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Difference between UI and UX in software testing

I lately noticed that there is some confusion going on around the software testing in regards to user facing parts of the system. Testers mention that they are planning to “run some UI testing” or others speak about “strange UX on that system”. I would like to spent some time today and emphasizing the main 3 differences between UI and UX and how we are testing each one, and by whom.
But let’s start from the beginning what is UI and what is UX?
UI is a User Interface, usually referring to anything that can be visually seen by the user when interacting with the system. That will include colors, page design, logos, element shapes, etc.
UX is a User eXperience, usually referring to anything that can be done by the user when interacting with the system. That will include what can be clicked, what can be done, what will be returned back to user and in what way, etc.
With that understanding we can now define the 3 most important identification points for each one

UI - User interface

  1. Visual Design
  2. Branding
  3. Layout

 UX - User experience

  1. User Stories
  2. Personas
  3. Usability

From the above we can clearly see that for a functional tester there is really nothing to test in the UI section and a lot to do in the UX. While the Content, Marketing and Design departments of the software product will have to spent considerable amount of time to verify UI elements compliance with branding guidelines, proper resolution, visual presents and so on. Those need to be tested in different environments and resolution to verify proper presents on all expected devices, all that without any emphasis on functionality of each component but mostly on how well it looks and feels on the screen.
On the other hand functionality of each visual component will have to be covered by proper testing department to verify that it all according to expectation and matching the pre-defined user stories for each scenario. Usability of the components usually is being tested by the representatives of the users, and the business defining the possible user personas that will be using the system and proper testing will be required to verify that those pre-defined personas can accomplish all the required tasks on the new system in an acceptable manner.


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