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UI Design vs UI Development: What Differentiate Them

Posted by Ravi Talajiya on 08 Jul, 2024

Quick Summary: UI design and UI development are the words that are used interchangeably. However, they are different in terms. For example, UI design refers to the visual aspects of digital products, while UI development refers to technical implementation. UI design and development require many things to understand, whether you are an aspirant or have a product to design and develop. We have precisely explained the difference between the two: UI design vs. UI development. Let’s explore.

Have you ever wondered how the interfaces and layouts were constructed? How someone must have thought and implemented every minute detail on the website? Both UI design and UI development are correlated; however, the developmental phase comes after the designing phase. One is the process of designing, while the other is the process of programming the design. Both appear on opposite ends of software development. Today, we will dive deep into that aspect itself. But before that, we must understand UI Design and UI Development.

What is UI Design?

UI design stands for user interface and is responsible for product appearance, which includes the visual aspects of digital products. UI is a process that designers use to create visual elements your users encounter when they log into your products. It acts as a ‘control panel’ for users, allowing them access to everything visible. It can be anything, from buttons and menus to color, fonts, and sounds. How your users interact with your digital products and their looks & feel will depend on how effective their UI design is.

What is UI Development?

Once your UI/UX team designs the UI, the programming team writes code for the image and brings the UI designer’s vision to life. This technical process involves transforming the UI mockup design and prototypes into functional user interfaces that allow users to interact. Now, the process involved in turning UI design into a functional client-facing interface is called UI development. Now, UI developers with coding skills must understand the idea behind UI design so it can write code, ensuring all UI elements function as it was intended by UI designers or as per the project scope.

Skills Required for UI Design

UI design requires designers to master specific skills, including the design thinking process. These skills play an essential role when it comes to the long run of the product. Mastering these increases the chances of the product to gain more users. Designers also need to acquire both hard and soft skills. To become a UI designer, you have to be.

Extremely creative

Creativity is essential for UI design to build aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly interfaces. Artistic skills always help in designing. Without creativity, there would be no ideas to explore.

You can be creative by conducting open research, expanding your inspiration sources, imposing constraints, and questioning everything. Try to think outside the box and stand out among all your competitors. Even audiences crave something fresh and new.

Knowledge of Current Market Trends

Market research is vital. Understanding current design trends helps throughout the process because it gives you valuable insights into your target audience. Incorporate this information to create an all-encompassing UI design with aesthetics that gives the right vibe. With so much advancement in today’s world, being outdated is not an option. It is necessary to know what’s relevant today.

Know the psychological impacts and functionalities of visual things on human brains. This involves knowing the correct tone that melds perfectly with your vision. Everything the human eye perceives has an impact. For example, red can sometimes be a symbol of love and sometimes anger. So you should know what perfectly fits here and what is out of place.

Process of UI Design

Define objectives: You can’t design or develop if you don’t know what you want from the product. Defining objectives remains the top priority of successful brands. They always spend time and money finding the right objectives.

Creation of user personas: User personas mean developing an accurate picture of your users’ behavior. Creating them aligns their behavior with your product to make it more user-centered.

Research the competition: One who doesn’t know who their competitors are always gets beaten by them. Research the most successful companies in your product spectrum. Find what they did or do that makes their version of the same product more demanding. Implement them into your product.

Sketch out your product: Sketching out a rough idea of your project helps you solve problems and meet user needs. During the process, always explore a range of ideas and concepts.

Design your product: After researching and sketching, the next step is to design your UI. Your product's visual aspects will either attract users or draw them away, so be mindful when choosing the assets for your product.

Usability testing: Usability testing is essential. Always test your product on users instead of your team. Beachside, the users look at the product differently from your team. This gives you honest reviews and opportunities to anticipate drawbacks and expectations.

Feedback loop: Rely on feedback rather than on your intuition because feedback is more profitable than intuition. While not taking feedback may seem beneficial for a short time, it costs enormously in the long run.

For a good UI Design, you should keep in mind that your design should be straightforward to understand. Complexity is not always good. Try not to make your viewers feel dumb. Place a visual hierarchy to guide your viewers through the content. Remember to make the font appealing and readable with ample white spaces. Try to understand your users’ behavior and suggest changes accordingly.

Last but not least, your design should be compatible and adaptable to all kinds of screens and devices.

Multiple design tools are available on the market. Some of the most common and widely used are Sketch, Adobe XD, Figma, InVision, and Axure Rp.

Skills required for UI development

As UI Developers, you must be very versatile in coding and efficient in any front-end web development technologies like HTML/CSS, JavaScript, React, Angular, Vue.js, etc. But these skills are mandatory, not complete. Here, we have explained the comprehensive skills you may need to execute UI development.

Visual design: The design and development team must have skills in visual design that include animation and interactive elements.

Prototyping platforms: They know and understand different types of prototyping platforms.

Coding languages: Write code using various languages, such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and understand every technicality of these programming languages.

Wireframing: The team must be skilled at creating website blueprints that validate the user interface's elements.

Interaction design: Understanding user intentions and creating design accordingly. For example, you must know what users expect —to scroll or swipe through a list.

Visual communication: You can make your design speak to users through words or sounds.

User research: This is the most critical skill every designer should have. It is the backbone of developing an outstanding design.

The Process of UI Development

  • Understand the UI designers’ intent. What do they want to showcase, and in which way?
  • Setup the development environment
  • Execute the interactivity using JavaScript
  • Integrate the back-end
  • Test it multiple times to make sure it’s working fine
  • Now, monitor the functioning of the app and repair it whenever necessary

Just like UI Design, you need to take certain precautions here as well. Make sure that the site functions properly across browsers like Chrome, Safari, Edge, Firefox, etc. Make sure that it is an inclusive user experience for all individuals. Also, keep in mind to track changes in the codebase every once in a while.

How they both coexist and are equally necessary

Both are essential in their respective ways; without one, the other cannot function. They are both sides of the same coin. So, they must work together as a team. A website is generally the first interaction of a user with the company. It’s like a guest has arrived at your doorstep, and it’s your duty to make sure that their experience is enjoyable, smooth, and free from any inconveniences.

Challenges faced by them

There can be a lot of miscommunications and misunderstandings. The Designing team might get too ambitious on an idea, but it may not be feasible for the Development team to execute it. Or the Development team may have misunderstood the intention and vision, resulting in not getting the desired output, which in turn will result in further delays. One of the biggest reasons for these miscommunications is that the two fields are almost opposites regarding creativity and technology. So it may be difficult for them to understand each other.

How to Overcome Challenges

One thing that must be remembered is that their goals are the same: making a good website. So, instead of the problem being them against each other, it should be both against the problem. Therefore, try to invest time in understanding each other’s strengths and weaknesses and develop solutions. Have patience, listen to the other person, and try to reach a common ground because remember that a lousy synergy will always hamper the final product.

Where Does TheFinch Design Comes in Between

TheFinch Design is the leading UI design and development company with vetted talents. We have been serving clients for more than a decade, helping us work hard and achieve client success harder. If you have a product that requires competitive design and development, we are your cavalry. Connect with us today, and we will help you grow your business and connect with your masses through compelling website design and development.


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