Topnotch Innovative Technologies

The Difference Between UI/UX Designers and Web Designers




TopNotch Inv.

The terms UX design, UI design, and web designer are thrown around so often these days and even used interchangeably. Yet, many people don’t have a detailed explanation of what these skills entail.

If you hope to build a career in this field or want to hire someone with these skills, it only makes sense to first gain a deeper understanding of each. Through experience as a leading Boston web design company, we know that the seamless integration of these elements yields the most positive feedback.

Now, we are here to explain them to you, so that you too can use the knowledge to your advantage.  

What’s UX and UI?

9 out of 10 users expect content to be easily available across all devices. UI designers are likely aware of this fact, as it is their job to make that happen.

User Interface (UI) describes the interactive elements of a website design.

Responsiveness, buttons, icons or digital assistants name a few examples. It also deals with the aesthetics of the design such as color scheme or typography. Essentially, it focuses on the artistic nature of the website that can greatly enhance the user’s experience. That’s why it’s so closely related to UX.

Meanwhile, user experience (UX) is more about the reaction that people have to web design and UI. It’s a more technical approach to the website that takes careful consideration to get right. UX design involves psychology and strategy. It handles dimensions, placement, page hierarchy and more. The aim is to inspire a certain reaction from the user and encourage them to scroll and click in all the right places.

They are so closely related that one is rather ineffective without the other. For this reason, UI designers often take up UX as well. So, what is the difference between UI design and UX design? Essentially, UX is the outline and logistics. UI handles the details and overall look.

Now, let’s move on to how these skills differ from general web design.

What’s the Difference Between Web Design and UI design?

As was just explained, UI pertains to the interactive and useful features of a website. On the other hand, when people speak about web design, they are usually referring to development or graphic design. While not always necessary, web designers usually know a thing or two about coding.

They often do work on the backend of the website and help to create stunning visuals. However, web designers aren’t equipped with the knowledge of a UI designer and even more extensive training from a UX designer. For this reason, you’ll notice a difference in pay rate too, with web designers getting paid the least and UX designers making the most.

What’s the Difference Between UI and Visual Design

All it takes is engagement with quality content for 60% of users to feel more comfortable with your brand. This is why UI and visual design are so important.

Yet, they differ slightly in terms of the level of knowledge on the matter. UI is highly concentrated on the best ways to engage a user and uses scientific research to achieve a specific goal. Meanwhile, visual design is much less intense. It’s just about making the website look attractive and balanced.

While UI depends on user interactivity, visual depends on the basic design principles and trending ideas. Because both address the aesthetic nature of a website, they tend to get lumped together. To be fair, people are far more likely to hire a visual designer with some knowledge of UI. UI is more grounded in the facts, which would naturally yield better results.

What is a UI UX Web Designer?

Think of a UX/UI web designer as a full-service website contributor. Because this hybrid profession has become more common in recent years, the terms are often now used interchangeably. Still, it’s clear to see why clients prefer a designer with the full array of skills, as they likely build your website from the ground up.

Not to mention, because the three are so closely related, they often each need to be considered every step of the way when building a website. Yet, this confusion often leads to disappointment. People looking to learn may study up in the wrong area, and people looking to hire may hire the wrong type of specialist.


Here’s a scenario to help you understand better. Web design or development is similar to securing the land and building a foundation for a house. It is most important, and without it everything else would collapse.

UX design would then build the frame of the house and include the electrical wiring and plumbing. UI would add the appliances, lighting fixtures, and furniture. Then visual design would paint the rooms. Get the point?

So, here is some advice: if you don’t know who to hire then go for the UX web designer or a combination of UX/UI. They will have the most knowledge for the job. If you’re looking to learn, maybe start off with web design and work your way up to UX, this will ensure the best learning experience.

Looking to hire a skilled designer for your web project? Check out the Boston web design professionals here at TopNotch Innovative Technologies. We offer UX/UI web design, app development, digital marketing and much more.


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