If you’ve walked the streets of Silicon Valley or eavesdropped on a designer’s call in a coffee shop within the last few years, you have probably heard acronyms such as UX and UI thrown around. While these terms may seem like just some trendy tech vocabulary that doesn’t influence your practice, they are actually important design and marketing terms that can affect how you market yourself.

We sat down with our in-house UI/UX Designer, Raudel Enrique, and looked at the difference between UI and UX and what these terms mean for service professionals.

What is UI?

Raudel: UI, or user interface, refers to the actual look and feel of a website. When designing digital pieces, we ask ourselves questions like “what color should I make this button so the user knows what to do?” or “what key idea should be in the middle of the page?”

What is UX?

Raudel: UX is short for user experience, and emcompasses the whole experience of working with a company. For an ecommerce site, that includes how easy it is to add something to a cart and check out. For a search engine, that may be how easy it is to type or ask a question and get a relevant answer. UX is the start to finish experience.

How do UX and UI work together?

Raudel: Think of one of the most basic examples, Google. The UX of Google is that users come to ask questions and get answers. This is the end goal. To accomplish this, a UI designer sat down and thought about how to make it as easy as possible to achieve this goal. Hence, the simple search bar was born. Google hasn’t changed this UI much because they know it works.

Another example is a TV remote. There are really only a few things we need TV remotes to do: change the volume, change the channel, and turn the TV off and on. These are aspects of the UX. But we have all seen the remotes that have so many buttons that even doing these basic tasks is confusing. It is over-complicated and often frustrating.

This is an example of the UI gone wrong; the user can’t accomplish the simple tasks they need to.

What does all of this mean for a service professional’s site?

Raudel: Often, a designer does both UX and UI. At FMG Suite, all of our Themes are designed with both in mind. Take, for example, the “Have a Question” form. Although it may seem like a small part of a website, we put a lot of thought and consideration into designing it. We think about what color would be best for the “Submit” button, how many fields users should fill out, and where it should live on the website. The UX is submitting a question to an advisor, and the UI is the design that will get them there.

All of our designers work hard creating websites that are user-friendly and fit with a client’s brand and goal. Which of our Exclusive Themes fit your practice? Leave us a comment below!