UI Designer Vs Graphic Designer

UI designers and graphic designers both create layouts for consumers. UI designers prioritize how users interact with digital tools and graphic designers focus on aesthetics of both print and digital designs. Find out more about these design careers.

Comparing UI Designers to Graphic Designers

User interface (UI) designers and graphic designers create visual displays to draw in consumers. However, UI designers think about how users will engage with digital products, while graphic designers mainly create visual displays for print or digital media. Keep reading to see more on how these design careers are related yet also different.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2014-2024)**
UI Designer Bachelor's degree $48,685 (for all web designers) 27% (for all web developers)
Graphic Designer Bachelor's degree $42,289 1%

Source: *, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Responsibilities of UI Designers vs. Graphic Designers

UI designers and graphic designers do work on similar types of projects, as it is their goal to create an optimum customer experience and response. However, UI designers are focused more in digital visual displays such as those found in the web and various apps. Their main concern is on how easy it is for users to interact with the content as well as where it should be laid out on a page. Graphic designers, on the other hand, work with an array of design layouts, both for print and the web. They are primarily concerned with aesthetics and often work in studios with other graphic designers.

UI Designer

A UI designer works with creative elements to ensure that users enjoy interacting with a product. A UI designer uses software with photo-editing or design capabilities to create or enhance products. They also usually know a coding language like JavaScript, HTML5, or CSS3. They make sure that web pages are laid out in a way that users can understand. Like other web developers, UI designers usually work full time.

Job responsibilities of a UI Designer include:

  • Making wireframes
  • Creating prototypes
  • Designing mock ups
  • Working with a team

Graphic Designer

Graphic designers work both on the web and in print to create layouts that draw the attention of consumers. They usually use computer software programs that can manipulate photos or illustrations and lay out different digital elements into a design. Because they usually incorporate text into their designs, they often work on a team with writers, although the graphic designers usually make decisions about the font, size, and color of the text. Graphic designers meet with their clients or employers to decide how a layout should appear. They usually work full time, and designers who are self-employed often work at odd hours to meet with clients' terms and schedule.

Job responsibilities of a Graphic Designer include:

  • Thinking of ideas for designs
  • Presenting their ideas to clients or employers
  • Adding any changes their clients or employers need
  • Checking their work for errors before turning it in
  • Staying current with new trends in this field

Related Careers

If you are interested in what a UI designer does, you might also like what video game designers do, since both work with software to give the user a satisfactory experience. Similarly, those wanting to become graphic designers might benefit from considering what a cartoonist does, since both careers involve art.

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