Brian W Reaves
2 min readApr 17, 2015

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Have You Seen the Magic Usability Unicorns?

I’m happy to read more and more usability professionals are fighting to separate UI & UX. In The UX “Full Stack Unicorn” and How it was Born, Dave Lull not only breaks down the difference in UI & UX but the difference in a coder & programmer.

All too often, we see “UI/UX” are if they are one in the same and they are not. This tweet explains the implications of such use. The discerning factor is UI Designer are visual designers, where as UX Engineers are hands on with users & their psychology. There are no UX Designers even though some within our profession label themselves as such.

His second point breaks down the distinct difference between coders & programmers. Coders work with frontend markup where as Programmers work on the backend with data. UI Designers and some UX Engineers might code but not program.

How can we correct this misperception? It starts with those of us within the profession. Until we sort this, we can’t expect others to. However, a lot can be gained by industry recruiters, HR departments and technical team leads referring to us correctly, listing jobs correctly & not expecting a “full-stack talent.”

* Image used is owned by the artist who created it. Support the artist and order a T-shirt: https://www.etsy.com/listing/22810403/im-magic-unicorn-t-shirt

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Brian W Reaves

UI ≠ UX - Brian W Reaves is a Senior UX Researcher | Leveraging AI to Enhance UX Research