ki!
A popular, relatable analogy by – Prasadd Bartakke
Imagine, you invite some guests over for a Biryani feast. After you send out the invites, you’ll confirm the number of guests first. Know their preferences in food. Understand what type of biryani would they enjoy on the decided day. Once all the planning is done, you will set out to buy groceries and plan out everything about cooking the biryani. With some time kept for presentation, you’ll serve it in a pot and prep the ambience for the feast. Keep the cutlery ready. When your guests arrive, they’ll interact with the ambience. The smell, sight and taste of the food will be how your guests will experience the biryani feast.
Now, to put it simply, this story is equivalent to UX Design – the entire experience not just the end-product, the ambience and the guest’s overall interaction with the meal. UI Design is how the biryani looks and tastes like. Just as the two parts of Daawat (one part you see and one part you don’t as a guest/ user), in essence they are the same thing, just different areas of design.
Custodians of Design
With great Power comes great Responsibility
UX and UI are two different terms, nonchalantly treated as the same entities or variations of the same area of work. This practice should not be encouraged, as it creates doubts about the authenticity of the design professionals. As the Custodians of Design, we should be the enablers and source of design education to others, instead of causing confusion. As the custodians, our chief responsibility is to promote design in business, society developing design excellence in every way. Inspire others to embrace design thinking.
Understanding and proving the value of design is one of the basic functions that we perform as designers. These trendy job titles are not of interest to the clients, furthermore, these are only increasing the confusion impacting their decision making ability to hire a designer.
What clients really need to know
- You can solve their business and user problems
- You can effectively and efficiently design user experiences, taking into consideration the business objectives of the company and making design decisions driven by data rather than visceral trends.
Whether you are a UX designer or a UI designer, it is our function to attend to human needs first and build design around, that adds value. If you wish to dig deep into this area, read more about user experience here.