UX/UI design: what are the differences?

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In the world of web design, the terms “UX” and “UI” are often used interchangeably. Still, it is important to know the difference between the two. Only then can you develop effective digital products. In this blog, we will explore the different goals and methods of the two design branches as well as tell you a bit about the magic when the disciplines come together in UX/UI design. Curious? Then be sure to read on!

What is UX design?

UX design, also known as User Experience Design, is all about designing the perfect user experience. What makes a Web site user-friendly for you as a visitor? Most likely, you immediately think of factors such as responsive design, intuitive navigation, fast load times, clear structure and accessibility. So UX design delivers value to the user!

Responsive website designs from Gaia Digital


A UX designer designs a website based on the interests and desires of the website visitor. The designer wonders what goes on in the user’s mind during a visit to a Web site. What does the visitor want to know or do, and what functionalities should be offered to enable him or her to do so?

The ultimate goal of this analytical UX designer is to optimize the overall user flow throughout the customer journey. Being concerned with the overall picture at all times will ensure ease of use.

What is UI design?

Now that you know what UX design entails, we can move on to UI design, or User Interface Design. After all, the eye wants something too! Whereas UX design is about determining the ease of use for the visitor, UI design focuses on the appearance and design – the look and feel – of a Web site.

A UI designer focuses his attention on the colors, shapes, graphics, animations and readability of the text. The designer asks himself the question, “How can I optimize the brand experience? An interface is designed on this basis.

A good interface attracts and holds attention. This is important since a website is often the first thing a (potential) customer or partner will see of your company. Leaving a good first impression is crucial!

UX/UI design: what are the differences?

UX and UI design are so closely aligned in some areas that it can be difficult to see the differences between the two specialties. Are you still having some trouble differentiating? No problem! We put the disciplines side by side again. Do you spot the differences?

UX designUI design
TargetOptimizing the entire customer journey a visitor goes through on a website.Improving the design and interactivity of a website.
FocusA UX designer’s focus is on usability, functionality and efficiency. The focus of a UI designer is on the aesthetics of the website’s interface.
AspectsThe designer researches the various user needs. In addition, the overall flow of the product is designed. Other tasks include creation of the prototype, user testing and processing feedback. The designer mainly focuses on color schemes and color psychology, fonts, the layout of a website, the buttons, icons and all other visual elements.
ResultA website that is logical, intuitive and easy to use.A website that is attractive and consistent with the brand identity.
InvolvementA UX designer works by analyzing the customer journey and solving user problems. It also ensures a positive user experience. A UI designer works with the visual, the design of interactive elements and the transition between the different design stages of a Web site.
MethodologiesUser research, personas, user scenarios, wireframing and interaction design.Graphic design, color psychology, typography and visual hierarchy.

So all in all, UX design focuses on the functionality and effective use of a website, while UI design focuses on the visual and aesthetic aspects of the interface. Both specialties are of enormous value to your online success.

UX/UI design: you need both!

Do you want a new website or are you looking for a professional to give your current website a transformation? Then don’t choose either a UX designer or a UI designer. After all, you will benefit most from a designer who specializes in both branches!

The differences between UX and UI design


Despite the fact that UX and UI are two different roles, the connection between the two disciplines is such that the tasks and responsibilities often fall to a single person (the UX/UI designer) or a single agency. This actually works out well because it saves you money! But why do you need both UX and UI? What is the importance?

The importance of UX/UI design

The combination of UX and UI design forms the basis of the user experience on digital platforms, such as websites and apps. As you now know, UX design focuses on the usability, user experience and functionality of the product. UI design concentrates on the visual aspects.

The combination of the two results in a balance between function and form. The importance of UX/UI design lies in the designer’s ability to not only captivate users, but to retain them! The result? Website visitors who are satisfied and loyal. This is exactly what you need in an era when first impressions are of enormous importance.

Who do you need at what time?

Now that you know the importance of the various design disciplines, you may be wondering who you need at what point….

When do you need a UX designer?

Want to optimize the structure and functionality of your website? Then look for a professional UX designer. Imagine, you are the owner of an online store and you notice that visitors often drop out before completing their purchase. A UX designer is the perfect person to scrutinize the problem in the customer journey and solve it by making the ordering process more user-friendly or by placing important information more prominently on the site.

Sketch of wireframe website design


So you need a UX designer when your digital product is not user-friendly enough!

When do you need a UI designer?

Do you notice that your website looks outdated or that visitors soon leave your website? Then a UI designer can be the answer. In no time, a UI designer can transform your website into a digital product with a modern and fresh look that fits well with your brand identity.

A UI designer not only creates beautiful websites, but also captures and holds the visitor’s attention. This can help prompt action, such as buying a product or service or making an appointment or reservation.

Best of both worlds: When do you need a UX/UI designer?

So, when do you need both a UX and UI designer, or better yet a UX/UI designer? When you are getting a new project off the ground or at the time when a complete redesign of your website – or shop – is planned, it is advisable to partner with a designer who has both UX and UI expertise.

Indeed, in cases like this, you need someone who not only makes sure the site functions well (UX), but also looks great (UI)!

BUTTON = Schedule an appointment with a UX/UI designer!

Need a helping hand?

Designing and developing an aesthetic and functional web design is a skill in itself. Fortunately, you don’t have to do everything alone. Want to outsource the design of your web shop or site? Then you’ve come to the right place at Gaia Digital.

At Gaia Digital, we specialize in both UX and UI design. We’d love to help you design a website that attracts (and keeps) attention and is easy to use. How exactly do we approach the development of a personalized web design? This is as follows:

  1. Introduction: Without getting to know each other well, we cannot work together. So we would like to get to know you. Tell us about the company, website or web shop, what are your wants and needs? We’d love to hear about it.
  2. Gut test: We want your input. It’s not about what we like. As the customer, you tie the knot. Therefore, we would like to know your preferences. Exactly what these preferences are we test using a gut test.
  3. Initial home page design: We work out several home page designs based on the introduction and gut test. We will present these to you for feedback.
  4. Feedback rounds: Your opinion is of enormous importance. Therefore, we will schedule several rounds of feedback. What do you guys like and what could be better? Let us know!
  5. Website design: Based on the feedback, we design all the pages of the website. With this, we create a website that completely fits your brand.
  6. Building the website: Are you satisfied with all the designs? Beautiful! We will now begin building the website. Once this phase is complete, your new professional site can go live!

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UX/UI design: Wat zijn de verschillen?