Essentially, UX applies to anything that can be experienced—be it a website, a coffee machine, or a visit to the supermarket. The “user experience” part refers to the interaction between the user and a product or service. User experience design, then, considers all the different elements that shape this experience.
A UX designer thinks about how the experience makes the user feel, and how easy it is for the user to accomplish their desired tasks.
While user experience is a conglomeration of tasks focused on the optimization of a product for effective and enjoyable use, user interface design is its complement; the look and feel, the presentation and interactivity of a product.
But like UX, it is easily and often confused by the industries that employ UI designers—to the extent that different job posts will often refer to the profession as completely different things.
The main differences between UX and UI?
An analogy I like use to describe the different parts of a digital product:
So if you imagine a product as the human body, the bones represent the code which give it structure.
The organs represent the UX design: measuring and optimizing against input for supporting life functions.
The UI design represents the cosmetics of the body; its presentation, its senses and reactions.
Basically UX design is all about the overall feel of the experience, while
UI design is all about how the product’s interfaces look and function.