UI Designer

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What does a UI designer do?

A user interface (UI) designer focuses on creating the visual elements of a product, with an emphasis on ensuring the layout of digital materials meets the needs of target audiences. Following the principles of UI design, these designers craft a logical flow of information by working with product managers and other designers to create storyboards and sitemaps, as well as specific features like buttons, site menus and scrollbars. By organizing these features in an efficient way, UI designers contribute to seamless interactions between customers and technology.

How do you become a UI designer?
Answer Part 1

UI designers must navigate highly technical environments, so a four-year bachelor’s degree and some previous work experience are necessary.

Answer Part 2

To develop a solid foundation for a core UI role, UI designers often begin by completing their bachelor’s degree in a relevant field. Graphic design, computer science and information technology are just a few common tracks that aspiring UI designers can take. For those seeking additional training, UI design courses present opportunities to gain more hands-on experience and add a potent accolade to their resume.

After education, gaining real-world experience is the next step in the UI designer career path. Taking on freelance UI and design jobs is key to building a portfolio that can be displayed to secure an entry-level position in UI or design. Many designers will start as junior UI designers, before being promoted to a UI designer, and eventually, a senior UI designer. Following this path will provide designers with the ability to learn about accessible designs and other UI principles, as well gain experience collaborating with colleagues, making them better designers who can continuously thrive in a UI design position.

What is the salary of a UI designer?
Answer Part 1

The average base salary for a UI designer in the U.S. is currently $84,360.

Answer Part 2

UI design is a thriving industry, so designers in this field are likely to experience promising growth throughout their career. Built In’s salary tool calculates the average base salary for a UI designer in the U.S. to be $84,360. For those who go beyond their main responsibilities, the additional cash compensation for this role averages $6,201, bringing the average total compensation for a UI designer in the United States to $90,561. The highest-performing UI designers can even make as much as $150K after gaining several years of experience in their role.

What skills does a UI designer need?
Answer Part 1

UI designers should have hands-on experience working with concepts like intuitive design while understanding how to leverage Figma and other industry tools.

Answer Part 2

UI designers are responsible for creating frictionless experiences for users, so they must know how to combine different design elements. Since they work with fonts, colors and symbols, UI designers should have a strong grasp of typography and iconography. These designers should also feel comfortable developing site maps, storyboards and other guides that make it easier to organize digital layouts and information.

Of course, none of these processes are possible without industry-standard tools that streamline workflows. Figma, Sketch, InVision Studio, Adobe XD and Illustrator are a few programs that are considered essential for completing UI activities and designing interfaces. Mastering these tools allow UI designers to craft buttons, sliders, tabs, widgets and other specific product features that guide user journeys. By combining these specialized abilities with problem-solving and other soft skills, UI designers can craft crisp products that make interactions effortless for users.


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