What’s the difference between UI/UX Designer and UI/UX Engineer?

What’s the difference between UI/UX Designer and UI/UX Engineer?

Design vs. Engineering
The difference between a designer and an engineer could be seen as follows:

  • A Designer conceptualises but doesn’t necessarily build or maintain a piece of work.
  • An Engineer builds or maintains a piece of work, but doesn’t necessarily conceptualise it.

UI vs. UX
A User Interface is just one portion or stop of a User eXperience journey.

  • A UI Designer conceptualises the tangible / tactile human interface that users end up using.
  • A UX designer conceptualises and defines the entire experience the users will go through, the UI is one portion of that.
  • A UI Engineer is concerned with building the defined User Interface using the tools available to him.
  • A UX Engineer is concerned with building prototypes and proof-of-concept works for the purposes of a defining a UX ‘solution’.

If you had to represent these roles in a typical timeline:

  1. UX Designer is active throughout the entire process, but they start with a concept based on stakeholder requirements and user feedback / surveys / focus groups.
  2. UI Designer is called in to design a user interface, based on the initial findings and concepts by the UX designer.
  3. UX Engineer aids the UI designer by building testable user interfaces (if required – this role is not always needed since you can test lower fidelity prototypes).
  4. The UX Designer can then take those prototypes and feeds the results back into the UX process.  One or more iterations can occur here until the results are effective.
  5. The defined solution is then handed over to the Engineering team, where a UI Engineer builds the user-facing aspects of the solution, while Developers and Software Engineers build the back-end aspects.
  6. The UX designer can then do further user tests on early builds from the Engineering team.