the one true acronym UX vs UI *smh*

Design? Too Many Acronyms. 2MA

2MA – Just bare with me, this’ll be the acronym of the day.

As someone who focused on HCI (Human Computer Interaction), I struggled at first between understanding the differences of UX and UI. But once I understood that, I also learned that they were used interchangeably in design, despite being relatively different. Notice that I’m not saying in web design though. Despite its prevalence in web design, it is relevant and vital in all aspects of marketing especially in any place that requires… well, design! So let’s determine… the one true acronym or can we?

UX – User Experience

Alright now, let’s just focus on the second word, EXPERIENCE. So in short, what is the user or customer trying to accomplish? What features are there that allow the end-user to have the best experience? Are you taking into account the psychology and trends that users would be following? This acronym, I suppose would be relatively straightforward and I guess the best way to define and explain it is through examples. I’ll have those examples after UI, because then it’ll be an easier way to compare and contrast the two. In web development terms, this is the Javascript and PHP. Process conception. So create all the elements to allow the user to GET from point A to B in a workflow. DO IT FOR THE USER, NOT BECAUSE IT LOOKS NICE. In a non “web” mindset, it can then be more research based on trying to understand the target market, and figuring out if this item or object even has a necessity in the market. Is it possible to make it unique enough to justify the development?

UI – User Interface

Once again, the second word, INTERFACE. Some people think that it is interaction, and they could be right, it all depends on how you specifically define each acronym though. In a sense, it’s what the user is trying to accomplish? Has the infrastructure been designed properly to allow the end-user to do its task? More about the actual design. Thinking of web development, this would be the HTML and CSS. Design made visible. How to help the user to SEE how to get from point A to B. How can the interface be done to increase the level of interaction? DO IT BECAUSE IT LOOKS NICE. Or on the flip side, how to alter the interface to decrease the time of interaction and possibly risk the user leaving angrily for not finding what they need in time.

UX vs UI acronym

Couple of Examples – Web Based Ones

You forgot the password, the UX would ensure that there was a “Forgot Password” function, but then it is also about where it is placed in order to ensure the best experience. If you have a login container, would it make sense to put the button outside of it? Now, if you place it inside, where should it be placed? The UI would ensure that the button looked consistent and relevant with the design, does the entire page look “right”? If I just looked at one segment, would it look similar to the rest?

Think about if you’re trying developing a website for an airline and your task is the ticket purchasing workflow. The UI would be how the design of the tickets would be displayed and how the information is presented to the end-user, the colors? times? buttons? The UX would be more about how the site can help the end-user shop, so allowing filters to be made for “Direct/Non-Stop/Stop” flights or a functionality to only look at first class/coach.

As a result, we’ve determined that there is a pretty drastic difference between the two sides of each acronym. Although it’s seen to be used interchangeably sometimes, there cannot be a “one true acronym”.

Article by Sir. Lappleton III

I'm a happy-go-lucky college student that started a blog as a way to not only document my education and my experiences, but also to share it with whoever stumbles upon my site! Hopefully I can keep you guys entertained as well as learn about a few things from IT as well as from my time and experiences as I plunge deeper and deeper into healthcare! A couple of my areas of focus is data management, system security (cyber security), as well as information technology policy.