To understand this equation let us first understand the differences between UI and UX. UI – User Interface is the point of interaction between the user and the application through which he avails the services offered. In case of web applications it is a browser window in which a website or web applications opens, offering various elements, controls and content, to make a convenient and productive interaction.
UX – User Experience is defined as the feelings, emotions or the sentiments the user exhibits while using a web application or a website. The User Experience can be like delighted, frustrated, and comfortable and so on. It is actually a qualitative suggestion of a user’s reaction to a specific service offered.
An interface where a number of elements like menu-lists, option buttons and other user friendly controls are arranged aesthetically to make interaction memorable and contented, is a UI. While working of this interface, user gets lost or feels helpless in moving ahead, page loading take lot of time making him frustrated, finding content irrelevant or out of place, a sense of pleasantness with a pleasing design, being rewarded for his input letting him feel encouraged are considered User Experiences.
Now we have familiarity with these terms, so let’s move ahead and figure out the chemistry that these two share:
Different Roles- The first step in understanding equation of these two is by exploring that what are their roles in web development. UI is associated to everything that improves presentation, look and feel of a website like design, icons, fonts, colors and all other elements of interactivity. Whereas UX is concerned with the techniques of learning and analyzing the perceptions and feelings, users feel about an application or website. The criteria for UX analysis is how user felt about design, services offered or effectiveness in executing desired activities.
Separate Experts- The second step is to identify the people of an organization who are responsible of UI and UX. As we till now understood a that UI is more in physical terms and UX is more concerned with psychological impact. So both of these, cannot be undertaken by one person.
UI is primary domain of web designers and UX is area of specialization of UX designers. The User Experience designers exhibit skills in user research, information structure, interaction design, feedback analysis etc. on the other hand the UI designers should have expertise in interface design, iconography, typography, color application etc.
If a website is very beautifully designed with an array of captivating images and alluring arrangement of elements, but if content is irrelevant or information to be filled by visitor is very lengthy and time consuming, it will put off users. Such awebsite may score well in User Interface but highly detailed form and a slow download of the website due to images will not be giving a good User Experience.
What is a UI/UX Designer?
A website with excellent UI but with little relevance or productivity of content will not be worth browsing. A website with a mediocre looking interface but containing highly useful data will still keep the visitors happy. Actually it all depends upon the users and their expectations. With all the discussion above we can say that a good UI will be helpful in a brilliant UX but there is no universal rule of thumb to equate UI with UX.