I attended a UX seminar recently, and he discussed this concept briefly, however I found that it is a vital distinction very few people understand. His example was that User Experience (UX) is Breakfast. It includes the level of light in the room, background noise, the cutlery, and newspaper you're reading, the action of pouring the cereal and taste of the orange user. It is the entire experience the user has. User Interface (UI) in this example is the spoon. It is a tool someone designed to assist in the UX. I loved this distinction, and will talk a bit about both below....
When it comes to business and UX, organisations need to consider absolutely ever aspect of the business the user comes into contact with. If they see your logo on a billboard, read an online review, order or use your product or speak to the receptionist who answers the phones, it is part of the UX.
If you're a business who sells chocolates, your marketing strategy will likely be focused on the UX of consuming chocolate. It will include the social predisposition to give chocolates as a gift, as well as the idea of sneaking a chocolate treat away from others.
In the world of web design, UX refers to the whole experience of visiting the website. Somethings outside of your control...
To ensure your users have a good experience with your brand, and your website, it's important to put yourself in their shoes, or run focus groups with clients to learn how they use your site, how they feel and what could be improved. Keep in mind when investing time in improving your UX that clients often don't know what they like, only what they don't. You need to discover their pain points they suggest your own solutions.
This is a far more technical term, overused and synonymous with UX in the digital design world. User Interface means what the user can see and use while browsing your site, the visual appearance, the tools available to them and the coded functionality of the website. Designers discuss UI as the layout of the menus, the hover animation of the buttons and any options the user has to interact with the site, including buttons, hovers, navigation, scrolling and reading.
Together, it's clear the UI plays a vital role in web design UX, but they are certainly not the same thing, and it is important to get them both right when desiging a website! If you need any help with your UI or UX, contact me!