Ux Design And Graphic Design: What’s The Difference

Ux Design And Graphic Design: What’s The Difference

UX design and graphic design are different in these areas

  • While UX design concerns digital experiences, graphic design includes physical materials like prints on books, shirts, pillows, etc.
  • The key elements of UX design include User Research, Wireframing and Prototyping, Usability Testing, while Graphic design includes Visual hierarchy, color theory, Typography branding.
  • UX design: UX designers earn higher salaries than graphic designers.
  • UX Designers identify pain points, streamline processes, and improve overall usability to enhance user satisfaction. Graphic Designers enhance aesthetics and visual appeal
  • UX Designers are proficient in tools for wireframing and prototyping (e.g., Sketch, Figma, Adobe XD), user research methods, . Graphic Designers are skilled in graphic design software (e.g., Adobe Creative Suite),

The Emergence of Graphic Design and UX Design is a Major Difference.

  • Graphic design is a much older form of digital design than UX

The oldest form of art involved human painting on walls during neolithic times; eventually, these forms of art progressed into painting and  photography.

With the advent of computers, several forms of art emerged with graphic design being the first and having the main goal to create digital designs for physical uses e.g posters, prints on mugs, shirts, posters handbills, etc.

The term was first used in 1922 by William Addison Dwiggins in his book titled “New Kind of Printing Calls for New Design.” when referring to how he organized and managed visuals in his works.

As computers began to exist in several sizes, and the digital world became extensive UX design emerged to improve the experiences of users on across devices.

The Ux term first emerged in 1995 by Donald Norman, a cognitive scientist at Apple. He needed a term that would encompass all that UX is. As he explains: “I invented the term because I thought human interface and usability were too narrow.

caveman doing graphics design before UX

The Purpose Of Graphic Design Is Aesthetics, UX Plays More To Functionality.

  • UX design tasks are functional while Graphic designers strive for visual appeal

Graphic design aims to present elements in visually pleasing formats by employing the use of color picking rules, typography, and shapes to present information in engaging ways.

Their ability to hold viewers spellbound makes them essential for marketing purposes; In a 2022 graphic design statistics, 6% of marketers said they use visuals in more than 80% of their blog posts and Articles with images get 94% more views as opposed to those with no visuals.

User experience designers approach products from the functional aspect identifying user pain points, streamlining processes, and improving overall usability to enhance user satisfaction.

Their importance grows as experiences become digital, and the go-to for engaging audiences. According to Statistica, these digital experiences have tripled from just 2017 to 2020 (20% to 60%) and in this jump UX designers are essential.

Key Deliverables:

  • Graphic designers typically deliver designs for books, prints, logos, fliers. UX designers typically deliver outputs on  user journeys and pain points.

For graphic designers,  book prints, publications, mugs, are use places for graphic design. Deliverables for graphic designers thus includes designs for prints.

UX designers however take on design from a user perspective by undertaking research into needs and how digital products solve these needs.

A UX designer, for instance, would produce user personaswireframes , prototypes etc for determining the movement across a digital product or user journeys to determine the goals of a user and steps to accomplish them.

Skills and Tools:

  • Graphic Designers are Skilled in graphic design software (e.g., Adobe Creative Suite), UX designers utilize vector based tools   Sketch, Figma, and Adobe XD 

Graphics designers makes use of raster files a type of digital image that uses tiny rectangular pixels arranged in a grid formation to represent an image.

They makeup i.e raster based graphics permit a wider array of colors, permit greater color editing, and show finer light and shading and are thus preferred for prints which graphic design outputs usually end up in.

The tools used by graphic designers are Photoshop, Gimp, Krita.

For UX a difference occurs as UX designers differ from graphic designers in their use of vector graphics instead of raster.

These tools specialize in vector-based images made up of thin lines and curves known as paths, which are rooted in mathematical theory.

Because of this defined, formulaic approach to drawing, each image can be sized and scaled repeatedly and limitlessly without losing resolution. This scalability and efficiency make them ideal for UX deliverables like wireframes for resizing and faster transmission due to their small file sizes.

The tools for these are vector software tools: Sketch, Figma, Adobe XD.

How Much Do Both Earn?

  • Graphic designers earn a median pay of $44,476, and UX designers earn a median salary of $74,083.

In recent years, the demand for skilled UX designers has surged, reflecting a trend towards prioritizing user-centric design. Consequently, some UX designers command competitive salaries; in the United States, graphic designers earn $44,476 while UX designers earn $74,083

However, highly skilled and specialized graphic designers, especially those working in industries like branding and advertising, can also earn lucrative incomes.

As digital experiences increase the demand for UX designers is expected to skyrocket and increase the valuation for these professionals.

Graphic Design And Ux: Which Should I Go For?

Graphic and UX design tools

In conclusion, the choice between UX design and graphic design depends on individual preferences, skills, and career aspirations.

Both fields offer unique opportunities for creative expression, and the ideal path is one that aligns with your passion and goals.

Worried about earning potential? In places like Nigeria, the average pay for UX designers depends on the years spent in the industry and employer paying power.

The same is applicable in other climes; what’s important here is developing critical skills required in either graphic and UX design; like design thinking and a sense of purpose capable of delivering impactful projects


Is UX Design Better Than Graphic Design?

The “better than” comparison is subjective. If your goal is to create visually striking and memorable designs, graphic design might be the preferable choice. However, if you are passionate about creating seamless and intuitive experiences for users, UX design could be the better fit.

Can a Graphic Designer Become a UX Designer?

Transitioning from graphic design to UX design is a natural progression for many designers seeking to broaden their skill set. While the two fields differ in focus, there are overlapping skills that make this transition possible. Graphic designers often possess a keen eye for aesthetics, an understanding of visual hierarchy, and proficiency in design tools – all of which are valuable in UX design.

Does UX Design Require Coding?

No, UX design does not require coding. However, a collaborative mindset with developers is crucial. UX designers often work closely with development teams to ensure the feasibility and successful implementation of their designs. Knowledge of basic coding principles can facilitate effective communication between UX designers and developers, but it is not a prerequisite for success in the field.

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