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User Interface Designer: Education, Training & Skills

Individuals interested in application development could consider working as a user interface designer. This article will highlight the educational requirements and key job duties for this career.

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Career Definition of User Interface Designers

User interface designers specialize in creating and implementing user applications, such as navigation panes and page layouts, for organizations. These designers may create client-facing applications or those for internal business. They can work for information technology service providers or manufacturing companies. User interface designers usually work full-time in an office environment. They will utilize items like organizational design standards, customer research, and system capabilities when designing user interfaces. Job responsibilities for user interface designers can include ensuring user applications align with an organization's digital branding, collaborating with colleagues to develop interfaces that meet organizational goals, and collecting feedback from users in order to improve their experience.

User interface designers may provide assistance to developers by training them on how to turn their designs into working applications. They may be responsible for conducting test cases, as well as assisting with design reviews. These designers may also work with project management to ensure that projects stay on deadline and within budget. User interface designers could provide assistance in creating continuous improvement practices for usability best practices, training documentation, and workflow. These designers must be aware of current industry trends in order to utilize the latest design practices to provide users with the best online experience.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree
Job Skills Excellent web development and technical skills, strong interpersonal skills, and effective attention to detail
Median Salary (2018)* $63,108
Job Outlook (2016-2026)** 13% (Web Developers)

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

Required Education

Individuals will usually need a bachelor's degree in applicable disciplines, such as computer science, information technology, or human factors/usability, to work as user interface designers. A strong background in full lifecycle management will be beneficial. Individuals in this field can choose to further their skills by joining an organization like the User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA). The organization offers online continuing education courses for members, as well as the chance to participate in special interest groups and task forces.

Required Skills

User interface designers will need excellent web development and technical skills in order to successfully design applications. Relevant technical knowledge can include the following: Adobe Illustrator; Photoshop; web client technologies like browsers, HTML, and CSS; Sketch; and Zeplin. User interface designers should have strong interpersonal skills in order to collaborate with personnel like project managers and business analysts to define organizational goals. These designers should also have effective attention to detail to create interfaces that meet all business needs.

Career Outlook and Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not provide information on user interface designers; however, they estimated a 13% job growth for web developers during 2016-2026. This growth is faster than average compared to all occupations. In January 2018, PayScale.com reported a median annual salary of $63,108 for user interface designers.

Related Careers

If you're looking at a career as a user interface designer, you might also be interested in one of the technical positions described below.

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