The proliferation of Web and Mobile means that Web and Mobile Designers and Developers are in demand. I speak with Designers and Developers, and the Companies who seek these people, every day.
It is true that, over the last couple of years, the acronyms “UI” and “UX” are appearing on more and more jobs specs and more and more CVs. UI Designers, UI Developers and UX designers. These, of course, relate to the acronyms; User Experience and User Interface.
What prompted me to write this blog, was a conversation I had with a candidate this week.
I had been discussing a particular contract opportunity with him and was qualifying his skillset V’s the requirements. Throughout this candidate’s career, he has described himself as a UX Consultant, UX Architect, UX Engineer, UX Strategist or UX Specialist.
Because the role I was hiring for was for that of a UI Developer, I was curious as the extent to his knowledge of particular front-end development languages. I was trying to ascertain, how much of his experience was hands on UI development and how much was more high level UX design.
My efforts led me to saying something to the effect of; “I know UI is an element of the broader UX, but I really want you to elaborate as to your hands on UI Development”. I was a little taken back when this particular candidate’s response; “they are the same thing”. He went one step further and stated that he could play a game of Recruitment Buzzword Bingo, and do a “replace all” on his CV: UX –> UI.
This prompted a telephone debate, as we began to discuss the intricacies and eventually, we where both in agreement that UI is a part of UX, yet UI and UX are separate entities.
After the call, I realised that, the candidate in fact has all the necessary skills to be an excellent candidate for the role; UI Developer. I believe that, his CV did not highlight in great detail all the development work, because the particular candidate was probably worried that by doing so, he could marginalize himself as being “JUST” an interface designer/developer. He wanted to ensure that his impressive experience with the broader nature of UX was also highlighted.
The reason why he had displayed his CV that way, is probably in response to the general lack of understanding between the two concepts.
Props to Dan Willis’s blog; http://www.dswillis.com/ for the below image:
Because UX is generally followed by the word; design, it is easy to see why people could come to see UX designers as the same as UI designers. However, UX design work is different to that of a visual or interface designer’s work. This is because, a lot of UX relates to the intangible design features of a particular strategy, that in turn, brings the user to a solution. It encompasses the overall experience of the user.
Image Props; http://www.uxisnotui.com/