UX Design refers to the term User Experience Design, while UI Design stands for User Interface Design. Both elements are crucial to a product and work closely together. But despite their professional relationship, the roles themselves are quite different, referring to very different parts of the process and the design discipline. Where UX Design is a more analytical and technical field, UI Design is closer to what we refer to as graphic design, though the responsibilities are somewhat more complex.
There is an analogy we like to use in describing the different parts of a (digital) product: If you imagine a product as the human body, the bones represent the code which gives it structure. The organs represent the UX design: measuring and optimizing against input for supporting life functions. And UI design represents the cosmetics of the body–its presentation, its senses, and reactions.
As Rahul Varshney, Co-founder of arkenea-technologies puts it:
“User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) are some of the most confused and misused terms in our field. A UI without UX is like a painter slapping paint onto a canvas without thought; while UX without UI is like the frame of a sculpture with no paper mache on it. A great product experience starts with UX followed by UI. Both are essential for the product’s success.”
What is User Experience Design?
As is found on Wikipedia:
“User experience design (UXD or UED) is the process of enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty by improving the usability, ease of use, and pleasure provided in the interaction between the customer and the product.”
Some confusion in the definition of the term itself is due to its youth. Don Norman, a cognitive scientist and co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group Design Consultancy, is credited with inventing the term in the late 1990’s declaring that
“User experience” encompasses all aspects of the end user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.”
Here is a CliffsNotes example of a UX Designer’s responsibilities as laid out by our course. It is targeted at the development of digital products, but the theory and process can be applied to anything:
Strategy and Content:
(i) Competitor Analysis
(ii) Customer Analysis
(iii) Product Structure/Strategy
(iv) Content Development
Wireframing and Prototyping:
( i) Wireframing
(iv) Development Planning Execution and Analytics
(v) Coordination with UI Designer(s)
(vi) Coordination with Developer(s)
(vii) Tracking Goals and Integration
(viii) Analysis and Iteration
So in Conclusion:
User Experience Design is the process of development and improvement of quality interaction between a user and all facets of a company.
User Experience Design is responsible for being hands on with the process of research, testing, development, content, and prototyping to test for quality results.
User Experience Design is in theory a non-digital (cognitive science) practice, but used and defined predominantly by digital industries.
So we will Talk about UI(User Interface) in the next blog. Till then.
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