UX v UI: What's the difference?

UI v UX: What’s the difference?


Repeat after me: UI is not UX. UI is not UX. UI is not UX.

Every industry has its jargon, and even for experts it can get confusing. Marketing is no different.

UI and UX are two such terms that often get people in a muddle. And while their functions are linked, they cover crucially different areas of the design process.

Let’s start with some definitions.

UI: the means by which the user and a computer system interact, in particular the use of input devices and software.

UX: the overall experience of a person using a product such as a website or computer application, especially in terms of how easy or pleasing it is to use.

Clear? Maybe not.

Specifically, a UX designer plots the route that a user takes through a product, while the UI designer puts that into effect by creating the visuals that user will see and interact with.

Why are we telling you this? Well, for one, it’s important to know if you’re hiring in the tech and design fields.

But more importantly, understanding how UI and UX intersects can help you to improve your digital marketing output across the board.

In many ways they’re two sides of the coin. First you think about what you want to do and how you’re going to make it work. Then you put that research into place. Then you make it look as good as possible.

The two disciplines don’t work without each other.


Let’s take the example of a house. If you build a property with UX but no UI, you’ll have solid foundations, a perfect room plan, insulation, windows, a roof, central heating – everything that forms the shell of liveable accommodation.

A house, but not a home. UI would provide the little touches that we need – the curtains, carpets, interior design, the basketball net on the back of the bedroom door. Or maybe that’s just me.

If you have UI but no UX you have a bulging IKEA shopping trolly in a muddy field.

How does this apply to your brand?

Well, for one, if you’re in the tech field you’ll be hearing these terms a lot.

But try thinking about the importance of the principles when you look at your existing practices in social media, marketing, design and even copywriting.

Does what you produce have structure, does it achieve what you want and work for your users? That’s UX.

Does it look (or read) perfectly, reflecting your personality and your brand voice?

If so, well done! If not, you’ve got work to do…

Got any questions? Drop us a line at hello@orfimedia.com and we’ll be in touch ASAP!

Jonas Urbonas

Jonas is the CEO & co-founder of Orfi Media, and handles responsibility for all things graphic design, UI/UX and content creation, as well as being a Boston Celtics obsessive.