In the digital world, a website is essential to mark your presence. You may have approved several digital agencies that claim to be web designers with great knowledge of UX design or UI Design. The question that arises is; I want to develop a kick-ass website, do I really need someone who has knowledge of these three sciences or a web designer would do? Let’s look at these three in greater detail:

Web Design

People who once used to be known as graphic designers are now web designers with their visual design expertise lying in:

  • Creative concept
  • Color theory
  • Typography
  • Developing icons
  • Diagrams
  • Infographs

Interactivity, i.e., rollovers, drop-down menus, digital slideshows, call-to-action buttons and forms. When you opt for a web designer, there is a possibility that they may have a basic understanding of Information Architecture, HTML and JavaScript coding, but it is more than likely that they need to team up with a web developer to write code that can be used in production. When it comes to a website designer, they also focus on the making the brand more visually appealing & getting the brand message across clearly.

UX Design

UX Design or User Experience Design focuses on the logic & application side of the digital brain and may include app or other software product design and also websites. When compared to a web designer who focuses on the end user experience a UX designer they take it to the next level by applying specific methodology around the user. The UX process generally begins and is heavily dependent on research. This helps in articulating a specific, desired end state and the customer journey(s) needed to get there. Perhaps one of the most interesting and time consuming part of the process is the development of User Personas (detailed demographic, psychographic portraits of various types of users and what motivates them). These personas are then used to create user journey and the type of functionality required.

Before the creation of the design, a prototype or a simple wireframe is developed. This structure goes through a usability testing process where the client is asked to navigate through the prototype. The testing process may be repeated once the design has been applied on the website, application or software.

UX focus is specially recommended for websites that are complex in nature especially because of:

  • Multiple users & user types
  • Multiple products or services catering to different audiences
  • Number of pages & templates the website
  • Merger or acquisition

UI Design

The term UI is the acronym for User Interface, which is something that comes more the world of software and is primarily used for products. A UI designer is someone who is an expert in designing an interface that is user friendly, but it isn’t necessarily visually appealing. When it comes to UI Design “Form Follows Function” is the operating principal.

UI design is something that identical to the front end development of the website. This includes managing complex information, tasks and workflows and displaying it into screens and flows that are primarily based on intuition and usually tries to display something complex with simplicity. Shortly, UI Design signifies the intersection of development and design.

In conclusion Web Design, UX Design and UI Design are not always standalone functions. In fact several website design and development tasks involve a mix of the key elements from the three. If you are looking for an agency to work for you, you can emphasize and clearly define which element(s) out of the three is most important for you. An agency may also highlight their area of expertise on their website, but reading between the lines and discussing their capability in detail with them is essential before you hire one!