What is the Difference Between UX and UI Designer? What Tools Do They Use?
1- General Definition of UX and UI Design
Whether you like it or not, User Experience (UX) and User Interface (User Interface UI) design have always been compared and wondered the difference between them. UX is an English acronym for user experience designer, while UI is an acronym for user interface designer. If you are someone who encounters these terms for the first time, let me try to explain the difference between the two with a small example. Let’s take the chair I’m sitting in right now. Our UI designer designs the exterior of this chair. Our UX designer thinks about the person sitting in this chair and designs it to be more comfortable; soft cushions, fabric selection, and armrests make it more comfortable or anticipate it. In the past, these used to come to mind when it comes to user experience, but nowadays, websites, applications, etc. UI / UX terms began to be used in interactive designs.
2- Today’s UX and UI Definition
The tools used by UX and UI designers are related to each other, although their approaches to problems are different. UX designers do in-depth research on the product they are working on, follow the competitors and analyze their technologies, then design the interface of the product, which is the first interaction with the user, and not only look at this design from an aesthetic point of view but also how efficient, simple, understandable and easy to use the design. takes care of their concerns. Finally, it tests the product and tries to understand how users who use this product for the first time feel. User experience design (UXD) is a very broad branch that also encompasses user interface design (UID).
Today, among the products that can be designed for user interface, software, computers and similar electronic materials, cars, toys and almost every product with electronic components has a user interface and someone has designed them for us. Just as in architectural designs, even in which direction a door opens is important, every element designed in user interface design must be suitable for its purpose and well thought out.
If these are different things, you may ask why they are given together in job postings. As you have noticed, these two terms come from the same place, so there is no difference between them; such that if you don’t work in a big company like Intel, Google, or Apple. In medium-sized and small companies, a single person is expected to do both UI and UX, because there are already a couple products to be interfaced.
I would like to mention a few words to people who strongly oppose “These are completely different things, they cannot even be compared with each other”, but I also have the utmost respect for the designer friends who take it personally, as the job description will change according to the meaning you attribute to these terms. But in my personal opinion; The fact that these two terms are used together in job postings and the similarities that make people confused seem to prove that they are not very different things.
I would like to put an end to this question with a simple explanation.
- UX design is how a user interacts with a brand and the brand’s products, services, website, apps, etc. It’s about all the interactions it has. UX refers to a user’s entire journey, encompassing the complete overall experience they have on that journey.
- UI design, on the other hand, deals with specific things that the user will actually interact with on that journey. (Let’s take Google as an example, Google is a brand and it has many products. The interfaces of each product are designed by ui designers for different purposes. But when you use one of these applications, you make your criticism directly with Google, here you can make sense of that criticism and create a future product. It is the UX designer who makes the plan that will lead to the goal the fastest by including your emotions while designing.)
3- Örneklerle UX ve UI Tasarım
We can count many things that look great in terms of design but are not useful, or, on the contrary, we can count many things that have a terrible design but are very useful. In other words, UX deals with purpose while UI deals with appearance and functionality.
One of the most used websites in America, craiglist.com is considered weak in terms of interface, but it works useful and efficiently. Ketchup manufacturers initially entered the market with a steep bottle, but the experiences of the users shaped future ketchup bottles.
To understand the difference between experience design and product design, you need to start thinking in that direction. For example, in most cars, the warning light button that turns on the quads is located in the center of the car’s dashboard and in an easy-to-reach place, the UX designer decides where this button will be and how it will work when the button is pressed, the size, color, etc. of the button. The UI designer is responsible for the appearance properties. What we can deduce from this is that when you have to press this button, you will probably be under high stress because there is something wrong that you will use that button. Therefore, it should be in a place that can be seen immediately and easily accessible. Interestingly, according to statistics, this button is used very little and can be replaced with another button that is used more, but the user experience does not allow it. Stress and danger factor outweigh; Although the button is less used, the UX designer envisages it to be easily accessible to the user.
4- UX Tasarımcıların Kullandıkları Programlar
Designing the experience is a difficult task. It’s also the UX designer’s job to provide flowcharts, prototypes, blueprints, design plans, user testing, and team collaboration. That’s why UX designers need tools to make their life and work easier.
