There are different concepts related to user interface design:
- User interface design: User interface design (UI) or user interface engineering is the design of user interfaces for machines and software, such as computers, home appliances, mobile devices, and other electronic devices, with the focus on maximizing the user experience. The goal of user interface design is to make the user's interaction as simple and efficient as possible, in terms of accomplishing user goals (user-centered design).
- Interaction design: In design, human–computer interaction, and software development, interaction design, often abbreviated IxD, is defined as "the practice of designing interactive digital products, environments, systems, and services." Like many other design fields interaction design also has an interest in form but its main focus is on behavior. What clearly marks interaction design as a design field as opposed to a science or engineering field is that it is synthesis and imagining things as they might be, more so than focusing on how things are.
- User experience design: User Experience Design (UXD or UED or XD) is the process of enhancing user satisfaction by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction between the user and the product. User experience design encompasses traditional human–computer interaction (HCI) design, and extends it by addressing all aspects of a product or service as perceived by users.
- User-centered design: User-centred design (UCD) is a framework of processes (not restricted to interfaces or technologies) in which the needs, wants, and limitations of end users of a product, service or process are given extensive attention at each stage of the design process. User-centred design can be characterized as a multi-stage problem solving process that not only requires designers to analyse and foresee how users are likely to use a product, but also to test the validity of their assumptions with regard to user behavior in real world tests with actual users at each stage of the process from requirements, concepts, pre-production models, mid production and post production creating a circle of proof back to and confirming or modifying the original requirements. Such testing is necessary as it is often very difficult for the designers of a product to understand intuitively what a first-time user of their design experiences, and what each user's learning curve may look like.
The following techniques are presented in the next lessons:
- Information architecture: card sorting
- Interaction design
- Prototype testing