Is It Better To Learn UI Or Ux?

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Is It Better To Learn UI Or Ux?

I was approached by a young student and was asked this simple question “Is It Better To learn UI or Ux? since I work with several tech companies and freelances he wanted to get a feel for the market place and know what skill is better to have so he could get a job in the tech industry as fast as possible. And the reason for writing this post was that he was not the first one to ask me this question, hope this information helps you to make the right decision.

Ask 10 designers the difference between UI design and UX design. You will surely receive 10 very different responses. The world of technology is so changing that we are constantly trying to understand its different aspects. We will try to fully understand these two concepts.

After taking a lot of variables into account, the straight and short answer is to Start with UX design, but let me be clear we selected this on just because its easier to learn and the concepts will help you to getter a better understanding and fast track your learning curve on UI design and yes im implying that you must learn both.

For a simple analogy, a golfer must be good at all types of swings and also know how to Putt so you should learn them well.

What is UI design?

The acronym UI is explained with the words user interface. It refers to the elements through which the user interacts with the product. The UI of a product can be something as simple as a door handle or the initial screen of an application. When we use an App we are interacting with a product. Think of Spotify or Uber. To navigate these applications, press buttons, navigation menus, etc. The UI designer is responsible for designing the appearance of these applications.

If we think of UI as more flexibly, in the physical world, we can say that UI is the communication related to the use established between the product and the user. An unconventional example of UI could be simple scissors: have you ever grabbed scissors incorrectly? How can you know what is the correct way to use scissors? How does the product we know if we are using it incorrectly? Through touch and vision. When we put our thumb in the wrong hole of the scissors, we feel something different from when we put it in the right hole. That way, whoever designed the scissors tells us the correct way to use them.

What is UX design?

Every time we interact with a product through its user interface (UI) there are reactions within us. These reactions will cause us to judge the product in a certain way. Our reactions are not objective or tangible. Well, the design is dedicated to the UX: to plan the user experience.

However, the job of the UX designer is not to create the experience. The user experience is not something that is believed, but something that happens, whether we want it or not. The UX designer can only try to improve and optimize it since experience is a subjective and ambiguous phenomenon that depends on many variables. UX designers use tools and methods to understand and improve the experience objectively. All your decisions must have a livelihood and some kind of validation.

Among the tasks of the UX designer, the following stand out research, identify problems, create solutions, evaluate solutions using usability tests and constantly study how the product can be optimized. That job never ends. Once the designer has achieved a solution to a problem, the process begins again.

 Difference Between UI and UX

The difference between UI and UX can be explained very well with a less conventional example: the banana. That’s right, the UI design and the UX design of the banana are excellent. Let’s study them more closely, putting ourselves in the place of the banana user. Suppose our user is called James Gordon.

It’s 7:04 in the morning when James gets out of bed and realizes that his alarm clock ran out of battery. James usually wakes up at 6:30 because he must get to work at 7:30. James likes to have time to have breakfast calmly before going to work. Seeing that his alarm did not ring, James gets up from his bed startled and puts on his work uniform as quickly as possible. In 20 minutes you must be at work. Breakfast, as you do on a normal day today, will not be possible. With just 20 minutes, James runs to the kitchen to grab something he can eat while running to work. In the kitchen, there is mango, a banana, a box of cereal and instant oatmeal. Without thinking twice James grabs the banana and runs to work.

If you were in James’ position, what would you have grabbed? Like James, most people would grab the banana.

The UI / UX design of the banana

How did the banana designer communicate with us?

To inform the consumer when he can eat the banana, the UI designer made the interface change color according to the state of the product. If the banana is green: it is not ripening the time. If it is yellow we can eat it. If it is brown, the consumption time has passed and we must discard it. Now, what would happen if a certain user, let’s call him John, suffers from color blindness and cannot distinguish between green and brown? How would John know if a banana is ready to eat? When John wants to know if the banana is ready, he takes it by hand and depending on the consistency of the banana, he knows if it is ripe or not.

UX is about the user. The UX designer makes every effort so that any user (regardless of their limitations) can use the product and have a favorable experience. In general, the banana user experience is favourable. James didn’t grab the banana because he likes it better than mango or oatmeal. He grabs the banana because it is easier to consume and the “user experience” is better suited to the specific situation he is in. The banana fit in his pocket, he didn’t need a fork to eat it, he didn’t need to clean his hands at the end and it’s big enough to quench his appetite.

UX and UI: two disciplines that work together, with different processes and tools

As I said earlier, the UI design and UX design are closely related. Each of these disciplines depends greatly on the other. This is why many designers identify as UI / UX designers, although many times we focus on one of these disciplines, which require different processes and qualities, although both have something in common: the user. The key to achieving excellent interfaces and experiences is to work together, and always put the user and his experience as a priority.

Which Is The Best To Learn

As we have noted since the beginning of the post, both concepts are closely linked, therefore, they are equally important and advisable to learn. There are differences between UX and UI designs but they go hand in hand and complement each other. Helga Moreno, designer and expert, put it as follows in his article The Gap Between UX and UI Design:

“A product that is very good, but difficult to use, is a clear example of a good UI design and a bad UX design. On the other hand, a product with fantastic usability that looks bad is due to a good UX design and an incorrect UI design. »

If you want to achieve a useful and attractive web design, it is essential to give importance to both the visual and functional aspects, therefore, you have to find the balance between the two designs. 

Which one will get me hired the fastest

I did simple research on Linkedin and did the maths. LinkedIn reports over 7.000 Ux Job postings and 2000+ UI Job Posting know this is the market place requirements. so statistically you would find a UX Job Faster than a UI Job. now I’m not taking into account the experience and professional level of the individual. to be honest that’s a lot of research and my time is limited.

let me put it this way, monthly google searches for UI design jobs are 720 and the monthly google searches for Ux design jobs are 3.200 hits so this is how I get an overview of what the labor market is interested in.

Where Can I Learn UI and Ux

As a consultant, my job is to guide my clients on the right road to achieve the specific outcome they want, as you can imagine this leaves a lot of room for interpretation.

So my first question is always, what to do you want the skillset for? and please be very specific since this helps me guide you to the best option possible.

I’m going to respond to 3 possible inquiries since we are not interacting face to face its kind of hard to get the information of what you actually want. so I’m basing this on the most common questions I get from my clients and students.

If you would like me to give you a more custom made answer to your specific situation please click this link

Marco Ballesteros

I'm passionate about everything tech but lack the technical knowledge to be a coder or developer. But I have learned how to work around that issue hope you enjoy all the content I have created to help you.

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