What is the difference between UX and UI, and why Elden Ring leaves much to be desired in both

The conversation about Elden Ring seems to be far from over. Overcome the difficulty in the souls -fingers crossed- and having learned a lot from the adequacy of your tutorial, we are now faced with two other debates about which rivers of digital ink may once again flow.

We will air the first one quickly: defending a video game company and its works does not mean ignoring its mistakes, you may like something a lot and despite this, be able to say that it needs to improve in certain aspects. The second, less toxic, does deserve to be extended a little more: the UX and UI of Elden Ring they are far from ideal.

What is the difference between UX and UI

During the last few hours the criticism of some Ubisoft and Guerrilla employees to the game of Software has put in the hands of the players two words that can be confusing and that certain sectors of the public have not been slow to misunderstand: UX and UI. To understand us better, this is what they actually mean.

  • UX (User Experience): the set of elements that cause the user to have a positive or negative experience with the product.
  • UI (User Interface): the set of elements that allow interaction with the product, often in order to offer a positive user experience.

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Although its objective is often confused, the example of the boats of ketchup It is perfect to understand the difference between both concepts. It is likely that, after seeing the image that you have below, you will know how to differentiate both products and brands.


In both cans of ketchup the UI it is successful because they make it an easily recognizable product and you will not have too much trouble understanding what it is and what it does if you see it on the supermarket shelf. The visual part does its job.

However, the UX it is different in both and more successful in one than in the other. While the first can is opened in a conventional way and forces the container to be hit or shaken in order to extract the product, the second has evolved towards better usability by placing the opening in reverse and making it easier to use. Offers a better user experience.

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Game experience vs user experience

The case of the tutorial or the one with the hug that reduces your life are more than enough to understand that maybe there are a handful of points to improve on Elden Ring. Both in how it shows you things and how you can deal with them.

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I’m not talking at the gameplay level, there’s the game experience -not to be confused with user experience– it is what it is and what sets it apart from just about any other open world title you can think of.

In favor of not taking you by the hand, that you have to go notebook in hand writing down what people tell you and marking things on the map to know what to do next or what you have left behind.


However, I have spent dozens of hours without knowing what half of the icons that appear under the life bar are (here is a list of states in case you need it), every time I open the map I make a mistake when trying to close it by pressing the same button, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had to go in and out of a shop to compare weapon stats, and I still don’t understand the point of half of my character’s stats.

The problem with the Elden Ring UX/UI

Do open world games that have taken Ubisoft’s formula as valid and don’t seem to want to get out of it have a problem? Yes. But that has nothing to do with the validity of Elden Ring as a game because the debate is not there.

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The discussion about the user interface and user experience in the game of Software happens by knowing that X is X in a simpler way than going through three menus for it -press the inventory button to be able to directly access the object you just picked up to know what it is, for example-, and by being sure that when pressing a button it will act in a predictable way -that clicking on an icon placed on the map does not place a beacon but removes the icon, to give another example-.

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Avoid that certain buttons do not do what they have just done within a menu, facilitate the structure of the different elements so as not to join tracks with tutorials, be able to access key information quickly… Easily improvable details that would not affect or diminish the type of experience that the game intends to propose.

As much as I’m enjoying the game, I think we’d all win if Software give that usability a spin both in Elden Ring as in later titles. Of course we can learn to understand and do it his way, but unlike his gameplay, in this case his UI/UX not the best you can find.