The web designers state that because the Internet has evolved the creation of a website became a very challenging and complex task. Some people that aren’t too enthusiastic about web design believe that this is nothing more than a designer trick to cheat the clients in order to ask for bigger quotes. The best method to convince people about the huge web design growing is to admire some websites from the past. Wayback Machine is a great website that shows how some websites looked in the past. I consider myself a web design enthusiast and therefore I believe that nothing from the evolution process of the web design could surprise me, but watching some screenshots of websites from 2010 or earlier really scared me! The actual websites are very different- I consider that nowadays we have way better online presences!
In this context, it’s obvious why making a website is such a complex task! A single web designer can’t resolve so many and complex issue and due to this fact we are now faced to more and more design teams instead of single designers. As a result we have designers, developers, content writers, SEO specialists and UI & UX designers. The designers are responsible for the layout design, the developers are the ones that write the code, the writers should create informative and useful texts and the SEO specialists have the duty to make the website friendlier to the engine search spiders. It seems that the team is complete, but what about UI and UX experts…which are their roles?
Many people are not able to make a clear distinction between UX and UI so it’s practically impossible for them to understand the role of a UI and UX designer. The UX and UI designers (other people prefer to call them UX/UI experts…I guess that it’s just a matter of preference) are the new “players” in the equation of a modern website and every web designer must be aware of this thing.
Altogether, what is UX, UI and what is the difference between them?
UX stands for User Experience and it’s referring to the satisfaction degree of the users that interact with a product. It sounds like a very subjective and theoretical area, but in practice a good UX is mandatory for the success of any website. Unfortunately, there are good looking websites that don’t satisfy the users’ demands and the final result is a “good looking” disaster.
Imagine a website that is created to present luxury cars but instead of high quality images or videos unclear illustrations of cars are uploaded. No doubt, the users will be outraged and will abandon the website. It’s an extreme example, but it might happen.
Which are the duties of a UX designer?
First of all, a UX designer must have a clear idea about the potential users…you can’t create a good experience for someone you cannot relate to. It means that the UX designer shouldn’t be just a designer; he / she must have some social skills. Studying social sciences in high school is a big advantage, but in case you have majored in a different area, it is possible for you to overcome this drawback if you are willing to learn more about people.
A UX designer must conduct surveys, interview people, do researches and test various potential solutions. His / her work isn’t tangible, but his invisible framework is indispensable.
UI stands for User Interface and describes the space, virtual or real, where the user interacts with a machine or a digital entity. Translating this definition in the web design world, the space where a UI designer works is the layout. He / she is responsible for the creation of a layout that should be attractive and useful at the same time.
Which are the duties of a UI designer?
A UI designer must work closely with the UX designer and with the developer. He / she is responsible for creating an attractive interface. Steve Jobs said he wanted to create such a nice interface that people would have wanted to lick the buttons. Well, a very talented UI designer would be able to do these buttons.
As it was afore mentioned, he must collaborate with the UX designer because he may provide the profile of the average user. A design must be created for the user’s needs and not vice versa. Of course, the developer must approve the layout because this person is the one that implements all the ideas.
As you can see, the role of a UX and UI designer are distinct, but there are some similitudes that might cause some sort of confusion. Even the association UX/UI contributes to it. Anyway, the conclusion is that the designers are paying more and more attention to the user and this is the reason why we have USER Interface and USER Experience.
The UX and UI are separated roles into a design team, but it doesn’t mean that a single person isn’t able to do the job of a UX and UI designer. Much more, many creative agencies will recruit people that call themselves UX/UI designers. At the moment, for small and medium projects, it’s enough a talented UX/UI designer, but for more complex websites, as online stores or social networks, a UX and a different UI designer is mandatory.
It is 100% sure that crafting websites will be the attribute of teams and it will be more and more difficult to create standing apart websites. Altogether, this perspective shouldn’t demotivate the designers. By consciously self-preparing it’s impossible not to last longer on the market. No matter if you want to become a UX or a UI designer, it is essential to have solid knowledge in both positions.
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– Written by Daniel –