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Blog 1: UX and UI Defined
Back in 19… ugh, a while ago, when I was trying to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up, 90% of the marketing jobs that exist today had not even been imagined. The advent of “Al Gore’s” Internet was just barely starting to scratch the surface with domain names so long and confusing no one could find anything. Yep, this was before Google!
And, those traditional marketing channels that did exist have evolved so significantly that they’re no longer recognizable. The pace at which marketing career specialties, and the tools used to perform these jobs, are emerging is impossible to comprehend much less keep up with. College grads today and marketing practitioners no longer know all of the available marketing career options. And while it can be mind boggling, it’s also a very exciting time to be a marketer!
To that end, this is the first in a series of blogs that will help define marketing roles for those trying to decide who they want to be and to potentially spark interest in a new career path for those who are stuck in an unsatisfying job.
What the heck does that person do, anyway?
User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) Defined
These two jobs are so hot that those in this field have statements on their LinkedIn profiles asking recruiters not to contact them because they’re contacted everyday by multiple recruiters. Imagine that! You’re in such high demand that you publicly state don’t choose me, don’t choose me. It’s a relatively new field and, with an infinite number of websites and apps being created, there aren’t enough professionals with this skillset to keep pace with the available jobs.
User Experience (or UX) creates the experience of a user on a website or with an application (app), product or game. (This is not to be confused with Customer Experience (CX) as that typically represents an offline product experience while UX represents an experience online.) In UX, your job is to conduct research to understand and define the requirements of the user and how they may use an application. They often lead focus groups, usability testing, prototype building, customer testing and interviews. They then translate the usability and field research findings into design improvements. They often liaise with Design, UI, Product Management, R&D, Marketing, and other stakeholders to incorporate research and insights at all stages of user experience development.
User Interface (or UI) In UI, you’re responsible for the development of everything a user interfaces with, in an easy-to-use, error-free experience. Sometimes this individual actually codes the graphical interfaces for the user and sometimes they are the graphic / web designers and sometimes they do neither. It all depends on the size of the company and the resources they allocate to this methodology. Among other things, these individuals develop interaction models, workflows and user interfaces; develop scenarios, task flows, wireframes and mockups to effectively conceptualize and communicate detailed interaction behaviors and design strategies. Additionally, they may develop visual concepts, prototypes and features that work cohesively across the experience. They often collaborate with User Experience, Design, Product Management, R&D, Marketing, and other stakeholders.
These two job functions are new but they’re here to stay. In fact, as Websites become less and less effective at converting business, these individuals will be in even greater demand. It’s a great time to be in this field. Hurry before everyone jumps on the bandwagon!
If you’re seeking UX consultants or UI consultants or direct-hire professionals, Marketing Mob can assist you in filling these roles. If you’re seeking UX jobs or UI jobs, please submit your resume here.
Disclaimer: This field is relatively new and there are a lot of definitions floating around for these two positions. There’s also a significant amount of crossover between them and other areas affecting the “user”. This is my best high-level explanation of these two roles; I have no doubt that some will disagree with my explanation. I welcome your feedback.
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