Mobile App Design Basics: User Experience vs User Interface

July 18, 2017 Shashank Mehrotra 6283 Views
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This is the second installment of the Mobile App Design Basics series, a series of blogs which would help you know more about the how the process of designing mobile apps works. If you haven’t watched the first post yet, check it out here. It gives you a brief idea of what not to do as a UI/UX designer.

While we have all heard the terms User Experience(UX) and User Interface(UI), we often see them written together like UI/UX. The two terms are most commonly used interchangeably. While it can be used interchangeably to a certain extent, they make up two different parts of the design. UX is a rather analytical and technical domain of the designing process, while UI is more about the graphic design and the overall look of the product. While on the surface, the definition just mentioned holds true, on a deeper inspection, you would see that it is a lot more complex than that. Let’s understand the difference between the two:

In analogous terms:
When the walls are to made, the first thing we do is lay down the bricks. Once the bricks are laid down, we apply plaster to it and then paint it or add wallpapers. The bricks form the skeletal structure of the wall while the paint and wallpapers define how the wall would look like. Now if we look at it with the context of UI and UX, the bricks make up the UX. They define how the walls would be like. The paint and the wallpapers, on the other hand, make up the UI. They define how the walls would look like.

In technical terms:
UX enhances customer satisfaction and loyalty by enhancing usability and ease of use that the user would face while interacting with the product. UI, on the other hand, takes care of what the product looks and feels like. On a first glance, it is the UI that attracts users to the products. But it is the UX that decides how useful the UI would be. It is the role of the UX designers to design user flows and wireframes which are then prototyped and tested. Once the tests are passed, it is the role of the UI designers to make them appealing. While the UI focuses on connecting with the users on an emotional level, the UX focuses on helping the users to accomplish various tasks within the product.

Broadly, the role of UI/UX designers includes:

For UI designers-

  • Form (including buttons, graphic design, etc)
  • Content (including text, reports, documents, etc)
  • Behavior (including responses to clicks, drags, typing, etc)

For UX designers-

  • Utility (they have to make sure that the product solves users’ problems, and gives useful content)
  • Usability (they have to ensure the convenience, clarity and logical soundness of the product)
  • Accessibility (they have to make sure that the product is convenient for use by different categories of the users)
  • Desirability (they have to make sure that the product looks attractive and solves problems; this is the part where audience retention comes in)

While UI and UX are closely linked, as we have already seen, they both have major differences. Even with these differences, the roles are interchangeable since the ultimate goal is to retain the audience by giving them an experience that they would want to come back for. And that is difficult to do in isolation. Hence they are both really important.

BrainMobi has a team of expert UI/UX developers. We are a top mobile app development company and our team of UI/UX developers plays an important role in making us who we are. Connect with us at to know how our UI/UX developers can help make your product the best version of itself.

Is the difference clearer now? Let us know in the comments below!

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Categories:UI/UX Design

About the author


danielcraig Shashank was the Co-founder of BrainMobi and was working as IT Business Analyst, leading the Marketing and Business Analysis division along with Operations at BrainMobi. Shashank loves to write about emerging technologies, mobile innovation, user experience and the way it shapes our world so that users can access the best tips in mobile app development.