How to Become a UI Designer

With the rapid growth of technology, you may no longer be unfamiliar with user interface design, especially if you’re studying or working in the field.

According to statistics, the demand for UI designers has kept increasing over the years, showing no signs of stopping. Surprisingly, newly qualified designers are always welcome as they’re expected to blow a new wind for the industry.

But is it hard to learn UI design? What should you learn to be a UI designer?

This article will offer you a thorough guide on how to become a UI (user interface) designer so that you can have a better understanding of this working field! Let’s get started!

What is a UI Designer?

UI is short for “User Interface” – the screens users will face when they experience the apps, software, or websites. In general, it’s related to the visual elements of the user experience.

A UI designer is in charge of designing the user interface and improving it for a better user experience. They strive to make the screens appealing to the eye with simple navigation and a unified style.

Their duties may include:

  • Design the visual experience of the user
  • Design modifications and improvements for the interface
  • Develop ideas for user-friendliness for the user interface
  • Engage with project managers and engineers to improve graphics and user experience
  • Collaborate with clients to meet their specific business requirements
  • Test and evaluate the final user interface before publishing it
  • Analyze consumer feedback and responses and resolve any issues
  • Conceptualize the User Interface’s Aesthetics
  • Track the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) of the software
  • Gather user feedback via cross-platform surveys

How To Become a UI Designer

Now that you’ve learned about the responsibilities of a UI designer, it’s time for the best part – how to become a UI designer!

Two UI designers are working on a new project.
Two UI designers are working on a new project.

1. Learn UI Design

We recommend all beginners learn UI design before moving on to something else. When it comes to becoming a UI designer, various options are available to you, both online and offline, free and paid.

Your current level and future goals will determine which is best for you. You may find that combining them can meet your learning needs the best.

Self-Taught Method

The internet has evolved into an enormous resource for studying UI design. You can undoubtedly train yourself at home without spending any money.

It’s important to note that an unstructured, self-taught learning program may leave gaps in your knowledge. On the positive side, it’s an excellent method to get a feel for the industry as a beginner.

learn UI design at home
You can teach yourself at home.

Here are some valuable resources you can refer to:

  • YouTube: Simply search for “UI Design” on YouTube, and you’ll get thousands of results. It can be challenging to filter high and low-quality videos, but it’s worth trying!
  • Blog posts: You can discover blog posts on the internet to learn from experienced designers, especially if the blog is a focused UI design blog.
  • Tutorial Sites: You can learn how to achieve various design effects by visiting these sites. UI design evolves at a rapid pace; tutorials can quickly become obsolete. So, it is essential to seek out the latest resources.
  • Books: There has been a lot written and published on user interface design in recent years, so you may find something fantastic!

Formal, Offline Methods

Learning in an organized, offline environment offers you numerous advantages, including regular connection with other students, an effective learning schedule, and daily interactions with your teachers.

Teacher feedback can also help you stay motivated, ambitious, and focused during your studies.

There remain some significant challenges moving forward – such as the cost and the limitations of your location.

Still, if you want to study in a traditional classroom, there are some options available to you:

  • University: This traditional education typically lasts 2-4 years, meaning that you will attend a formal institution.

The courses are well-structured and comprehensive, but the costs are relatively high and rising year after year.

The expensive expense of this approach, combined with the time commitment, makes it unsuitable for many aspiring UI designers.

  • Technical School: This option has two significant advantages: shorter time and specialization.

While universities focus on general education, technical institutions emphasize skill development and professional preparation. They can still be costly, but they are often less expensive than traditional universities.

  • General Assembly: GA began as a coworking platform in 2011.

It provides you with online and on-campus courses for specific skills, such as IU design, web development, and data science.

Despite the excellent quality of the education, the tuition fees for this institution are still unaffordable to many beginners.

Online Methods

If you’re seeking a mid-priced learning program but still high-quality, online programs can be a good option. Most of them enable you to learn at your pace while not taking much time to complete.

Many also provide one-on-one coaching, peer-to-peer learning, and video content to help you stay motivated and focused while studying.

