A UX designer and a UI designer are both responsible for how a product looks and performs, but that doesn’t mean they do the same thing. However, the roles do complement each other, enhancing and streamlining the consumer experience.

A UX (user experience) designer studies the behaviour of a user to improve their experience with a digital product. The overarching aim is to deliver a user journey that’s straightforward and enjoyable. They employ a “human-first” take on product design.

A UI (user interface) designer, on the other hand, focuses on the way a user navigates a product – whether that’s an app or another type of software. They make sure the look and layout, and interactivity, is optimised for effective, enjoyable use.

As you can see, there’s some heavy overlap between UX and UI designers, but an organisation needs both for optimal product design.

User experience encompasses all aspects of the end user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.


The key responsibilities of a UX designer

  • Carry out market research to establish user behaviour and goals.
  • Identify key consumer groups to create user personas and analyse how the product fits into their day-today life.
  • Create a product’s architecture (how it will be laid out).
  • Design wireframes to mirror the user journey.
  • Build interactive prototypes of the product along with minimal viable products (MVP) to facilitate real-life testing and feedback.
  • Focus on improving the feel of the experience more so than on visuals.

The key responsibilities of a UI designer

  • Consider how users interact with a product and build a design that accommodates this.
  • Create an intuitive interface, where each stage of the user journey is always clear.
  • Take responsibility for all visual elements, including icons and buttons, colour schemes, graphics and menus.
  • Ensure the design is consistent as well as visually-pleasing.
  • Create prototype frameworks to visualise each screen.

Essential skills, knowledge & experience

  • Graphic design/web design
  • People skills
  • Awareness of user needs
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Creativity
  • Wireframing and prototyping
  • Research
  • Project management

Streamlining the experience to delight users

At a time when your users are extremely tech-savvy, rolling out a design that responds to their needs and expectations means the difference between gaining a brand advocate and having someone delete your product from their device. A product that is visually-appealing and easy to use keeps customers satisfied, so they come back for more – instead of getting frustrated.

Organisations shouldn’t ignore UI or UX design; both are essential for an optimised appearance and experience. Without skilled designers in tow, you run the risk of users becoming lost or confused when using your product. And you run the risk of falling way behind the competition.