Difference between UX Design, UI Design and Interaction Design

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Are you confused between UX Design, UI Design and Interaction Design? This blog explains the similarities and differences in User Interface (UI) Design, and Interaction Design (IxD), User Experience (UX) Design, three associated terms which are usually used interchangeably.

Have you ever thought whether there is actually a distinction between UI Design vs UX Design vs Interaction Design? Well, there are some differences among them. This blog explains the relationship between these terminologies and the job prospects they offer.

what is ux,ui and ixd

UX Design vs UI Design vs Interaction Design - Similar yet different

UX Design: - UX Design is a higher order concept that includes various design aspects along with a user’s journey on a platform, system, application or software. It includes UI design, Ix design, application design, communication design, information architecture and more. The objective of UX design is to facilitate the best feel a user experiences while operating a device.
UI Design: UI Design refers to the design of interfaces for devices, and is focused towards the graphics creation aspect. • Interaction Design: IxD refers to the process of designing interactive digital products, systems, environments, and services”. It is focused on designing the flow by which a user could place information lucidly while facilitating the procurement of information goal in every interaction. The concept of usability in a digital product is very often associated with great interaction design.
job roles of ux designer or a ui designer

While the terminologies UX Design, Interaction Design and UI Design can be confusing often, the job role of UX and UI Designer are more obvious. The comparison for the job role of Interaction Designer is not considered on purpose as interaction design is usually part of the daily job of a UX Designer. Do not go by the textbook definition or the expert’s opinion! There may exist some standard definitions of UI Designer/ UX Designer from industry experts or Wikipedia. However, do not think that this will be your job role when you decide to apply for a job.

Each role for UI Designer or UX Designer is different due to the fact that every firm has a distinct team structure and varying requirements. Therefore, instead of attempting to get the right description, do more research on the firm you are applying to. Make use the top-down method for the research you plan to do:

1. Begin with the larger picture. In addition to the firm name, you should also research about its products and services.
2. Read each word of the job description carefully.
3. Visit LinkedIn and hunt for the employees with similar roles to read their descriptions. Set your profile to private mode if you don’t want to get identified.
4. Alternatively, you can also visit Glassdoor. Albeit its much smaller repository of user base, the reviews are often more genuine and insightful than in LinkedIn. You will get an insight into how it is like working in the role.
job scope of a ui designer and ux designer

Job Scope of A UI Designer and UX Designer

A UX Designer will need to take up more functions and responsibilities because of the limited availability of resources, in a small team. Nonetheless, this is actually a great opportunity for your career. You will get an opportunity to see the big picture of User Experience process. On the other hand, a large team will usually be more established with more mature processes and better techniques employed.

Interaction design is defined more in terms of the way a user communicates or interacts with a product and also the methodology of designing the process of interaction that exists between a product and a user. The interaction designer is the professional that should be concerned with how this should happen.

Regardless of the fact that you are a small team or large team, your fundamental bulk of work as a User Experience Designer should fall under one of the UX processes:

  1. User Research
  2. Wireframing and Prototyping
  3. Design (Persona, user journey map, storyboard etc)
  4. Testing

Along with the UX processes, you will also communicate and liaise with developer, product manager, UI developer etc to reach the same business goal. As for a UI Designer is normally responsible for everything related to design from UI elements (icons, tabs, menu etc) to UI prototype.

What Is the Relationship Between Interaction Design & User Experience?

This question is asked often: Can I be a user experience specialist without being an interaction designer? In fact, interaction design and user experience and are like pen and paper, without either one of them will be a limitation your ability to design. If you intend to deliver some great design, then hold your pen and paper firmly. Interaction design & User experience is different essentially, however, there is no rule that restricts you to do both experience design and interaction design.

showing no restrition on experience design and interaction design

  • In recent years, the job role of UX Designer is increasingly getting popular and is in high demand. While every company has its own job description for the role of a UX Designer, you won’t go wrong thinking that it will revolve around the key User Experience processes.
  • UX Design vs UI Design vs Interaction Design are distinct but interrelated. Interaction Design is a subset of User Experience Design while UI Design is a subset of Interaction Design.

By Kunal