Find schools that offer these popular programs
Career Definition of a UI Designer
UI designers, or user interface designers, combine their technology skills with a strong design and style sense to create websites, applications, and other technology products that are easy to use and attractive to users. From the overall interface of a website's homepage that can make all the difference in a new user's first impression to the tiniest shift in movement of an icon or search bar, UI designers are responsible for creating products that users find appealing and intuitive to use.
In order to do their jobs properly, UI designers must have an in-depth understanding of the products themselves. For example, when UI designers work on computer programs or websites, they are responsible for knowing all of the features of each product, its overall purpose, and how it is supposed to function. In addition to being familiar with the product, UI designers also need to understand the intended user base. They must know what a user wants in the product in order to create an interface that meets a user's needs. A UI designer's ultimate goal is to create a product interface that meets all of a user's needs within the framework of a product's purpose and technical capabilities.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree|
|Job Skills||Design skills, familiarity with various software like Photoshop & Illustrator, technical skills, style and layout skills|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$64,502|
|Job Outlook (2014-2024)**||27% (web developers)|
Sources: *Payscale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
While skills and abilities may be the most important factor that determines the success of a UI designer, many prospective employers may prefer candidates who have a bachelor's degree in a field like graphic design or another pertinent design or technology field. Because some individuals may be interested in becoming UI designers but may lack the required background or skills, there are a number of online courses and certifications that will help fill in the skills gaps and prepare individuals for a career in the field.
UI design is very much a skills-oriented career path. To be successful in this field, you will likely need to possess a number of technical and design skills. Because much of your work will involve working on websites and applications, you will need to be comfortable working with a variety of different design software packages, like Photoshop, Fireworks, and Dreamweaver. It would also be helpful if you were competent in working with HTML and various other computer programming languages. In addition to technical skills, you should also possess strong design skills, as the purpose of a UI designer is to create aesthetically appealing products that are set up in a way that is logical and easy to use. Strong interpersonal and communication skills would also be helpful in this role, as you may frequently interact with clients, or be responsible for listening to user feedback.
Career and Salary Outlook
Like many other careers, the salaries of UI designers can vary depending on the company they work for and the amount of experience they have. Payscale.com reports that the median salary for UI designers in 2017 was $64,502. While UI designers perform their services for websites, apps and other technology products, they could be generally classified under the category of web developers. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, web developers are expected to experience 27% job growth in their field from 2014 through 2024.
For individuals who are thinking about a career as a UI designer, they may also want to consider some similar career paths, listed below.
- Become a Graphic Design Specialist: Career Roadmap
- Web Designer: Job Description, Duties and Requirements