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What are UI and UX?

Updated: Mar 18

It is very normal to find people that misunderstand UI and UX or confuse one with the other. These terms are related but are not the same. So in order to start talking about UI and UX, let’s define both terms:


User interface (UI)



UI
UI

A user interface (UI) is the graphical layout of a website, application, software, or general product. It is made of buttons, sliders, entry fields, texts, images, and in general all the elements the users use to interact with the product.

User Experience (UX)



UX
UX


User experience is related to the overall experience users are going to have when interacting with the product. If a product is designed with UX in mind it should be intuitive and easy to use, and it should produce a positive emotional experience for the users.


How do UI and UX work together?


Basically, UI design refers to how the product will look whereas UX design refers to how the product will work. It is very common to have UI and UX designers as part of the same team. The reason for this is that both are in charge of building a product that looks “sexy” for the end-user and that once he or she is interacting with it, the product is very intuitive, easy to use, or even sometimes “addictive”.


The UI team is made of UI designers, graphic and product designers. The UX team is made of UX designers, Human-computer interaction, interaction design, and information architects.



Examples of 3 super cool User Interfaces


  1. Google Jamboard: This is a smart 55” digital whiteboard that allows the users to express freely helping them improve their sketches in real-time. Additionally, the device can connect to other smart devices like tablets or cell phones, that are using the Jamboard app, which means, the Jamboard ecosystems is a great tool for team meetings, cocreations sessions, classes among others.

  2. Reactable: This is a musical instrument developed by the University Pompeu Fabra. It is a table that allows modifying different parameters from a synthesizer and sequencer using different kinds of blocks, varying their distribution on the table, and switching the connection between them.

  3. Tilt Brush: This is a virtual painting tool that allows users to paint in 3D spaces. It is a new approach to digital painting.

UI Developer


To complement UI/UX Designers UI developers are the other chunk of the User Interface chain. UI developers are in charge of translating the graphical design and the wireframes into code. As they are working on the user side, they mostly are Front end developers.


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