How to Differentiate Between Web, UI, and UX Designers

Are you planning to enter digital design as your future career? If yes, you’ve probably started your research and come across terms like web designer, UI designer, and UX designer.

Although many people utilize these terms interchangeably, they have got some notable differences between them. Additionally, these disciplines come with some overlapping factors, which make it a bit more confusing to understand them individually.

However, if you want to pursue a successful career in digital design, you have to choose a path that aligns with your skill sets and interests. And to understand which skills you’ll need to develop to enter one of these fields and whether or not it’ll be the right fit for your interests, you must understand the differences between them.

Keeping that in mind, we’ve created this article describing all the differences between web, UI, and UX design disciplines. We’ll start with web design and then move on to the other two disciplines.

Web Design

As a web designer, you’ll need to create content for a website keeping the latest trends in mind. Your responsibilities will include designing the site’s layout together with its utility, functionality, and aesthetics.

Basically, a web designer compiles everything, which includes the UI and UX, to come up with a properly-functional, well-structured website. Users of that site need to be able to use their computers or smartphones to interact with it easily. It’s important to understand that a web designer may focus more on the site’s aesthetics instead of how the visitors interact with it.

To become a skillful web designer, you must develop detailed knowledge of scripting languages such as PHP and JavaScript, programming languages such as CSS and HTML, along with web designing packages such as Photoshop, Flash, etc.

Today’s web designers often get trained in visual design to improve their knowledge in different aspects of graphic designing. The things they focus on usually include:

  • Creative conceptualization
  • Color Theory
  • Icon development
  • Drop-down  menus, interactivity, rollovers, digital slideshows, forms, and call-to-action (CTA) buttons
  • Typography
  • Info-graphics

Some visual engineers or designers, who have developed sufficient knowledge and skill sets to create functional and aesthetically-appealing applications or websites, sometimes work as website designers.

It’s important to understand that website designers don’t generally prioritize UX design’s human-focused strategy. The majority of website designers don’t need to keep every element in mind that’s remembered by a UX designer.

Usually, the role of a website designer involves less iteration. On the contrary, the role of a UX designer is more involved in coordinating continuous improvements by having interactions with users.

UI Design

UI is the abbreviation for User Interface. The responsibilities of a UI designer include developing the interfaces between the product and the user and making sure that the latter can interact with the former seamlessly.

You can think of UI design as UX design’s complement. A UI designer focuses on the point of interaction between the device/service and the user while trying to enhance the user-friendliness and value of the product. So, UI designers concentrate on improving the feel, look, and design of the product.

UI designers help make the dreams of UX designers a reality. Countless UI designers appear with a good understanding of front-end development together with some coding skills.

To become a successful UI designer, your key focus should be on these things:

  • Designing the boring but important things like buttons, scrollbars, sliders, and icons
  • Typeface and color choices
  • Responsive designing
  • Building a style guide for the website or app to make sure it remains consistent for the user
  • The layout of every screen
  • The interactive areas

You can consider UI design a simple digital approach. It takes all the intuitive and visual elements of a product interface into account. These include symbols, buttons, checkboxes, responsive design, color scheme, and typography.

The goal of UI design is to guide the user through the interface of a product superficially. It revolves around building an intuitive encounter for which the client doesn’t have to think thoroughly. UI design supplies the visual resources and qualities of the brand that are related to the interface of an item, making sure the design comes out as intelligible, predictable and shows the user a good taste.

UX Design

UX stands for User Experience. The objective of this field is to take care of the creative aspect of a product. A UX designer is responsible for dealing with the entire process of acquiring and coordinating an item. These essentially include segments of development, marking, utility, and convenience. The process of UX design begins before the customer obtains the item.

You should note that this field is all about developing a thorough comprehension of the user. This ranges from their requirements and habits to feelings, behaviors, and preferences. A UX designer has to extensively comprehend the problem together with the user whom the designer is working for so that a streamlined and most favorable solution can be designed.

To become a proficient UX designer, you’ll need to focus on building things such as lean and agile development skills, crowdsourced designing, revising skills, rapid prototyping, clear communication, and pertinent soft skills.

As a UX designer, you’ll be playing a highly important role in your organization. You’ll need to ensure that a user has a good time using the product. Your key focus will be on these things:

  • Understanding product specification
  • Comprehending user psychology
  • Building personas by conducting user surveys
  • Collaborating with UI designers to build effective and appealing designs
  • Finalizing the appropriate interaction model

User experience is applicable to anything that an individual can experience. It can be a cup of coffee, a visit to a shopping mall, or a website. The term “client experience” mentions the connection between the product/service and the client.

On that note, all the different elements that form this experience are considered by UX structure. A UX designer takes into account the way the experience makes the user feel and how easy it’s for the user to achieve their goals with the product/service.

Parting Thoughts

As you can see, the role of a UI designer involves the way the UI looks, while the role of the UX designer revolves around the way the UX works. And the web designer considers all these components and builds a fully-functional website.

It’s a community-oriented process with a general reliance on the way these disciplines work together. The UX people focus on the application’s flow, how the interface efficiently presents the information required by the client, and how the buttons help users navigate through the site. And the UI people focus on minimizing the way these interface elements will appear on the screen, while the web design team integrates everything.

You can think of web design as the umbrella and the UI and UX are specialties under it. If you wish to be an efficient web designer, you should have good knowledge of UI and UX.

Additionally, these are industry-specific terms. For instance, tech companies and start-ups often tend to hire UI/UX professionals. However, the role of a UX professional will primarily focus on information architecture and research. Rarely a UI designer will need to carry out the responsibilities of a UX designer.

Sometimes, organizations hire web designers who can efficiently discharge the responsibilities of all three roles. Therefore, unless the objective of a role is clearly defined, it may appear to be confusing. Regardless of the path you ultimately choose, you should always remember that the extent of design goes beyond just making things appear attractive. It also involves problem-solving, clear communication, and the requirements of both the client and the user.

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