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UX and UI Design

The Key Differences Between UX and UI

For anyone who has even the slightest experience in web design would have come across the term UI and UX at least once. The debate on how they differentiate from one another is an ongoing debate, especially among newbies.

For their understanding and yours, the fact is that they are, in fact, quite different but yet related.
To make things a little less confusing, let’s take a brief look into what these terms mean.


UX is an acronym for User Experience, which is considered the most important feature of any web design. It was first coined in the 90s by Don Norman when he worked at Apple. He described UX as something that encompasses a user’s experience with the product, company, and services.

In other words, you can consider UX as a process that discovers users’ pain points and comes with ways to resolve them.


UI or User Interface is a combination of visual design and interaction design. The two make up the look and feel of your web design and how a client interacts with elements. For example, the prior is responsible for how a button looks on a web page and the latter impacts how it changes when someone clicks it.

The Differences

Both UI and UX target different elements of web design, but are linked with each other. Let’s take the example of an e-commerce website.

The UX designer will design the flow of the steps users will have to take to check out and purchase items. The design will then be passed on to a UI designer, who will use add visual and interactive cues, guiding the navigation process.

The 4 primary differences between UX and UI are:

1. UX is more concerned with the usefulness of interfaces while UI makes them beautiful. UX tunes wireframes and user flows to make the interface functional and easy to use. It also focuses on the purpose of the design. UI, on the other hand, is more concerned with making the design aesthetically pleasing and approachable.

2. UX has a social component while UI focuses on artistry. Coming up with UX design involves market research, observing user behavior, and understanding their needs. UI design focuses on the aesthetic elements of user interfaces and how they connect and build connections with users.

3. UX is used across various applications while UI pertains to user interfaces only. Companies are realizing the importance of understanding the user’s needs before designing their services. Contrarily, UI is limited to interfaces. However, since user interfaces exist in many products other than computers, tablets, and smartphones, the use isn’t limited.

4. Lastly, UX is designed first. Even though the path to web design is not linear, the UX design and research are usually step 1. After the prototype has been tested and finalized, UI designers work on creating micro-interactions and adding visual cues.

There are many other details and complexities that go into both UX and UI design. Website Ultra can help shed more light on the subject. Leave me a message to discuss your UX and UI needs.


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