UI Designer Vs UI Developer

UI designers and developers deal with crafting software to ensure ease of use from potential consumers of the program. Read on for the differences in their duties in the programming process of an application.

Comparing UI Designers to UI Developers

User interface (UI) designers and developers are directly responsible for the consumer base's experience using an application or software program. Designers specifically deal with the visual aspects of the program, while developers deal with the overall performance and functionality of the software.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2014-2024)**
UI Designer Bachelor's degree $64,366 21% (for graphic designers in computer systems design)
UI Developer Bachelor's degree $71,861 19% (for applications software developers)

Sources: *PayScale, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Responsibilities of UI Designers vs. UI Developers

UI designers and developers work in tandem to create a program or application that is easy to understand and operate by their customers or clients. Though there may be some occasional overlap in the duties within the workplace, their designated duties are quite clear and are dependent on the other. UI developers are responsible for the coding and programming in the conception of an application, specifically with regard to how the software operates at the hands of the user. UI designers are in charge of applying their understanding of the program operations to create a visual experience that is most compatible to the program's functionality.

UI Designers

User interface designers are tasked with understanding the programming language of the application in creation so that they can conceptualize and craft visual aspects that will facilitate usage of the program. They are expected to understand computer programming as well as graphic design due to the demands of their work, since they are in charge of incorporating their designs into the program correctly. Their designs are implemented into the layout, which is typically drafted by the developers, while the style of their designs is contingent on the guidelines given by the directors. Once these designs are finished, they must implement them into the program and run a demo of it for the developers and directors to ensure they met the needs and expectations of the project while ensuring there aren't any bugs caused from their designs.

Other responsibilities of UI designers are as follows:

  • Make drafts in graphic design and editing software
  • Select fonts and determine color schemes, for consistency
  • Proficiency in programming codes such as Java or CSS
  • Create storyboards and test runs of animated, visual concepts

UI Developers

User interface developers are responsible for the functional aspects of a software application, coding and programming throughout all stages of development with the clients and potential users of the application in mind. They usually begin the process by incorporating the clients' expressed needs into a layout that is modified as progress is made. Once they get the general functions working, the designers will incorporate their visual conceptions into the layout to ensure that the first draft is operational. If there are any bugs or malfunctions to fix, the developers must troubleshoot and patch the application. While doing these tasks, they must take detailed notes of all the progress made to streamline any future updates made to the program, functionally or aesthetically.

UI developers will also be responsible for:

  • Utilizing research data to improve or build onto the design of the application
  • Suggesting any software updates to improve functionality
  • Constructing diagrams that will aide other developers and programmers on the project
  • Performing test runs of the application

Related Careers

Similar to the demands of UI developers, computer and information research scientists deal with programming in computers, however they do this for the purpose of finding new ways to use technology. Alternately, web developers are similar to UI designers, since they are responsible for the aesthetics of websites, such as layouts and graphics used.

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