UX & UI- Unveiling The Thin Line Of Difference Between The Two

Do you frequently come across two common acronyms-UX & UI ???

These two are the most commonly used and highly misinterpreted terms that have been doing the rounds for a while. Allow me to clear out your basic confusion here.

What does the acronyms stand for?

UX stands for User Experience Design

UI refers to User Interface Design

Both the terms are equally crucial to developing a product and work pretty closely to one another. However there is a thin line of difference that lies between the two.

Let me take you gradually through the basic concept of UX & UI.

“If the user can’t use it, it doesn’t work.” –Susan Dray

The above quotation aptly explains the basic fact that underlies every creation. In the world of Smart Phone Applications, if your targeted end users fail to utilise your apps properly then you loose the battle completely.

As per Wikipedia,” User Experience refers to a person’s emotions and attitudes about using a particular product, system or service. It includes the practical, experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human–computer interaction and product ownership.”

Its main purpose is to increase the usabilitty of the product that you have developed for your users. It is the amalgamation of tasks focused on optimization of a product for effective and enjoyable use. The main aim is to raise the customer satisfaction and establish their product loyalty by improving the ease of use and pleasure provided in the interaction between the customer and the product.

Don Norman, a cognitive scientist and co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group Design Consultancy, is the pioneer of the term, coining it in the late 1990’s quoting that “User experience encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.”

In Shawn Borsky’s words, UX is invented on this particular logic-“At the end of the day is how the user remembers the experience. Focus on key experiences.”

User Interface or UI

This particular term is used as a compliment to UX design. The look, feel, presentation, interactivity and all the other aesthetic features of a particular product or app sums up to describe the term ‘User Interface.’

Wikipedia describes it as,” the space where interactions between humans and machines occur. The goal of this interaction is to allow effective operation and control of the machine from the human end, whilst the machine simultaneously feeds back information that aids the operators’ decision-making process.”

The main goal of UI is to produce an user interface design that is self-explanatory, is efficient and user friendly. It is the UI’s responsibility to make the product aesthetically appealing to the end users.

To quote designer and expert Helga Moreno, the key point of difference between the two concept is:

“Something that looks great but is difficult to use is exemplary of great UI and poor UX. While Something very usable that looks terrible is exemplary of great UX and poor UI.”

This means that both are equally crucial and are used in compliment with one another.

Let us Sum up the points of differences:

The following keywords brings up the points of differences between UX and UI-

  1. Interface- UX makes Interface user friendly. UI beautifies Interface.
  2. Functionality– UX helps users accomplish goals. UI creates emotional connections with the users.
  3. Design– UX design is done first followed by UI design.
  4. Scope– UX is employed across products, interfaces and services. UI sticks with Interface only.
  5. Objective– UX design helps users accomplish meaningful tasks across platforms and services. UI design makes compelling and aesthetically pleasing interfaces that connect with humans.


Designer Nick Babich stated that,“The best products do two things well: features and details. Features are what draw people to your product. Details are what keep them there.”

This article gives you an overall view of the two most commonly used concepts and reflected the key points of difference that exists between the two.

The link below will give you a visual narration on this particular topic and will definitely clear out all your remaining doubts.


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