What’s the difference between UX and UI? (Wearable Edition)

IMG_7581A little over a year ago, my daughter snuck up on me while I was working and asked me what the difference was between UX and UI. I wound up doodling a little cartoon of a little guy, and a bike, and the little guy having the best experience of his life riding the bike.
Lately there has been a large amount of discussion around wearables in our industry. Pebble, Android wear, and Apple Watch discussions are popping up all over the place.

I was chatting with a family member recently about how wearables  are a huge innovation destination opportunity for our industry.

I was showing some different types of wearables, and he turned around and said, “Well… the prices are pretty different. What’s the difference between them? They all seem to do similar things.”

Brand fan loyalty plays a part, but when there are 6 different Android watches with similar functionality, UX is the key differentiator. People are now willing to fork over extra cash for a positive user experience.

UX has become the core foundation of the design industry. Desktop products, e-commerce, websites, mobile apps, tablet apps: The deciding factor for purchase has begun to revolve around UX. Most of the products do the same things. How do folks decide which way to go? They look at peer reviews, and the peer reviews are completely experience based. If peers are having positive or negative experiences with a product, their public feedback greatly impacts the purchasing decisions of future buyers.

We have entered a time when having so-so UX is a product killer. Focus on the little big details. Test your products during design, development and a final sweep prior to release. Usability testing throughout the process has become key to product success.

Companies are becoming so agile that you can’t afford to kick out clunky functionality. Consumers are refusing to put up with it, and your competitors will zip past you and steal your business. Either fix your product UX, or get out of the way. (Actually, don’t bother trying to get out of the way, you’re going to get mowed down regardless.)

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2 thoughts on “What’s the difference between UX and UI? (Wearable Edition)

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    1. Brand fan-ism definitely plays a role, but when you look at the pile of Android options available, the key to folks being willing to fork over extra cash is definitely rooted in UX.

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