What is the difference between User Interface and User Experience design?

I've found an interesting exchange of ideas about  GUI on http://www.linkedin.com

Kedron Rhodes  There is an unfortunate trend to use the two titles interchangeably, but I assure you, they are not the same. A UX professional is the storyteller, where as the UI professional would be the editor. They often work hand-in-hand, but they see the project from entirely different perspectives. 

Karl D'Souza • Even though they are two seperate skillsets, in todays world of UI design, all UI designers need to start integrating UX into their design. They aren't interchangeable but they definitely need to start getting integrated.

Jamie Lemon • If the UI designer doesn't have an appreciation of UX then they are going to be less able to implement the "correct" design. I've seen UX fail because the UI people weren't in the loop. I believe one person with both UX and UI ability is more valuable than 2 separate people with those skill sets.

Gavin Lew • The provided references do a good job of making the distinction betweeen UX and UI, but I believe that the user experience of a product goes beyond the interaction and really impacts all the touch points for service or product delivery. 

Geof Harries • I think only on big teams do most people have the luxury of two distinct roles. As others have mentioned, we're starting to get to the point, if we're not there already, where UI designers need to have serious UX skills to be proficient and effective. In my mind, there's no seperation of the skillsets if you consider yourself a well-rounded professional.

Christen Williams • User Interface (UI) design is the act of laying out the information architecture of an application or website including, but not limited to, the layout of the information on each screen. You can design a UI solely based on business needs or can design a UI with the users as the focus - User Centered [UI] Design or UCD.

User Experience (UEX) design is the act of designing a UI always with a focus on the user and ease of use concepts and best practices to ensure the overall "experience" of using the application or website is a good one.

That said, UEX professionals almost always will design the UI, but add the value of a UCD focus. UCD or UEX helps save time and money by consulting with the users during design phases which ultimately avoids costs associated with redesign due to designs that don't take the user into consideration as much.

In summary, if you're looking to hire someone with either skillset, your best bet is to find a UI Designer with a UEX or UCD background.

Sean Pook • Christen has answered the question superbly. The UI is a part of the overall user experience and good User Experience should always be user-centred.

Job titles can be confusing and I often see UX Designer and UI Designer meaning the same thing. They shouldn't though.

If you have a role in mind but are not sure of the job title, let me know. I'm a specialist UX recruiter and am happy to advise (no strings attached) :-) 

Adrian Mendoza • As a UX professional I tell clients that the Big distinction is that UX designers must respond to ROI. ROI and business rules must always be in the mind of a good user experience. Sometimes a good UI design might not be the right solution for business rules. 

Sean Pook • UI can be wholly independant of UX design (but shouldn't be) and UX Design can certainly be wholly indpendant from UI Design (because if we're talking a digital UI, the Product / service, may not even have one).

However, how often do we see the term UX when it's not associated with a digital user interface?

User centred design can also be independant of business needs and focus exclusivly on the users. But logically a user base is also a customer base and this comes back to business ROI. So they are definitely interlinked.

Simon Rohrbach • I usually refer to User Experience Design as the science of looking at and designing the touchpoints a (potential) customers interacts with over time. These can include both digital touchpoints (website, mobile apps, etc) but also offline entities such as high street shops, customer service, etc.

User Interface Design to me is much more about designing a digital interface, e.g. the web service, the app, etc.

A good UI can only influence the overall UEX to a certain extent - if, say, Brand XYZ's web app provides an excellent UI, the high street shop can still be crowded and noisy, so that the customer will walk away with a "negative" user experience and a negative impression of Brand XYZ.

A smart company will always try to look at the overall user experience and try to map out strategies and guidelines for each of the touchpoints - both online and offline - to provide an excellent, consistent experience in their respective field. 

Bipin Daftardar • UI and UXD should be working together. Many a times UI designers / developers 'assume' about the user and not consider the end-users, as in the case of UXDesigner, the basic need is to understand the business objectives and study user behavior, expectations and tasks and then move ahead with strategic interaction design. Technical aspect of prototyping may be lacking in UXDesigners, which is also important.


So, you can add more comments to the above ones -- Cheers!