UX, UI, and its role in building an app

UX and UI developers are popular in the app development field. But what role do they truly play?

By understanding the value of UX (user experience) and UI (user interface) designers, we can discover whether their roles in app development will be a valuable investment for you to delve into.

What is a UX designer?

There are many faucets to developing a mobile app, and often, many roles can get overlooked due to how saturated the industry is.

However, the job of a UX designer is fundamental as they are the ones who will encourage your users to revisit your app time and time again, this is because the essence of their role is pinpointed to the user’s experience. And to do that successfully, one of their main techniques is to make the app as easy to use as possible.

To achieve that, they may focus on a couple of things:

Simple navigation:

Something that a UX designer may consider is how easy the app is to navigate. Their role is to consider what problems may arise when the app is in use, and often, they begin the process by scoping out the journey that the user will take.

It’s crucial for any UX designer that you hire to understand your target audience. By understanding the mindset of the ideal user, your UX designer will bring to life a successful app that will cater to your target audience’s particular set of needs.

User-centred designs:

One key to keeping the user happy is to ensure the process is as simple as possible. The UX designer may keep designs simple by implementing systems like the one-step process, as systems like these give the user what they want immediately, therefore, offering them quick fulfilment.

A few other tactics to keep users at the heart of the UX process would be:

· To keep website images to a minimum: this will ensure the user remains focused on the end goal.

· Ensuring the webpage is as clean and concise as possible.

· Any call-to-action points will direct users where they need to go and not convolute the process.

Overall, a UX designer is the person who is going to help you retain your users, so ensure you choose wisely.

What is a UI designer?

While often it is thought that a UI designer does much of the same as a UX designer, the two couldn’t be further apart – and as such, they deserve to be treated as two separate entities.

Where a UX designer focuses on how your user may experience the app, the UI designer focuses on the build of your app.

The UI designer may be the one who is responsible for:

The appearance:

What colours and fonts should your app use? Will these be in-line with the overall theme of your brand? Will they evoke the appropriate feelings from its users?

There will need to be consistency across your app, and this familiarity will offer your user the opportunity to follow the constructed interface to their end goal, which, if executed correctly, should be your product.


There’s a fine line between visually pleasing and jarring, but it’s one that UI designers must balance. A garish design can not just be off-putting, but also difficult to navigate, especially, when most mobile screens are around 5 inches long.

An app design doesn’t need to be simple, but it does need to be clear. If you’re unsure which box it ticks, then consider whether or not it’s appropriate for the product it is set on.

Other things worth consideration may be buttons or links, a UI designer will need think about their placement, their response, and whether or not a user will click it instinctively. These intuitive experiences are difficult to recreate, but a good UI designer will have the skillset to tackle it head on.

How do they work together?

It may be kinder to the wallet to not involve a UX or UI designer, however, they are vital to the process. While not everyone will always notice the work of a UX designer, they are fundamental to a user’s experience, combine that with the work of a good UI designer, and the way your users will feel about your app will change entirely.

Think of it this way, a good UI designer will give users a great first impression, but a good UX designer will encourage those users to keep coming back.

You can’t have one without the other, so it’s important that the designers you do hire work in perfect unity.

While it may be tempting to hire one person for the job, we recommend you don’t blur the lines between these two integral roles as each is inherently different, and so, it’s important each person works in conjunction with the other.

Either way, each designer will be looking for various things in their model, so having different people fill the role is important to ensure both expert opinions are apparent throughout.

In an ideal working dynamic, the UX and UI designers will work in fluid synergy for the optimum result. This may look like:

· A consistent brand tone throughout

· Ease of use for the user

· A striking balance between simplicity and strong design

· An app that responds to its user appropriately

But most importantly, the UX and UI designer will create an app that evokes purposeful feelings in the user. Because if your users have a positive experience with your product, then more often than not, they’ll choose to use your app every single time.

Further reading


Career Foundry

Career Foundry

Clearbridge Mobile

itCraft Apps


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