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UI vs. UX design: Which is more important to learn first?

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As a complete beginner in the world of design, you can begin without any prior knowledge of the subject. Additionally, it would be beneficial to emphasize the distinction between UI, or User Interface design, and UX, or User Experience design. Indeed, this is the one subject that most closely resembles the case of the egg and the chicken in terms of which comes first.

Although there are overlaps and distinctions between UI and UX, designers generally agree that UX takes precedence over UI during the design process of a project. While it makes sense to learn in this manner, it is not always applicable. The UI aspect is simpler because it entails less learning about the software, visual design rules, usability, and motion. This is not the case with UX, as it requires a diverse set of knowledge and skills, ranging from user research to workshop facilitation and design thinking.

A good user interface designer takes care of the fundamentals of typography, negative space, and color for usability and readability, as well as icons and illustrations, ensuring that the user interface looks good on all devices. However, the UI role is only a subset of UX design. What to learn first is determined by your personal goals and level of commitment to them, keeping in mind that principles vary according to the screen, whether mobile or desktop.

Learning about user experience (UX) first

UX keeps the end user in mind rather than simply pushing pixels and designing pretty screens. Because regardless of how attractive a product appears, if the user finds it difficult to navigate, they become vexed, indicating that the product is unusable and thus unprofitable. With a fundamental understanding of UX, UI designs will more closely match the wants and needs of users, thereby resolving issues in the long run.

Begin your user experience journey with the fundamentals by building as if it were a house. Without the proper foundations, the structure will collapse. With design principles as the bedrock, they must be ingrained in your thought process to ensure strong flows and interfaces. Concept validation, user research, and creative workshops will all be readily apparent when setting up a user journey if UX is first learned.

To begin with, familiarize yourself with user interfaces. The first step is to master the fundamentals and gain a firm grasp on the UI design fundamentals. The fundamentals include an understanding of color theory, fonts, which are critical in visual design, typography, which emphasizes the design’s elegance, and recognizing design specifications. The next step is to become familiar with design tools such as Figma, Adobe Illustrator, and Photoshop. It is preferable to be familiar with two or more design tools to allow for experimentation.

Personally, I’d rather experiment with some effects in Photoshop or Illustrator and then import them into Figma. When first starting out, it’s a good idea to learn from others’ mistakes by practicing on existing designs. This provides a quiet opportunity to study usability principles, learnability patterns, and goal-driven design.

Various platforms have their own set of rules and preferences; Apple has its own human interface guidelines, Google has material design, and Microsoft has fluent design; but have no fear, templates for all of these are available online. Additionally, learning UI design requires an understanding of the UI design processes, specifically conceptual design, which serves as the foundation for interface design, interaction design, and visual design.

Invision Studio, Figma, Mockplus Cloud, Framer, Flinto, Adobe Xd, and Sketch are all UI design tools. Finding the appropriate resources and locations to learn from is critical. Learning UX design can be accomplished through online courses, reading UI-related books, and drawing inspiration from UI design websites and tutorials.

In conclusion, regardless of which one you choose to learn first, keep in mind that they both work in tandem. Not only the visually appealing screens are necessary for the design to be useful in the long run; the process by which the user can best utilize them is also critical.

Oladipo Abisola
WRITTEN BY

Oladipo Abisola

UX/UI Designer that loves good food and music and quality sleep. Things in brown catch my fancy

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