What is UX and UI Design?

Dan McGaw
January 18, 2021

UI/UX design is often used as a single term. However, although the two work together, they refer to different processes.

User Experience (UX) Design

Designers use this style of design to create applications that provide meaningful experiences to users. This includes designing the process of acquiring and integrating the app, including branding, usability, design, and function.

The user’s experience of the app is determined by how they find their interaction with it. Does the app allow them to achieve their tasks, or does it feel like a struggle? User experience is about the quality of the interaction with the user interface elements.

UX designers will attempt to understand how users interact with their applications by creating a wireframe of the interface and then getting feedback from users.

User Interface (UI) Design

Gray Laptop Computer


The User Interface is the graphic layout of an application. It’s the images, text entry fields, buttons, and the text users read. UI designers are responsible for designing all these visual elements. They determine the app’s look – color schemes, fonts used, and even the width of lines. UI designers must make sure that every visual element has a purpose.

How the Two Work Together

While UI designers focus on how the user interface looks, UX designers determine how it operates. UX design determines the functionality of an app and how the parts relate to each other. The two design teams usually work together to give the user a seamless experience.

While the UX designer works on the app’s flow and how the interface will give you the information you need, the UI designer works on how these elements will appear on the screen.

There needs to be constant interaction and collaboration between UI and UX designers to ensure that the final user interface looks good and operates efficiently.


Both UX and UI designers will research what users want.

This is usually iterative research where real users interact with certain functionalities or aspects of the visual design to determine if the designers are on the right track. Extensive feedback is part of this process.

While doing research, the designers are trying to obtain different kinds of information.

  • UI designers want their designs to be unique, but they must also ensure that users know what to do with the elements they place on the screen.
  • UX designers research the expectations users have on how certain interfaces should work. They must be aware of these expectations; otherwise, their design might negatively influence the user experience.

A company such as BrainBox Lab at https://brainboxlabs.com/case-studies; understands that successful UX and UI design can only happen if there is a thorough understanding of the end-user.

Final Thoughts

For a successful user experience, UI and UX need to work well together. One element cannot be successful if the other one is not up to standard. A bad design can destroy a smooth user experience, while a beautiful design cannot save an app that is confusing and difficult to use.

Both aspects of design need to align with user expectations to provide a meaningful user experience.

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