Difference between UI Designer and Web Designer

February 18, 2014

The software industry has become so large and complex that jobs have become specific to certain aspects of the program. A UI (User Interface) designer is tasked with the development of the portion of the program that a user encounters. Though this can range from hardware buttons or text interfaces, the most common nowadays is the graphical user interface or GUI. This is what we are familiar with, the windows and buttons that we deal with. A web designer is concerned with the design and development of a web site or page.

A UI designer and a web designer needs to learn different skill sets in order to address the needs of their roles. A UI designer needs to know the programming language or languages that are being used to develop the program. A web designer, on the other hand, needs to learn a wide set of skills in order to create a fully functional web site. At the very barest, a web designer only needs to learn HTML to create very simple pages but this kind of site is very inadequate. To be able to create complex pages, you would need to add a style sheet language like CSS, a database technology like SQL, scripting languages like PHP and JavaScript, and a technology for embedding media like Flash or Silverlight. Although some of these are not really that complex, it is still a lot to learn for most people who are uninitiated.

A web designer, acting alone or as a team, deals with the project in its totality with no restriction on which part can be worked on. A UI designer is restricted to designing the interface. It is his job to determine where certain controls go and how to manage the workspace so that the eventual user of the program being developed would find it intuitive and easy to use. The user interface is very important and it can often make or break a program because it is what the user notices the most.

1. A UI designer creates the interface to a program while a web designer designs the layout and links on a web page or site
2. A UI designer has to know the programming languages while web designers need to learn markup language
3. A UI designer focuses on a single aspect of the program development while a web designer focuses on the totality of the project