UX is Not Just UI

A Section of the Larger Whole

UX has built a strong foundation within the confluence of several more ‘traditional fields’ such as Graphic Design, Web Development, Information Architecture, User Interface Design, Copywriting, Interviewing, Research, Testing, etc. There is a perception that some of these previously mentioned careers, such as User Interface Designer (UI), Graphic Designer, Information Architect (IA), etc. are synonymous with a UX Designer.

Erik Flowers has a great site that more eloquently conveys this point specifically in terms of User Experience is not solely the User Interface.

UI Alone is No Longer Enough

The main takeaway, here is that UX Design is large and has many parts. UI is one of those many parts. We need research and rationale to build the foundation for any project. We can polish all the pixels and make the sexiest of interfacs, but even the most beautiful product can fail, if it does not have empathy for users’ desires at its core.

Remember that interfaces are important, yes, but so is Architecture, Development, Testing, Interaction, Project Management, Copywriting, Usability and more!

It’s not a one and done game anymore!

Jack of All Trades?

The UX field is still being defined and is disparate in terms of an average team composition. Specialized team members make for a robust problem solving team! All organizations need to take a hard look at their product, and decide what size team and capabilities are best suited for their current needs.

For small in-house product teams this often ends up looking like a 4-6 person team. However, in some cases it can be that a
Team of One, is appropriate and fitting. Some of the most successful companies believe that User Experience Design is a collective effort of your entire team, designer or not. Finding that Goldilocks balance is the key here.