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UI vs UX: Which Comes First

You've likely heard all the buzz around UI and UX over the past few years. By now, you probably know that these are important, but you may not fully understand which to prioritise or what the difference is between the two. Take a look at everything you need to know on the UI vs UX conversation right here.

What Is the Difference Between UI and UX?

Although they're often combined or spoken about in one breath as UI/UX, UI and UX are not interchangeable terms. They're entirely different areas of work with different focuses.

UI stands for User Interface. The "interface" refers to everything visual a user experiences on a website or app, including buttons, text, images, colouring, screen layout and transitions. UI designers, who are essentially graphic designers, choose how an application or website looks and feels to the visitor, from the colour to the shape of buttons as well as other design choices.

UX stands for User Experience. This field focuses on how the user experiences or works through a website or app. Does the experience feel smooth or clunky? Does the user easily find what they're searching for, or is the site confusing? User experience is defined by how easy or difficult it is for the user to interact with the platform. One common goal in UX web design is to reduce the number of clicks a user has to go through to get to their objective. UX designers come from a variety of backgrounds, including psychology, visual design and programming.

User Interface vs. User Experience: Which Comes First?

Ultimately, UI and UX roles work very closely together to achieve a unified, pleasant online experience. Often, UX and UI designers work simultaneously on a task. The UX team plans the flow and structure of the website or app, while the UI team focuses on the visual aspects. However, UX technically always has to start first, since there's nothing for UI teams to design until the UX team decides what should be on the platform. An excellent UX team runs its plans by UI before finalising them to get a visual designer's input.

Understanding the terms UI and UX is a first step to never confusing them again and to using them effectively in your own online ventures.

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