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Web Design vs UX design: What Is the Difference


What are the differences between web design vs UX design? What do those terms even mean?

If you are new to establishing your business’s online presence, the terms and distinctions web development agencies use may need to be clarified. You might even be unsure of what services you need to look for.

That’s why, in this post, we will outline the differences between web design as a field concerned with website visuals and UX as a field that focuses on how visitors experience your website.

We will help you understand what different designers do and help you decide which services your business needs.

What is Web Design?

Web design is a process of outlining, planning, creating, and presenting the visual aspect of your website to make it compelling and aesthetically pleasing for visitors. Creating site visuals includes several components, such as graphic design, page layouts, and content positioning. Besides that, web designers are concerned with site scalability. They make the site scale appropriately, no matter which device visitors use. Web design is a crucial aspect of any business. According to statistics, a company can lose up to 80% of potential clients without a website. On the other hand, the visual design of a website accounts for 94% of a website’s first impressions, making it one of the most essential factors in establishing and marketing an online brand.

What do Web Designers Do?

Web designers specialize in designing website layouts using various technical and creative solutions. They create the visual design of web pages and apps and ensure they are rendered appropriately independent of screen size. Web designers are not, however, limited to graphic design. In addition to graphic design, web designers consider the technical aspects of website development and user preference trends.

Fields of expertise of web designers typically include:

Seven phases of web design process
Seven phases of Web Design process

What to Look for When Hiring Web Designers?

When looking for a web designer or agency, you should pay special attention to the following:

1. Field of expertise

The broad field of web design encompasses many specializations. That’s why it is essential to clearly define your goals and look for designers specialized in an appropriate field. However, outlining the precise goals can be notoriously problematic. That’s why we provide free consultations at MANE Digital. If you need help determining your design goals, contact us through our website or hello@manedigital.com.

2. Designers or agencies portfolio

Please pay special attention to their portfolio. Apart from being a valuable proof of experience, analyzing the portfolio will also help you determine if the design style of a particular designer aligns with your preferences.

3. Their experience in your business domain

When estimating their portfolios, evaluate their experience in your business domain. For example, if you want to design an eCommerce site, assess how experienced they are in creating product pages.

4. Design process and timeline

Inquire about their expected time frame and design process. The design cycle and methodology vary significantly between different designers and agencies. That’s why it is crucial to check if their process aligns with your business and if they can meet your deadlines.

What is UX Design?

User experience design focuses on planning and developing websites or apps that are easy to use, navigate, and enjoyable for users.

UX considers every interaction the user has with a product to provide a perfectly optimized experience. By focusing on how a website or app makes a user feel and how its interface (UI) looks, UX/UI designers ensure that website visitors take a desirable action.

User experience (UX) design is critical to establishing a successful online presence. It makes a difference between an unsatisfied user and a loyal customer. According to statistics, 90% of visitors will not revisit a site due to a bad user experience. On the other hand, professional UX design will increase conversion by up to 400%, according to Forrester Research.
That’s why successful online businesses invest significant funds in UX design. Amazon, for example, invested 100 times more into user experience than marketing during its first year of existence.

What do UX Designers Do?

UX designers focus on examining users’ behavior. They try to understand users’ habits, needs, and motivations. To do so, UX designers use user research, interaction design, information architecture, and usability testing methods.

The end goal of user experience design is to analyze how users interact with a site and optimize it to improve user satisfaction and encourage conversion. Effective UX design will influence more site users to buy your product or service.

UX designers typically focus on:

  • Analysis. User experience design starts with research. Designers collect and analyze data on user behavioral patterns and preferences and plan the approach that aligns with them.
  • Interface architecture. UX designers come up with a strategy on how to arrange information within websites to ensure that they are user-friendly and easy to navigate.
  • Wireframing and Prototyping. They create outlines of the final product’s functionality and structure. Prototypes give you an early overview of your product and help designers to determine potential issues.
  • Dynamic prototype. They create dynamic prototypes, which are early versions of the final product that allow you to test interactive elements of a website or app.
  • Editing. UX design is an iterative process. That means that UX designers will modify the design according to the user’s behavior.

Visualization of UX designers process: research, wireframing, prototyping, testing, and visual design

What to Look for When Hiring UX Designers?

When hiring UX designers, you should consider the following:

1. Portfolio

You should carefully examine UX designers’ or agencies’ previous projects. Test the websites or apps they previously made and estimate how easy to use and navigate they are.

At MANE Digital, we provide our potential clients with an extensive portfolio to help illustrate the effects of effective user experience design. For example, by improving user experience, we have helped Picturepark achieve a 25% increase in user engagement and a 20% increase in page views.

If you wish to know more about how our UX designers help improve user satisfaction and conversion, you can read case studies on projects done for the WFU Center for Private Business and Picturepark.

2. Experience in your business domain

Ask them about their previous experience in your business domain. For example, suppose you are planning to open an online store. In that case, you should inquire about their expertise in eCommerce and how they have previously increased conversion rates by utilizing effective user experience design.

3. Design process and timeline

UX design is a complex iterative process. That means that time frames can vary between different teams depending on the design methodology. Therefore, asking about the expected time frame is crucial, and determining if it aligns with your deadlines is crucial.

What Are the Differences Between Web design and UX design?

Although both focus on creating a product that is appealing to its users, web design and UX design are distinct fields.

Web designers typically focus on creating appealing website aesthetics. They use tools such as Photoshop and Figma to create a static design and then make it scalable and mobile-friendly using HTML and CSS. User experience design, on the other hand, is more analytical. UX designers conduct user behavior research, troubleshoot the problems that prevent conversion, and focus on designing an optimal user experience.

Web designers make sites more visually appealing, while UX designers make sites intuitive and easy to use.

Similarities Between Web design and UX design: How Do They Work Together?

Although distinct, web design and UX design are two sides of the same coin, as they both focus on making an appealing presentation for your potential clients. Web designers help you create visually appealing sites or apps that align with your brand’s visual identity and iconography. By doing so, they ensure that your business stands out from the competition. User experience designers, on the other hand, make sure that your site performs optimally and is intuitive and easy to navigate. As a compelling visual design accounts for 94% of users’ initial impressions, and every dollar invested in UX design brings $100 in return, it is crucial to focus on both to establish a successful online presence.

That’s why our team at MANE Digital provides web design and user experience services tailored precisely to your needs.

Which one do you need the most?

Although visual design and user experience design are critical factors in establishing an online presence, you might need to choose between them due to budget and other constraints.

You should look for web design services if:

  • You need to come up with a visual design for your website
  • You need to redesign your already existing webpage
  • You wish to make your website mobile-friendly
  • You want to update your website’s graphics

And for UX design services if:

  • Visitors are leaving after only a few seconds (high bounce rate or low engagement rate measured in new Google Analytics 4)
  • You have many visitors, but they don’t take desirable action (low conversion rate)
  • The visitors leave before finishing content (reading blogs, watching videos, etc.)

Difference between Web design and UX design and which one is important?


Web designers are oriented toward creating the elements of a website that the user sees, while user experience designers create the structure of how users interact with a site. They are both crucial elements of establishing an online presence.

To maximize your business’s performance, you should ensure that both user experience and web design are optimal.

At MANE Digital, we offer decades of experience and a proven track record in both fields. If you need web or UX design services, contact us through our website or email us at hello@manedigital.com.

On the other hand, if you are still trying to decide what services you need, schedule free consultations, and we will do our best to help you decide.