- MindManager: Mind mapping program. A mind map is a diagram used to organize information visually. Brainstorming is a great way to devise a plan or turn ideas into reality, necessary steps. MindManager is a mind-mapping software application developed by Mindjet. Digital mind maps can be used like a “virtual whiteboard” for brainstorming, managing and planning projects, conducting research, organizing vast amounts of information, and strategic planning. Price: $129
- SmartDraw: It is software that allows you to create and edit flowcharts and diagrams using any modern web browser. You can also use SmartDraw as Windows software if you need to work behind a firewall. It includes hundreds of professional templates that you can quickly edit. Even the most novice users can be productive instantly with SmartDraw. Price: $197
- MockPlus: An excellent design prototyping app. It includes prototyping tools for mobile apps, desktops, and web apps. Creating a design prototype is much easier with Mockplus than with a general-purpose graphic editor like Photoshop or Illustrator. Easy to understand and use drag and drop logic in its interface makes it possible to use the tools immediately. Even first-time users can master it without going through tutorials and training manuals. If you are looking for an inexpensive UX tool and want to create interactive prototypes in the least amount of time, Mockplus is the ideal solution you should not miss. Price: $29 per month
- UserTesting: Usability testing is a user-centered, interaction design technique to evaluate a product by testing it on users. This is very important to improve the user experience. UserTesting is an online usability testing tool that allows real people to use websites, mobile apps, and prototypes and express their thoughts with the help of video. It serves for landing pages, emails, advertising, prototypes, live sites, and apps. With this program, you can purchase a bespoke test designed by an experienced in-house research team or have a project manager help you achieve your goals. Price: $49 per video
There are hundreds of other applications on the market similar to these. Microsoft Visio, Axure RP, AppCooker, Flinto, Sketch, InVision, Optimizely, Trello, Time Doctor, Fotojet programs like these are very helpful software for UX designers.
5- Programs Used by UI Designers
The user interface is the visual part of the job and the part of the project that will come into contact with the user the most. That’s why it’s best to move forward with a meticulous, clean design and detailed feedbacks from the experience designer. There are many tools for designing, I am listing the ones that come to my mind, now if you have a program that comes to mind, you can write it in the comments section.
- Sketch: Without a doubt, Sketch has been one of the most popular tools for UI/UX designers in recent years. For those unfamiliar, Sketch is a versatile vector-based design tool that assists UI/UX designers. Sketch easily designs what PhotoShop can’t do as if it’s already in its nature. If you’re a UI designer, have a device running Mac OS, and haven’t tried Sketch yet, you’re definitely missing out on something big. Almost all the vector-based UI design tools you need come with the program. If that’s not enough, you can further expand the program’s capabilities with an extensive collection of plug-ins to choose from.
- Adobe XD/Figma: It is an “all-in-one” tool that performs both design and prototyping. It has announced its prototyping capabilities in the Beta phase and as part of Adobe’s CC suite. The program’s user interface has been made minimal and lightweight with details taken from its big brother, Illustrator. This is the feature that I enjoyed from the start and that minimizes distractions. The Repetition Grid tool is quite a time saver. It allows you to select and repeat as many design elements as you want. I hope XD will gain more popularity in the years to follow and current features will match with more mature alternatives. You can follow their progress on the new features they are developing for XD on the official Adobe forums. It was rumored that it would replace XD after Figma was purchased by Adobe.
- Gravity Designer: A vector-based design tool that looks too good to be true, with features I recently discovered. However, after using it for a while, I felt where it stood and was quite impressed. It’s completely free to get started and you can run it in any modern browser or as a native Mac OS, Windows or Linux application. The default UI workspace layout looks inspired by Sketch in many ways and stands out with its magenta hue. Color selection can be a bit of a distraction after a while. I hope they will offer an option in the future to customize the default color of its interface.
I tried to explain the difference between UX and UI as simply as possible, I hope you like it. So how do you answer when your customer asks you this question? Waiting for your comments below.
If you liked the article, don’t forget to hit the like button, even share it on social media if you liked it very much, and if you haven’t subscribed to my youtube channel yet, don’t forget to subscribe to be notified of future videos. You can visit my blog for my other articles.