Explain Like I’m Five: UX vs UI vs Graphic Designers

May 19, 2016 - 3 minutes read

UX vs UI designers

You say tom-ay-to, I say tom-ah-to. I say UX designer, you say “what’s UX exactly?”

Of all the roles in a mobile app development company, the roles of the various types of designers are often most confusing to newcomers. In this post we’ll explain the difference between UI, UX, and graphic designers. More importantly, we’ll demonstrate how each role is critical to designing, developing, and deploying a beautiful iPhone or Android app.

UX Designers

UX stands for “user experience,” meaning the overall flow and feeling of an app from a user’s perspective. It’s by definition a wide-reaching and complex discipline, encompassing a variety of stages in the app development process from wireframing to user research.

You can think of UX design it in terms of architecture: UX designers are like architects, creating the framework that underpins the building. They decide where the rooms go, and how one room connect to another. If test users are getting stuck on a navigational element, it’s the UX designer’s job to figure out how to structure the app in a more intuitive manner before actual development begins.

UI Designers

UI stand for “user interface.” While UX designers create the “framework” or “blueprint” for the building, UI designers are more analogous to interior designers. They lay the carpeting, paint the walls, and generally take charge of aesthetic considerations. The role is much more involved than simply picking colors and managing brand identity, however — UI designers are also involved in user testing and interactive design, coordinating between backend developers and other team members to make sure the app stays in line with user needs.

Graphic Designers

Graphic designers, in the context of a mobile app development team, are the most in-line with what the average person thinks when they hear the term “designer.” Graphic designers may be involved in the planning of UX and branding on some level, but their main task is creating the bits and pieces that support the assembly of a beautiful app. That means icon sets, vectors, animations, illustrations, and everything else that happens within Adobe Photoshop.

Design is at the heart of an app

Design is at the heart of the mobile experience, and even the fastest iPhone app will feel clunky and unpleasant from a user’s perspective if design doesn’t follow function. Toronto iPhone app Developers who incorporate design-centered thinking from an early stage are sure to find success when their iPhone app idea passes through the Apple App Store’s rigorous review process.

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