UI Designer How to become, career path, income potential
Do you love explaining the advantages of implementing a toolbar versus a hamburger menu? Can you point to demographic research supporting your points? A position as a UI designer might be the immersive, creative role that’s right for you.
UI designers use their expertise in visual design to bring site maps and workflows to life. They also rely on psychological and demographic research to predict how their target audience will engage with the product, then create UI that’s as intuitive as possible for that specific user. Great UI designers will be able to stand behind their layout choices and present them persuasively during creative and client reviews.
Sample job description
[Your Company Name] is currently looking for a UI designer to join their team during the next quarter. The UI designer will be responsible for crafting interfaces that balance form and function while adhering to best practices as established by the community. You will need proven experience as a UI designer or in a related role, be able to craft beautiful interfaces that are intuitive to use, collaborate with team members throughout the product lifecycle to create a cohesive experience for end-users, ensure designs adhere to UI standards and best practices, such as Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines, and have a strong understanding of design principles, user experience, and information architecture.
Typical duties and responsibilities
Work with UX designers to build storyboards, site maps, and conceptual designs
Conduct user research to inform UI layout decisions
Design dropdown menus, site layouts, and other aesthetic elements
Track human-computer interactions created by particular UI designs
Present concepts and defend design choices during creative and client reviews
Analyze consumer responses and monitor website traffic to inform revisions and improved design
Develop visual design and layout best practices
Education and experience
Bachelor’s degree in computer science, graphic design, web development, or a related field required
Required skills and qualifications
Expertise in visual design and use-system interactions
Proficiency with creative design programs such as Adobe Creative Cloud
Strong communication and presentation skills
Robust creative thinking and problem-solving skills
Ability to work under tight deadlines
Excellent graphic design skills with a focus on typography, layout, and iconography
Proficient in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign
Knowledge of HTML and CSS
Familiarity with prototyping tools such as InVision
Typical work environment
UI designers typically work in an office setting or at home. They may spend time on their computer, sketching out ideas or wireframing in a program such as Photoshop or Illustrator. They may also meet with team members to discuss project progress and collaborate on ideas.
The typical work hours for a UI designer are usually from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, in an office setting. Additional work hours can be required when approaching project deadlines.
While there are no specific certifications required for a UI designer, some employers may prefer candidates with a certification in graphic design or a related field. Certifications that may be beneficial for aspiring UI designers include the Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) designation for Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, as well as the UX Certification from Human Factors International.
Becoming a UI designer begins with earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science, digital media, graphic design, or a similar field. Many candidates will continue their formal education by pursuing a master’s degree to demonstrate their expertise and stand out to future employers.
UI designers pair their in-depth knowledge of visual design and human psychology with their technical skills in web development to create user-friendly interfaces. Building a substantial portfolio of design work is key to proving they have the necessary hands-on experience and expertise to perform this role successfully.
US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook
SOC Code: 27-1021
Projected Employment in 2030
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift
User experience (UX) and UI designers will continue to work closely to create the “look and feel” of digital products. Many employers have even begun combining UX and UI roles into one hybrid position. As such, UI designers will need to incorporate more conceptual thinking into their wheelhouse and brainstorm big-picture concepts with their creative teams.
As interface design tools become more sophisticated, the possibilities for innovative, engaging UI elements will begin to emerge. Streamlining UI for virtual and augmented reality will continue to be a priority as the media become more prevalent in the marketplace. 3D graphics will also continue to inform modern website and mobile app design, including the development of interactive, engaging UI.
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