Tag Archives: UX vs. UI

Interaction design vs. User Experience design

Yes, folks, there are still many industries and companies that do not understand the difference between interaction design and User Experience design. You would think that major corporations would have grasped the differences between the concepts by now. Alas, through my recent review of job descriptions, there are many companies, especially in the Dallas area, that say they are hiring a UX designer, but what they actually want is an Interaction designer.

Jennifer Blatz UX design. User Experience Design is not User Interface design.
UX is not UI

Many in the field of User Experience are familiar with the above chart. Perhaps, like me, you had to include this in a presentation to educate your client or co-workers. Despite the fact that there is some level of maturity in the field of UX, there is still a lot of confusion between the two.

As I mentioned before, I was recently perusing job descriptions for a UX designer in the Dallas area. I was noticing a trend:

  • The job title said UX Designer
  • The job description listed skills like research, strategy, wireframes and usability tests
  • It also said they company was looking for deliverables like personas, user flows and wireframes

However, upon further investigation, I discovered that these companies do no really want a UX designer, they actually want someone who is specifically a UI designer.

Jennifer Blatz UX design. User Experience Design is not User Interface design.
Interaction design actually falls under the umbrella of UX design.

It is completely OK to want a UI designer. Nothing wrong with that at all. But I feel like these companies are just copying other job descriptions and applying them to their own organization. (This is the same reason why you don’t just copy someone else’s design without understanding the context and reasoning as to why they came to the solution they did.) To me, just swiping a job description from another company and finessing it slightly so it sounds like your own is just lazy. I think it speaks leaps and bounds to the level of UX Maturity within your organization. Even if you are a large corporation with thousands of employees, or a highly respected agency with many high-end clients, you should know the difference between UX and Interaction design. If you don’t, shame on you!

My advice to companies is this: if you are looking for an Interaction Designer, just say that. Ask for skills like visual design, user interface design and interaction design. It is OK to be that specific. No need to pad up the job description pretending you wants skills like research, personas and task analysis. You, Dear Company, don’t really want those things. So be specific in your requirements and you will get the ideal candidate that much sooner. You will not waste your time or a potential job candidate’s time if you are more accurate in your job descriptions.