With tech companies focused on creating interfaces for specialized screens, the need to fill design roles has emerged. Designers have to grab users’ attention as well as offer an engaging experience that guides them accordingly. UI and UX work together and are often combined, but play different roles in the life cycle of an application.
What does a UI designer do?
A UI designer, or a user interface designer, focuses on surface level visual items. Aspects like buttons, PDF styling, and color scheme all fall under the umbrella of a UI designer. They create each page with the users’ interactions in mind. Users take in the visual aspect of a website first; the design must grab them. Additionally, the design should guide users to important pages, posts, or CTAs. However, a UI designer does more than just choose a color scheme and strategically place buttons on the site. The role requires an attention to detail. For example, a UI designer may need to organize content to highlight the most important information. Think about all the ways you can do this: headings, paragraphs, sidebars, sliders, breakout sections, etc. The UI designer is responsible for determining how the user views the site. In addition, the role may also include tasks like:
- Branding and graphic design
- Audience research
- User stories and style guidelines
- Working with a developer to implement the design
What does a UX designer do?
On the other hand, a UX designer, or a user experience designer, is responsible for how users interact and move throughout the website. The UX designer essentially strategizes how the website flows. For example, creating a user account. In a current project with Georgia Tech’s Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing we built an account creation page that accommodates teachers and students. The sliding effect between student and teacher account creation would fall under the role of UX designer. This design came as a solution to keep student and teacher accounts separate, so on the backend, everything stays organized.
A UX designer may also do tasks like:
- Create wireframes
- Conduct user testing
- Develop content
- Research competitors and customers
How are they similar?
UI and UX designers go hand in hand when it comes to building web applications. Both roles design with 5 foundational aspects in mind:
- Information Architecture – how content is labeled, organized, and structured
- Interaction Design – conceptual design of the application including color, fonts, icons, etc.
- Usability – how users navigate throughout the site
- Wireframing – a blueprint of the website’s layout
- Visual Design – giving the website it’s appearance with images, colors, fonts, etc.
The next step in the process is where development begins. We receive the full designs in a format we can work with and implement it on a staging environment. If you’re redesigning your old site, the final step before testing is to migrate content. We work with some of the top designers in Atlanta to build our applications. Talk to us about beginning the development process. We’ll start with a discovery phase and keep you in the loop, every step of the way.