A lot of us would have heard of the term User Experience. We’ve also heard the term User Interface. Did you know that User Experience is not the same as User Interface? So why is it that I consistently see a UX/UI Designer roles advertised? As if they are part of the same job. They aren’t. Here is why.
First and foremost, a User Experience Designer is primarily focused on the users of your product/service. These users being both the consumers, as well as the people within your business. From a high level, their ultimate goal is to establish what your product/service is required to do, in order to provide the best value to your target audience. With this in mind, some of the tasks they work on (not a complete list) are:-
As you can see only the last list item really focuses on design, and this is more about visualising both the information architecture and the interactive flow of the application via the designs. So with this said, a User Experience Designer does not necessarily have the skills nor the creativity to design the system and make it look beautiful. And even if they do, they already have enough work on their plate to ensure that the product/service is being built as expected to suit our audience.
It is my opinion that the designer role is a separate individual role. Why? Well lets see some of the things they do (not a complete list either).
Now please understand, if you are a reading this article, and are either a UX Designer or a UI Designer, I am simply a developer. I do not completely understand everything these 2 roles do entirely. I’m sure there is more that these roles do. However my point of this article was to detail how I feel these roles are completely different, and should be treated as such.
I have seen a number of companies invest in just 1 UX/UI Designer. What I have noticed about these individuals is they are either overworked, and do not have enough time to do all tasks required accurately, or even worse, they are simple UI Designers, who have done a little bit of UX. Sure you think this is ok, but to me UX is everything to a product/service. It is a full time job of it’s own.
Not only is it important to me that this role be kept separate from a UI Designer, but if I could afford it, I would have at least 2 UX Designers for each project I have that requires their services. That’s how valuable they are to me. In fact, if I was to start a product/service based business tomorrow and could only start out with one employee along with myself, I would choose a UX Designer over any other role. I don’t think enough people understand how important a UX Designer is to a product/service based business. If you don’t have a solid understanding of what you should do to get the best out of your product/service, then you will fail, no matter how good it looks or how well it’s developed.
Bottom line. Keep the UX Designer role separate from a UI Designer. Both roles are way too important to try and save money on. Invest in the 2 roles separately and I guarantee it will be worth the investment.