• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

What's the difference between a graphic/web designer and a "User Interface Designer"


Active Member
I've noticed a lot of ppl recently calling themselves "User Interface Designers" - and mostly people that just happen to have a couple of websites in their portfolio... obvo there is a "user" element to it but really that's web design.

To me a "User Interface Designer" would be more someone that designs for applications, ((which ok could be web based)) but also desktop, mobile...

It seems like this is the latest buzz word designers like to call themselves...?

What do you guys & girls think...?

example - Kalyan Chatterjee, a Creative UI Designer from India, UI, Graphic and Print works of Kalyan Chatterjee


It does seem to be a growing trend.. I've seen people call themselves User Interface Designers who just design something in Photoshop and give the coding to a coder... Its crazy :eek:


Active Member
yeah that's my take on it too....

are there any genuine User Interface Designers out there with an opinion? or who can enlighten us?


Senior Member

There not doing anything wrong, I guess it's a matter of interpretation. Though in my opinion UI is for (possibly web-)applications rather than web design.


Senior Member
my girlfriend did a project on user interface, they had to design a palm pilot thing and part of the nav.

it was really interesting, her research was mental, by the end of it she had worked out that anything that involves a person and something that doesnt work without a person is UI! so she did a whole thing about kettles to prove a point!


Staff member
Personally, and this is coming from a product design perspective, I see user interface design as the people that do the interfaces on a phone or a tv etc rather than a website designer.


Senior Member
user interface design..............more coding + interaction (like web applications.....users can actually use it for someting specific...........

web/graphic design...............websites, info, feedbacks, eye catchy design, forums


Active Member
Yeah that's stictly true Onartis and agreed Mike too....

and agree Levi...

could it also be argued though that a website or a peice of printed material (particularily die cut stuff) is a product - and therefore I am also a product designer... (I know the answer... just seems like the same thing)

Technically someone who designs a website had designed a "user interface" but then what does a "web designer" do are they the same thing? maybe I'm a user interface designer and just don't know it...

I think basically its just become the latest "hip" phrase so if your a web designer but wanna be down with the crew, in the cool club, you should call yourself a "interface designer"
Ok why I am a User interface designer? Beside of creating websites, I am doing lots of web based and desktop applications. I am not doing just the design part rather than I am coding the inXHTML and css and alos giving them interaction through different javascript libraries like jquery, prototype, asp.net ajax.

Also for your information, Graphic designer means only deals with graphic not code right?

I am a front end [ UI ] developer and designer for RICH INTERNET APPLICATIONS designer having experience in Flex, javascript, php, asp.net, and also in graphic design tools like adobe creative suits, corel and lot more.

Hope everything is clear now!! Cheers!!


Active Member
Interesting Kaylan. Glad to have you come here and put across your opinion.

To me it sounds like you're basically a Web Designer (work in xhtml, css, javascript, using different libraries such as jquery, prototype, asp.net & ajax) whilst you also develop web and desktop applications (which warrants the UI title)

Have you got any examples of such applications though, or am I right in thinking you design Adobe CS like tools?


Staff member
kaylan that just sounds like a web desigenr/developer to me.
It doesn't sound like you do any sort of app thats based on non web standards so how is this different to a web designer/developer?.

With the increase in web based applications (think google gears) there is going to be a cross over but if everything is still basically a website and using web based code (ie javascript etc) can it really be deemed as a user interface instead of a web app or website?


Active Member
Hi Kalyan,

Just to let you know I wasn't having a pop at you - I just happened to come across your site earlier so used you as an example for the generalisation...

In fairness it doesn't actually say "developer" anywhere on your site as far as I can see and your portfolio (under UI Design) seems to be just websites?

Obviously you mention you also work on applications - which in my mind warrents the UI design bit.

I'm not saying it's nessecarly wrong for someone designing websites to call themselves UI designers - just putting it out there for debate!