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I wanted to know is ui and ux design is all about designing a website and app on how it looks? Like how should a particular box should appear whether it should be small or big? Should it have shadow or how will it aling? Is this how ui and ux design is all about?

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There’s a lot of different opinions about this.

Some people will say UI is how it looks and UX is how it works which is a bit off the mark.

I think of it more as follows:

  1. Interaction design is about designing user interfaces (UI) that users can use. How it looks and how it works influences this. For example, a legible font makes an interface easier to use. Good colour contrast and spacing and alignment makes things easy to use. These are visual things. Of course the fact I can understand the interface, use a keyboard, a screen reader, a mouse, trackpad and intuitively find and do things is more part of how it works. But they're intertwined and make up the interface. But then the exact words that are used on the interface are just as important (if not more) and this is called ‘content design’.

  2. When people say they want things to look pretty/unique I think of that more like graphic design and branding and visual design. This is important but I think a lot of people place too much emphasis on this. Both this point and the previous point both mention visuals but they come at it from different angles.

  3. User experience (UX) for me is the entire user experience someone has when using your product or service. That could include any and all of the following:

  • the advert the user sees
  • the leaflet the user receives
  • the dialog between the user and the sales person on the phone
  • what a user's friend says about the service
  • how joined up the service feels to the user across channels
  • how social media workers communicate to users
  • the emails users receives
  • and finally the experience of using the website, app, UI.

Everything makes up the user's experience from the moment they become aware of a thing to the moment that user achieved what they wanted by using that service.

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No. As the name implies, User Experience means everything affecting the experience of a user, digitally, physically and mentally.

Every problem, experience, etc you encounter can be cut into segments with a start and an end depending on scope. Everything that happens within that start and end is your user experience for that specific segment.

Zoom out enough and you see a big story of a single experience (e.g. your life from birth to death, a product from mineral extraction to production, usage, discarded, recycled, etc). Looking closer, you notice this single experience is composed of smaller ones (e.g. childhood, adulthood, etc) that can be split into even smaller ones based on themes (e.g. marriage, first child, etc or life insurance, friendship, etc) and further down (e.g. vacation, employment, buying a bike, cooking, etc) and so forth (using an app, downloading a file, sending an email, etc).

Everything that happens and affects these experience segments is your playground to build the user experience. This is why the core of UX is research aka getting closure with the user to understand what are the things creating and affecting their experience. It is an exercise to portray the real world into paper and concepts, similar to how cartographers portray the physical earth onto maps. The goal is the closest viable approximation, it will never be perfect since perfect means the real thing itself. A journey map is an approximation of the experience, that's why it's a map.

Now, designing a life is too complex for us humans to wrap our heads around. Therefore, we focus on smaller experience segments such as your interaction with a service or product. Zooming into this smaller experience, maybe the user encounters a button that does not look like a button and he/she gets frustrated. This is the atomic level you are asking in your question. Maybe it's called the button experience.

Zoom out a bit and you see the page, zoom out and you see a taskflow, zoom out and you see a product, zoom out and you see a user journey, zoom out and it's the user problem, etc. Zoom out enough and you see birth and death of the user. But again, that's too complex of any of us to solve.

To give a different perspective, below is what UX is defined as professionally. All those circles are areas we defined that could affect the user experience. enter image description here

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