UX vs UI Design: What’s the Difference? 2023 Guide

According to a study conducted by the Design Management Institute, design-driven companies consistently outperformed the S&P 500 by 219% over a 10-year period. Furthermore, a study commissioned by Adobe found that design thinking in business creates a measurable competitive advantage. Design-led companies reported 41% higher what is ux engineering market share, 50% more loyal customers, and 46% competitive advantage overall. Voice user interfaces are revolutionizing the way we interact with technology. In the U.S., around 50% of adults use voice search on a daily basis, and ComScore estimates that, in the early 2020s, 50% of all searches will be voice-based.

what is ux engineering

In contrast, UX experts specialize in a specific role in large organizations and big projects. UX design refers to the term “user experience design”, while UI stands for “user interface design”. Both elements are crucial to a product and work closely together. But despite their professional relationship, the roles themselves are quite different, referring to very different aspects of the product development process and the design discipline.

What Is User Experience (UX) Design? Everything You Need to Know

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals. McDonald’s Corporation, a worldwide burger chain, had previously faced the problem of having an ordering system that varied by country and region, making it difficult for customers to understand. McDonald’s, working with GlobalLogic, envisioned a new way to ensure a consistent customer experience at all of its locations. Since I’ve placed you in the center of my responsibilities, let’s take a step back in the process and talk about that difference. We’re a place where coders share, stay up-to-date and grow their careers.

Since UXEs primary knowledge set is front-end development, you should feel comfortable with basic engineering principles and front-end development skills. The visual design assets and branding guidelines necessary to create your system. Although a few companies, such as Google and Etsy, are starting to hire UXEs, the position differs vastly between companies. Thus, after much research into the field, I believe I have finally narrowed down the role of a UXE, the skills needed to succeed, and the responsibilities. With a UX engineer completing most of the front-end UI development, the development team only needs to connect everything to the backend and optimize front-end performance. The development team no longer has to interpret designs and prototypes because the UX engineer is working in the middle to translate everything.

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This infographic highlights the main hard, soft, and transferable skills of both UX and UI designers. UX and UI go firmly hand in hand, and while there are millions of examples of great products with one and not the other, imagine how much more successful they might have been when strong in both fields. They’ll ask questions like “How can different color combinations be used to create contrast and enhance readability? ” You can learn more about UI design for accessibility in our guide. While the UX designer maps out the journey, the UI designer focuses on all the details that make this journey possible. That’s not to say that UI design is all about looks; UI designers have a huge impact on whether or not a product is accessible and inclusive.

Those new to the UX field can get started in entry-level UX design positions. It’s also common for people to start in related fields like graphic design or UI design before making a transition to UX. On average, you’ll find that UI and UX jobs in the U.S. have similar salary ranges across startups and tech heavyweights. The truth is, in the grand scheme of things, UI/UX are still relatively new fields—and, as already mentioned, they tend to be specific to the tech industry.

Do you need a UX Engineer and a UX Designer?

Working on the UI can easily start to bleed into UX topics as they are tightly coupled, which may be where the confusion arises. UX engineering is a new and growing role that combines artistic sensibility with your ability to code. If you know you want to become a UX engineer, you can start by filling any gaps in your skills, building a portfolio, and getting familiar with the space. Consider enrolling in the Google UX Design Professional Certificate. The skills you bring to the table will be important in convincing people to hire you as a UX engineer. Even if you don’t have all of the technical skills expected of the job, there are many courses you can take to learn the fundamentals.

Debugging and testing are a crucial part of a UX engineer’s job because they’re responsible for catching and fixing front-end bugs before release. UX engineers build code prototypes which they present to designers and engineers. UX engineers often work on design systems with a cross-functional team of designers, researchers, and other engineers. The UXE is responsible for building new components from design files. Empathy is the ability to understand and relate to other people’s feelings.

Five career paths for a UX designer

According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a UX engineer in the United States in 2022 is $116,625. UX engineers must understand navigation and information architecture because they’re responsible for connecting screens, modals, and pages. What counts as essential or desirable will vary depending on the company and the nature of the role. There are several online and offline resources to learn UX design, many for free. However, that also means a lot of misinformation is present on the internet. One credible and free resource is the Interaction Design Foundation.

  • Having an understanding of both UI and UX design is important for anyone wanting to work in the field.
  • It is responsible for the transference of a product’s development, research, content, and layout into an attractive, guiding, and responsive experience for users.
  • This includes having a passion for understanding how people think.
  • In most cases, UX engineers have a software engineer or product background.
  • A UXE will need to have empathy for both sides and be able to advocate for design or development.

Designers can create wireframes and upload files and assets, while UX Engineers can log in and leave comments in real-time. Meanwhile, you can store things like style guides and client feedback in a central repository for anyone on the team to access at any time. When everyone has the information they need at their fingertips, it’ll be easier to communicate, collaborate, and build a beautiful, bug-free site faster. Joining programming communities is another good way to expand your portfolio. You can often find design challenges that mimic specifications you might get from a real-world client.

The skills required

In meetings, a UX Engineer is able to advocate for content strategy, creative directions, and engineering complexities. Because UX Engineers are most like the end-users, the majority of issues can be identified at the prototyping stage. And then later evolved into an MBA concentrating on Technology Management and Information Technology. Probably not, but I have discovered that my diversity in curricula fosters empathy and makes it easy for me to work with designers, engineers, and project managers. This not only allows me to step into — and be effective — in any situation, but most importantly, be a unicorn for recruiters to find.

what is ux engineering

Caring deeply about the impact you can have on user experiences will take you far in this field. In some companies, the UXD and UXE actually sit under the same umbrella in the org chart. In this situation, the UXE belongs to the UX Division instead of one individual software project dev team. The UX Division designs products to fit the brand of the company and serve several different software projects with wireframes, prototypes and controls.

Hick’s Law: Making the choice easier for users

Whether you’re in a UX design role already and looking for your next step, or just getting started, a good place to begin is to build up the skills you need to progress. If you find you’re drawn to certain aspects of UX design, making a lateral switch to a related position can be an option worth considering. For example, if you’re intrigued by how engineers bring designs to life in a website or app, it might make sense to explore becoming a UX engineer. If on the other hand, you’re fascinated by user behavior, you can think about making the switch to UX researcher. Maybe you’re craving the freedom to concentrate on projects that interest you. Maybe your personal life has changed and you’re looking for work that’ll give you more flexibility.


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