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It seems all four of these branches of design relate to each other at one point or another, and one can easily be confused for another by novices or outsiders looking in. Job postings online frequently interchange the terms for job openings, yet explain similar descriptions of job duties.

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In reality, there's no difference between jobs with those different titles (except that "web designer" is limited to projects on, well, the web).

In theory, the terms refer to different aspects of the design discipline. Following are three different explanations I've read:


User experience is the broadest term and can even be applied to physical design, whereas the others seldom are. In their book About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design, Cooper, Reimann, and Cronin say that they have chosen to use the term "interaction design" because they're writing about software products, while some physical products offer a less interactive experience (page xxx of the Introduction).

Jesse James Garret draws a line between interaction design and interface design as the degree to which the design has been implemented. Interaction design deals with the structure of the site, while interface design deals with the skeleton (creating concrete representations of the structure created by interaction design). Garrett has a famous diagram that shows how some of the roles are related. enter image description here
If the diagram interests you, Garrett has an entire book explaining it.


Yet another explanation of the theoretical division between these fields can be found in A Project Guide to UX Design (pages 30-34). The authors again treat user experience as the over-arching field, and to them interaction design is one of it's three main pillars. (The others are user research and information architecture, but you didn't ask about those terms.) According to the authors:

When you become UX designer on a project, you often end up having to play several roles....An interaction designer is responsible for defining the behavior of a site.

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