UX / UI Acronyms
The people you have eavesdropped on are actually discussing two professions that despite having been around for decades- possibly centuries. Nowadays these professions are called ‘UX and UI Design’.
UX UI Design short definitions: UX Design = User Experience Design | UI Design = User Interface Design.
UX Design – beyond graphic design – creating an experience.
Where UX Design is a more analytical and technical field and UI Design is closer to what we refer to as graphic design, though the responsibilities are somewhat more complex and there must be overlapping knowledge between the UX and UI designer.
Here’s a good analogy to define the parts of a user-technology project:
If you imagine a product as the human body, the bones represent the code which give it structure. The muscles represent the UX design: supporting it and helping it move/function. And UI design represents the cosmetics of the body– the face, the look, the expressions and reactions.
What is User Experience Design?
As is found on Wikipedia:
- User experience design (UXD or UED) is the process of enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty by improving the usability, ease of use, and pleasure provided in the interaction between the customer and the product.
Hmmm… is this part all about psychology and appearance? No mention of digital applications here – this implies that regardless of its medium, UX Design encompasses any and all interactions between a customer and a company / service / product. As a scientific process it could be applied to anything from automobiles to furniture or clothing, even intangibles like financial investments – this is about presentation.
My take on this is that it is a User Experience is a branded experience based on market research that determines human reactions to various media and sensorial communications (visual, heard or other).
Here are some of the steps involved in UX Design:
Strategy and Content:
- Competitor Analysis
- Customer Analysis
- Product Structure/Strategy
- Content Development
Wireframing and Prototyping:
- Development Planning
Execution and Analytics
- Coordination with UI Designer(s)
- Coordination with Developer(s)
- Tracking Goals and Integration
- Analysis and Iteration
So part marketer, part designer, part project manager; the UX role is complex, challenging and multi-faceted.
Another way to define UX Design:
- User Experience Design is the process of development and improvement of quality interaction between a user and all facets of a company / product / service.
- User Experience Design is responsible for being hands on with the process of research, testing, development, content, and prototyping to test for quality results.
- User Experience Design is in theory a non-digital (cognitive science) practice, but used and defined predominantly by digital industries.
The lesson to be learned here, is that if you’re interested in sociology, in cognitive science, in people and in great products, User Experience is a good place to be; but if you understand those principles and are more visually inclined, (like me!) you might look at its brother-in-arms: User Interface Design. Hopefully you know a little something about UX UI design or maybe you’re more confused but maybe you know enough to pretend like you know a little something about them!