What is the Difference Between UX and UI?

Many people do not know the difference between the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). They seem to go hand in hand with one another. Successful products rely on both concepts. When referring to a product, it could mean a website, mobile app, or any item that requires human interaction. Below we will unpack the how each concept is applied and how they can improve your digital presence.

User Interface

According to Helga Moreno’s article, “The Gap between UI and UX Design – Know the Difference” defines the user interface as space where interaction between humans and machines occurs. People interface with a variety of products daily. For example, to log in to your email, Facebook, or doctor office’s website, you input both your username and password, then select the submit button. The “login” prompt is the user interface, the screen you type in your information. However, there are other user interfaces, such as your computer mouse, touch screens, and dashboards, to name a few.

User Experience

The user experience is the “feeling” or “emotion” that a user gets while interfacing with a product. Dain Miller’s article “UI VS UX: What’s the Difference?” describes a good user experience as “the ease of a surfboard gliding effortlessly through the water.”  My example of a horrible experience is when I was surfing on the web for the perfect Bacon Wrapped Turkey recipe. I found the recipe I wanted to print, then interrupted by a pop-up push notification. I made the mistake and selected “always” and dealt with the site’s push notifications until I figured out how to block those pesky notices.

Delight the Visitor

I think Kate Canales said it best in her “TEDxSMU 2012” video, “good user experience is not our entitlement. It is the opportunity to understand the users. Define an experience that will delight the user.” Empathy is the answer to designing a positive user experience.

It is imperative to understand how the user will be using your website, landing page, or app, through research and observations. Then to have an idea of how the user will be feeling during the interaction of the product.


Kumar, S. (2019, September 15). 10 Characteristics Of A Bad User Experience. Retrieved June 17, 2020, from https://usabilitygeek.com/10-characteristics-bad-user-experience/

Moreno, H. (2014, April 23). The Gap between UI and UX Design – Know the Difference. Retrieved January 21, 2018, from https://onextrapixel.com/the-gap-between-ui-and-ux-design-know-the-difference/

Miller, D. (2012, June 04). UI vs. UX: what’s the difference? Retrieved January 21, 2018, from https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2012/06/ui-vs-ux-whats-the-difference/

T. (2012, October 09). Retrieved January 21, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aYD6fBPC3c