What Does A UI Designer Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

Alyssa OmandacCareer, Overview

Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

UI Designers

UI Designers are responsible for creating the overall look and feel of the user interface for computer programs, websites, mobile applications, and other forms of software. They help ensure that the software is easy to use and provides quality user experience.

Salary
$76200
Education
Bachelor's degree
Personality
Interest Match





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

UI design refers to the arrangement of elements to build interfaces that are easy for users to interact with. This is separate from UX design, which focuses on the overall user experience (UX). Working as a UI Designer involves editing layout and grid systems, establishing a visual hierarchy, and performing a variety of design-related tasks.

UI Designer is a technical profession often involved in the development of software, applications, and websites. A UI Designer may work with a group of UI Designers to design the user interface (UI) for a project.

What they do

UI Designers are responsible for creating the overall look and feel of the user interface for computer programs, websites, mobile applications, and other forms of software. They help ensure that the software is easy to use and provides quality user experience.

Develop prototypes for user interfaces

Before releasing a product, a company may choose to develop a prototype. The UI Designer designs the interface for the prototype, which is then used for testing. The UI Designer may design the prototype for a specific group of users. For example, a company may use the prototype for user testing or give stakeholders a better picture of the final product before it goes into production.

Design the layout of a user interface based on a wireframe

UI Designers often work with UX Designers to develop new software. The UX Designers create a wireframe or storyboard to illustrate the framework of the software, which provides an outline for the UI Designers to follow.

UI Designers create a visual representation of the various elements and features included in the framework. They arrange menus, content, images, and other elements to create a visually pleasing interface that addresses the needs of the end users.

Conduct usability testing to detect design issues

UI Designers are often involved in usability testing as it provides instant feedback on the design of the product. Usability testing may be completed at various stages of product development. For example, after developing a prototype, UI Designers and UX Designers may use usability testing to ensure that it meets the needs of users. Later in the development process, another round of usability testing may be completed to test the effectiveness of the interface.

UI Designers receive feedback on the layout and overall design of the interface. If users cannot easily navigate the interface, the UI Designer can use their recommendations to improve the design.

Collaborate with a team of developers

UI Designers are often part of a software development team, requiring close collaboration with other professionals with different specializations. A typical software development team may include a Project Manager, Technical Lead, and a group of Software Developers and Designers.

The Designers working on the project may include UI Designers, UX Designers, and Graphic Designers. The UX Designers develop the structure of the application or website while the UX Designers and Graphic Designers design the visual elements and interface.

Establish a style guide to maintain consistency

UI Designers may not directly create every screen or interface for an application. They design the overall layout while additional Graphic Designers and Developers complete the visual interface. To ensure that other members of the team follow the same design, the UI Designer typically creates a style guide.

The style guide includes a record of all the design elements and interactions including fonts, colors, buttons, navigation menus, and graphics. The guide may also include live elements or code snippets that Graphic Designers and Developers can use to maintain consistency.

Create original UI elements and graphics

Depending on the size of the development team, UI Designers may be responsible for the creation of UI elements and graphics such as buttons, backgrounds, and icons. However, some development companies employ a separate team of Graphic Designers to handle the design of UI elements.

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What is the job like

Pros

You are constantly working on new tasks each day

Working as a UI Designer provides fresh, original work each day. You are constantly working on new tasks, interfaces, and design elements, which helps keep the job from getting boring.

You get to use your artistic skills to create original designs

UI Designers are often artistic individuals, as this job requires designers to develop visually-appealing interfaces and graphics. You get paid to create art.

You get to collaborate with knowledgeable individuals

As UI Designers are often part of a team of Developers and Designers, you get to work with people that have a diverse range of skills and knowledge. You may learn more about other roles in the development process, which can aid your development as a UI Designer.

You have the flexibility to work almost anywhere

Software development companies exist across the globe, giving you a wide selection of potential locations to work and live.

Cons

You may occasionally need to work long hours

Full-time UI Designers often have set schedules and work a standard workweek. However, you may occasionally work overtime to meet deadlines.

Some people may not appreciate your design contributions

Some UI Designers become frustrated or discouraged when users, stakeholders, or colleagues dislike their design features.

Where they work

Software Development Companies
Website Design Agencies
Video Game Development Companies

UI Designers typically work for software development companies and website design companies. They may be part of a large team that develops new software, mobile apps, websites, or web-based applications.

UI Designers may also work for video game development companies. They may be tasked with designing the interfaces and menus for a game. Other potential employers include private companies that develop their own software solutions.

How to become one

Step 1: Develop fundamental design skills in high school

Aspiring UI Designers can start developing the required skills through self-learning. Research UI design principles online. Begin experimenting with open-source design tools and software to familiarize yourself with the technologies.

Step 2: Earn a Bachelor’s degree

Many software development companies prefer to hire candidates with at least a Bachelor’s degree. While this is not a requirement for every development agency, earning a Bachelor’s degree can lead to greater career opportunities. Common majors for UI Designers include Computer Science, Graphic Design, Web Development, and Software Engineering.

Step 3: Gain work experience and build a portfolio

You can start gaining work experience during or after college. Consider offering your design services as a freelancer. You may also look for entry-level jobs at software development companies, such as Graphic Designer or UI Design Assistant. Maintain a portfolio of the projects that you complete.

Step 4: Look for UI Design positions

After gaining experience in the software development or web design industries, start looking for entry-level positions for UI Designers.

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Artist

People with this personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.

You can read more about these career personality types here.

UI Designers should be great listeners as the success of their UI designs often depend on the feedback that they receive from users. UI Designers also need strong problem-solving skills to create interfaces that meet the needs of users and stakeholders. Creativity is also an essential trait for UI Designers as it allows them to design original and visually appealing interfaces.

Take this quiz to see if a UI designer is the right career for you.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.

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