UX, UI and Apple Pie

I find it both inspiring and confusing that there are so many ways to define specialties in the technology and interactive professional space. The challenge is understanding the reality that there exist just as many definitions as there are professionals who are willing to share them. Take User Experience (UX) for a spin (http://www.allaboutux.org/ux-definitions) At their core, these defined characteristics combine to paint a pretty comprehensive picture – one of moods, feelings, perceptions, and responses. It’s a sum of its parts. But wait – so is a Website User Interface (WUI) or (UI) … This is where it gets tricky; enter the food analogy.


Equate a UI to a freshly baked Apple Pie. It is built from a recipe of flour, apples, brown sugar, vanilla and a little bit of love. Think of these ingredients as an example set of some of the integral building blocks that make up a UI: design, content, and the programming language.


The UI is the warm Apple Pie. The UX is your taking in the aroma coming out of the oven as it bakes, the sticky fingers, the sweet and tangy flavors in your mouth as you eat it. UX is the package of all of those interactions and responses.


And for kicks, a poor UX would be the alternative result if you burned that pie…  Or delivered that website with typos and broken code.


As a part of an ever-changing industry we need to be careful to use practice terms appropriately in context to minimize confusion. So often, acronyms are misused, interchanged and abused until their very root definition becomes diluted, especially for concepts as broad as User Experience. Try taking the “User” out of it, remembering it is the “Experience”, then simply placing it back in.

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