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Difference between UX, UI, IxD, UCD and SD?

In digital design today there are many terms and acronyms that cause confusion for external or new people in the design industry.

In this article I present a general and quick description of the main forms of design to help understand what they mean.

UX: (User experience)

It was born with the need to make the screen-based interfaces easier to use, but it has also been applied to non-digital space. It involves researching an existing or new business and its target market. Its objective is to understand and identify the characteristics and relationships of the client with the technology. Then, he deduces what customers need and works with the company to discover the best and most convenient way to offer it. It is not just about changing the face of an existing product, but questioning whether the product is even necessary. For this reason, UX can not be done in the final stage of product development, it has to be part of the process from the beginning. So that we can obtain the best results, we use a methodology called user-centered design (see UCD).

The designer of UX is responsible for creating “logical” products such as wireframes, prototypes, storyboards, sitemap, written specifications. through wireframes and prototypes through software such as Sketch, Axure, Mockplus, Fireworks, UXPin, etc.

IxD: (Interaction design)

UX has always been associated with computers and interaction design is much more than that. It’s about designing any interaction, from using a bus transport system to opening a door. Then you can say that UX is part of the IxD family. These limits have become a bit fuzzy as UX is infiltrating the company’s service and not just on the screens. This is sometimes called customer experience design or service design.

The IxD designer is responsible for the mobile elements / interactions of websites / applications. If you’ve seen a great animation on a website or application, that made you say “wow” or that’s great, that’s what motion designers do.

SD: (Service design)

It is very similar to UX and IxD but to the complete services offered by a company, not only to customer service systems but also to support systems. For example, if you make the kitchen excellent, the customers of a restaurant will have a better experience.

UCD: (user-centered design)

User Centered Design (UCD), or User Centered Design (UCD), is defined by the Usability Professionals Association (UPA) as a design approach whose process is directed by information about the people who will use the product. It is a design philosophy that aims to create products that meet the specific needs of its end users, achieving the highest satisfaction and best possible use experience with the least effort on your part.

User interface: (user interface)

The design of the user interface is a file based on art and is the design and design of the product interface. The product is conceived in the UX process and becomes visible pages in the design process of the user interface.

Bonus non-acronyms:


This is the guy that makes magic really work. He or she writes the product that has been designed in code so that it does not break and work the way it was designed.

Graphic designer

Also known as visual designer. Many people only say designer, but this often generates confusion, since there are many designers in the life cycle of a product. A visual designer makes the pages pleasant to see. They should use the designs created in the user interface process, but also make sure they understand the research in the UX process, since the visual design can often play with the emotional state of the client.

Also published on Medium.

Published inTechnology

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