(Week 6)

Today in #posiel we had the pleasure of having a guest speaker speak at us. Unfortunately, “guest speaker” is as specific as I can get (I swear I am not trying to be rude, I am horrible with names and cannot for the life of me remember hers. Julie? Amerie? When I find out I’ll edit it in.), all I know is that she mentioned a lot of cool things about design and in Richmond, you can get a wheelbarrow full of pumpkins for a set price! So, I think you can agree, very knowledgeable!

Anywho, one of the design subtopics she spoke on was UI/UX, which many of you may know stands for User Interface and User Experience, respectively. If you Google UI/UX design there are so many definitions out there, so what is correct? With that question in the back of my head and her slides near the front of my head, it got me thinking about what UI/UX actually is.

The very syntax of UI/UX (as it is commonly written) is an interesting one because the forward slash is typically meant to denote an “or” meaning the syntax is implying an inclusive and interchangeable UI or UX. If you’re nodding your head along to this thinking that sounds rational, I would like to very politely ask you to stop :). They are NOT identical twins. Cousins? Maybe. Nevertheless, this is a common mistake, as both are different yet related concepts. What these concepts do share however is that both revolve around implementing a human-centred approach of designing for some medium, in posiel‘s case, digital.

There are many different definitions floating out there of what UI and UX are, so I’m going to briefly mention what I take UI and UX to mean in a digital sense and then explain why they are different.

User Interface: The tangible bridge connecting the user and a digital platform, a bridge that allows the user to interact, influence, and achieve their workflow goals.

User Experience: An all-encompassing experience a user has when interacting with a digital platform from the instant they sense the platform to the end of their flow.

These are different because one cannot simply (insert LOTR meme of Boromir) gain an experience of something without interacting with that thing via one of our perceptual senses in the first place. Sight, touch, sound, smell??? It doesn’t matter.

I will let you ponder on that, and after you do please leave a comment if you feel like commenting! After all…

We cannot piece together the puzzle, if we don’t have all the pieces!

– Aristotle, probably.

Meme of man sitting at a booth outside with a sign hanging off the booth stating, "UI & UX are not the same thing, change my mind."


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