What is UI Design?

May 29, 2021

5 Min Read

When designers incorporate interfaces in software or computerized devices, the entire process is called the User Interface (UI) design. While designers do work on the process, they focus mainly on the style and looks. The goal of the designers is to build interfaces that targeted users find easy to use.

The User Interface points where users interact with come in the following formats:

Voice-controlled interfaces (VUIs)—Here, users use voice to interact with the design, for instance: Alexa on Amazon devices or Siri on iPhones.

Graphical user interfaces (GUIs)—With GUIs, users use visual representations on control panels, e.g., the computer’s desktop

Gesture-based interfaces— Users apply 3D design through bodily motions like virtual reality games.

All designers should consider the following aspects to create the best UIs:

  • Likeability and usability
  • The design should enable users to perform tasks quickly and easily
  • The design should fulfill the customer’s needs
  • Users should enjoy the UI
  • A good UI should encourage trust among the users

The UI Designers Salary

Several factors determine a UI designer’s salary range—for example, the experience level, the type of company, and location.

A UI designer with less than one year of experience can expect a salary of up to $49,661, including other payments like overtime, tips, and bonuses.

The designer with at least 1 to 4 years of experience gets a salary of about $60,476, including all the other payments. Again, a UI designer who has gained more knowledge of 5 to 9 years expects a salary range of $69,918

Again, a well-established UI designer who has been in the industry for 10 to 19 years gets a salary of $82,596

Finally, we have the gurus in the market of UI designers who have gained over 20 years of experience. Such individuals understand all the tips and tricks on how to create the best products in the market. Salaries for well experienced UI designers can reach up to around $150,000.

The UI designer ensures that the interactive and visual experience aligns with the product interface. Thus, making work easy for users. This can be for a website or an application.

For example, users explore different sections by tapping, scrolling, or swiping on several buttons with an application. Well, UI designers are the ones who make it easy to navigate through such applications and ensure it is intuitive.

Although the work involves a lot of creativity, the UI designer must spend some time learning clients’ or users’ preferences. It is designing an interface and requires additional research on the product, the brand, and the users.

Note: As UI designers conduct extensive research, they collaborate with UX designers at every phase of the project to ensure everything turns out perfectly. You will read more about what UI designers use to get the job done later on. However, significant responsibilities include the following:

  • Testing and prototyping
  • Collaborating with the UX designers and the client to bring out the best product
  • Designing scrollbars, screens, buttons, and other navigational tools.
  • Researching the targeted audience and evaluating their preferences
  • Working with developers to ensure everything works as it is intended to

Skillsets or interests that are a good fit for a UI Designer.

If you want to become a good UI designer, you must have a set of skills. You must have creative skills, research skills, and good social skills. However, below are some of the tips to let you know whether you fit the profession.

You should have empathy- As you design something, put yourself in the shoes of the user. Will you enjoy the product? Will you be able to navigate easily? Are the features friendly? Does the product fulfill your needs? Such questions should guide you as a UI designer. If you can put yourself in the user’s shoes, and produce the best product, then you are good to go.

Apart from being empathetic, you must have good communication skills. Remember, you will be interacting with other teams to create a desirable product. You must make points clear and get additional information from another group to ensure alignment.

Creativity- A good UI designer must have good creative skills. For example, incorporating features like colors, typography, different patterns, and spacing to bring out the best results. Create something that looks nice in the eyes of the users. Do not focus only on the ease of use as appearance also matters. If users are turned off by initial impressions of a product, they may never get to use the full features.

Technical skills- Of course, there are tech trends that a good UI designer must know about. For example, there are technical terms that developers use. You must know them to improve effective communication. For example, what is wireframing? Remember to learn from peers or read up on the latest terminology to stay up to date.

Note: A good UI designer must be an all-around person. When the need arises, they find solutions, stay updated with the latest technology, and above all, understand your client or team’s target.

Languages for a UI designer

Most companies prefer employees who have a degree in either mobile development, computer science, human-computer interaction, and web development but here are some of the specific programming languages you should keep in mind.

jQuery, CSS, JavaScript, HTML, Ruby on Rails, AJAX, JSON, Java, and SQL database development.

Other relevant skills required for UI designers include mobile development, front-end web development, human-computer interaction, graphic design, and usability testing. Above all, you must have teamwork skills such as project management and good interpersonal communication.

Note: As a UI designer, you have the advantage of learning other skills like Adobe Illustration, photoshop, Flex, and Flash because you will need all these skills in any given project.

Top companies with related roles

There are many IT-related companies where you can work as a UI designer. Among them include the following:

  • Wells Fargo – a bank & credit union company located in various countries.
  • PTC, A computer hardware and software company
  • Datto, which offers IT services
  • Google, an internet service provider company
  • Microsoft, a Computer Hardware and Software company, among many more.

UI design is among the top professions in the IT field. If you have desires to pursue the course in your career, you will be on the right path. Ensure you gather the adequate skills to start your journey.

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