User Experience (UX) design is usually confused with similar terms like User Interface (UI) and User Testing (UT). Each of them are part of the same process. But have different and important definitions.

Denisse Gutierrez is part of the UX Clinic team. She conducts UX Research on a daily basis.

Here are a few of the questions we posed to her on this topic.

What can UX complement design?

UX is the soul of design and not really a “complement.”

One of the most common mistakes we do as designers is to assume that our idea is foolproof based on our own judgement and experience.

At the end, the people using the product pay the price of a non-functional design when they simply don’t feel a connection, or seems complicated to use, and end up abandoning it.

In order to design something that is useful for people, we have to invest time in planning and research. UX or User Experience is the whole spectrum of opportunities, based on research, we foresee to make a user want to interact with a product or service.

That being said, designing a software product without researching it first, will result in a meaningless experience to people. That is why I think of User Experience as the soul of design and not as a “complement.

UX is what makes sense of our work as designers.

What is the difference between UX Research and UX Design?

User Research is the foundation of UX Design. Since our design philosophy is user-centered, before we start any design we do User Research aiming to know users wants, needs, limitations, or emotions while interacting with the software product.

UX Design is based on the discoveries we found during User Research. UX Design is not only a visual solution but a mental model based on the actual users. With that model, we define the workflow, functionality, and look-and-feel needed to design a web tool or app.


What is the relationship between UI and UX?

User Interface is only a part of the User Experience. UI is enriched with UX solutions because the interface is validated by the actual users. This way, we are designing not only a pretty and clean interface but also a meaningful experience, easy to interact with, and that generates enough value for people to keep using the result, be it a webtool or an app.

What are the benefits of making UX part of your best practices?

UX Design is fundamental to,

  • Make sure users have a pleasant interaction with your product.
  • Save time and money
  • Preventing errors when implementing the software.
  • Generating features that are actually useful.
  • Validating system functionality, according to the user’s mental model.

And most of all, UX design makes users lives easier.

What is the relationship between UX and Usability?

Usability is a key feature of User Experience. It’s what helps humans learn to use a product easily in the least time possible.

We conduct Usability Testing to targeted users to measure and validate the usability of a product, in order to design a satisfying UX.

How can a designer incorporate UX into her daily routine?

UX Design is a process that anyone, not only designers, can adapt to their daily routine. First of all, we have to be honest with ourselves and not assume we have the absolute truth.

Anybody who wants to adapt UX Design to a software product or app, should follow these rules,

  • Research is more important than inspiration.
  • Workflow ahead of sketching.
  • Testing instead of assuming.
  • Iterate and validate before implementing.

Our thanks to Denisse for taking the time and enlightening us with her insights.
If you have more questions for Denisse, you may leave a comment or follow her @neniza_.