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UX vs. UI Designers — Knowing the Difference

Young businessman with tablet in hands against digital backgroundOne of the most common questions that we get from companies looking for IT talent is to help them to understand the difference between a UX vs. UI designer. Those without tech knowledge may think they are interchangeable, but they are not. They do, however, work closely together and are becoming a necessary addition to your workforce. Having them in your organization is integral to ensuring your next website, app, or e-commerce tool are effective and user-friendly. 

Think about the last time you went out to lunch with your friends. You may have used Yelp to help you find a place to go, took an Uber to get there, and then Venmo'ed a friend for the bill.  Have you thought about why using these apps or websites has become second nature? It's because they are easy to use, reliable, and provide convenience so that you can find what you need, quickly. You can thank a UX (User Experience) and UI (User Interface) Designer for that.



A UX (User Experience) Designer is the person creating the architecture of how users navigate your website or any other interface. Their specialty is human-centered design thinking. They use research and user testing to understanding where the eye goes on websites and help to build a better user experience/customer journey. They create different customer personas and brainstorm on how to lay out the website that would make the most sense for what they are trying to accomplish. They figure out the user flow using wireframes that are prototyped and tested. They create almost a blueprint of the visuals of images, descriptions, and website placement that is not only helpful for the consumer, but increases revenue for the company by using that improved journey to sell their product. 


Top 5 traits you should look for in a UX designer

If you are looking to hire a UX designer, here are some key attributes you should look for. 

  • Empathy for the consumer to create a hassle-free experience 
  • Problem solver and critical thinker
  • Knowledge of appropriate technical tools & UX programs (Sketch, SmartDraw, InVision) 
  • Technology design background
  • Research & usability testing background


What is a UI Designer? 

"Now make it pretty."

Most designers hate when clients or colleagues say that to them, but it's the UI Designer's M.O., (with more complexities, of course).  UX Designers layout a roadmap to make interfaces useful while the UI Designer takes that roadmap and makes the interfaces beautiful. They take the bone structure that has been created by UX Designer and fill it in to make it simple and aesthetically pleasing, while sticking to brand standards of the company. 

UI Designers are integral to the execution of the vision of the UX designer. They create mockups with graphics and suggested UX-friendly layouts. They are the creative thinker as opposed to a critical thinker, with more of an eye for design and what users will be drawn to for the look and feel of the interface. They give the interface its personality, drawing in users on a more emotional level. A good UI designer will discover what is best for the end-user and then design the customer-facing aspects to be as interactive as possible, without sacrificing simplicity or usability. 

Top 5 Traits You Should Look for in a UI Designer 

If you are looking to hire a UI designer, here are some key attributes you should look for. 

  • A proven good visual sense/background
  • Experience with technologies like Adobe Creative Suite or Envision
  • Ability to understand the user experience as envisioned by the UX Designer
  • A team player. Having the agility to change and be susceptible to change based on user/UX Designer feedback
  • Ability to design not just to make the interface look good, but to really understand every aspect of interface design and what it means to the user


UX/UI jobs are expected to have at least a 22% projected growth rate in the next ten years. Think about it, everything is about the user experience now, so having these high-demand tech roles on staff is becoming more of a necessity than an option if you want a successful website or app interface to enhance your business. Understanding the key aspects of what they are and what to pay attention to when you are searching for these roles is critical to your business's success in 2019 and beyond. 


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