Dave Lovemartin

User experience and UI design

A comparison

last tended: 22.02.2024

I see a lot of confusion online about the difference between UI design and UX design. There’s a big difference and although you will come across people who practice both, they are two different disciplines.

The User eXperience (UX) is a sum of all the user interactions that a person has with a product, service or brand. The experience is how the person feels when they react to touch points, how they respond to information and feedback and whether they have been able to do what they set out to achieve.

Experience design is the creation of intentional user interactions with a product, service or brand. These interactions need to have:

If the interactions don’t have these, we are in danger of frustrating users. But do these well and we can provoke more positive feelings. And if we reward the user unexpectedly, we can even inspire moments of delight.

The interplay between the interface and the user is reliant on visual design, content design and the behaviour and feedback from the interface.

An aesthetically pleasing visual design goes a long way to satisfying users. People are tolerant of usability issues if the interface is easy on the eye.

This is why User Interface (UI) designers are important — they understand how to craft a visually appealing interface using principles such as unity, balance, hierarchy, contrast, and scale.

A good UI designer uses brand logos, colours, typography and imagery to add credibility to a webpage.

UI designers know to keep the interface simple using recognisable interface elements, layouts and clear language in labels and messaging.

But Experience design is more than visual design, for me it’s about:

As an experience designer, ask yourself these questions…


Designing intentional interactions


If you’re not asking yourself these sort of questions, are you really a UX designer?

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