With more and more people working from computer screens around the world, the role of a UI Designer has become increasingly influential and noticeably more important. A UI Designer works on user interfaces, creating on-screen environments that are user-friendly, engaging, attractive and easy to operate. As a result, these interfaces can help to promote a more positive view of brands, products, and services.

Duties and responsibilities - What does a UI Designer do?

A skilled UI Designer will have several crucial responsibilities, including:

  • Optimising the visual styling of websites, apps, and digital products, focusing on the need to engage consumers and improve their experience
  • Integrate design elements such as fonts, colours, graphics, menus, user buttons and images
  • Utilise skills and experience to enhance the user process and to incorporate calls to action
  • Design and implement systems to connect suppliers and consumers, such as to complete all the steps in an online purchase or to get in touch with vendors
  • Create the optimum customer engagement from browsing to purchasing, ensuring the experience is enjoyable and repeatable
  • Communicate the strength of brands and products to the consumer

Qualities needed for a successful UI Designer

Successful UI Designers are extremely driven individuals, with a strong eye for detail and an enhanced desire for consistency. They will understand what is needed for an enjoyable customer experience, one that brings the consumer back time and time again. They will know which combinations of colours, text and graphics are aesthetically pleasing, and they will place great emphasis on the way a finished online page looks.

In addition to these qualities, a UI Designer will need to display an understanding of general design principles and consumer branding. UI Designers often work closely with UX Designers, and in some cases both roles will be incorporated into a single role. Those who succeed in this position will also know about the importance of teamwork, communication, and research.

It is also worth noting that UI Designers are able to work in several industry sectors, including retail, governance, finance, transport and logistics. There is a variety of positions which can help an individual to achieve this role, including the likes of Visual Designer, Content Strategist, Website Designer, Front End Developer, UI Researcher and IX Designer.

Qualifications and technical skills - How to become a UI Designer?

While formal academic qualifications will always help in applications, many employers place a higher premium on the quality of an individual’s portfolio of work. An ability to show awareness of factors such as branding, colour theory, prototyping, design principles and wireframing will go a long way to impress.

There are several tools available to UI Designers, some, or all of which could be crucial in the search for a suitable vacancy. They include Sketch, InVision Studio, Figma, Adobe XD, Balsamiq and Axure. The more advanced the position, the more likely a robust knowledge of some of these applications and workflow tools such as Zeplin or Avocode will be needed.

Career development - What is the next step after UI Designer?

Successful UI Design careers will often lead to more managerial roles, leading individuals, and teams on more complex design projects. Leadership positions will also require more of a big picture view, considering factors such as budgets and deadlines. This can result in senior management openings such as User Experience Director or Chief Design Officer.

Salary and remuneration - How much does a UI Designer make?

UI Designers can ask for particularly good salaries, even at relatively low levels in the corporation structure. As they climb the ladder of success, the rewards become ever more impressive.

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