2. Build A Great Portfolio

multiple design templates to choose from
Show your best work on your folio

You can easily gain credentials and references, but no one will want to talk to you about their UI design job vacancies if you don’t show them your great work.

If you haven’t had a well-rounded portfolio, it’s time to invest in it. If you have a good idea for a website or app, just design it and show it in your portfolio.

Keep in mind that this step is all about proving to your potential employers that you have UI designer skills, so it doesn’t matter if it’s an actual project.

3. Get Work Experience

You may now wonder how you can interview for a job when you have no experience. It’s a common question that every beginner asks us. The answer is quite simple.

Look for some changes on UpWork, Freelancer, Guru, or PeoplePerHour. At this point, your focus is not on money, but it’s about demonstrating your capacity for work. So grab any job you can.

drawing a new design
Find your potential job.

This step is to help you gain valuable work experience and positive references.

You could have enough to pique the curiosity of potential employers within a few months.

Furthermore, as you gain more experience with the job and deal with clients, your confidence will rise.

Craigslist is also an excellent place to look for contract work. Check out the Gigs Creative sections to explore what’s available!

You might come across something that leads to a profitable deal.

4. Build Your Network

When you’re hunting for a new job, your personal network will be helpful in showing your profile. Below are some helpful tips for you:

  • Be sociable and get to know your colleagues at your first job. Follow them on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. That connection will help you one day!
  • Fill up every detail of relevant experience on your LinkedIn profile, and add a good photo of yourself.
  • Don’t hesitate to seek guidance from specialists in the industry, which might be the start of a long and rewarding collaboration.
  • Participate in local events, get to know other professionals, and exchange business cards. Meeting people in person is the best networking option.
from raw design to a useful app
It’s necessary to build your network.

5. Build Your Personal Brand

Your personal brand is what people see when they look for your name on Google. It’s also the color scheme you’ve chosen for your Twitter and website. It’s a feeling when someone sees your online presence.

Your personal brand goes with your social network. Use the same color schemes and themes across different networks and your website to elicit similar feelings.

Maintain a consistent tone and appearance across all of your social media assets.

What Skills and Traits Do You Need?

Becoming a UI designer is not too hard if you have a great passion for UI and follow our guide above. Besides, you should prepare yourself with some essential skills and traits if you don’t want to feel out of place soon!

The most critical factor when pursuing any job has the right attitude. You can’t go far if you lack the motivation to study and progress.

That’s not to mention everything in this industry will move quickly, meaning you have to keep updating with those design trends and changes. It’s easy to slip behind and lose relevance if you don’t stay up.

When it comes to user interface design, it’s all about people and caring people.

They’ll be the ones using the interfaces you create! You won’t get far in this market if you don’t care about their needs and desires.

UI design is also related to aesthetics. What happens if the users feel irritated as the text is too small to read?

What if an advertisement employs incompatible colors? When aren’t interface elements evenly placed? All of them need the aesthetics of a UI designer!

UI designers usually work with UX designers and other product developers. They could be other designers, programmers, or marketers.

As a result, this position requires you to work with coworkers at all levels. If you have a hard time accepting constructive criticism, you may struggle in this field.

team of designers
You may need to collaborate with other designers.

What Challenges Might You Face?

Like other occupations, being a UI designer may leave you with some challenges! Let’s see what you can do to overcome them!

If You Have No Work Experience

How to impress employers when you have little or no work experience?

  • Be patient.
  • Apply for jobs that best suit your skills. If it is your first job in the industry, it’s usually best to get an entry-level position.
  • Prepare an impressive UI designer portfolio. You may lack professional experience, but it doesn’t mean you can’t develop amazing things.
  • Work as a freelancer. You can find some small freelancing contracts on platforms like Upwork. Although they may not pay much at first, the expertise gained in terms of design and working to customer demands is well worth it.

If You Live In A Remote Area

Fortunately, companies are now embracing remote work. Some businesses are entirely distant, meaning that you can work remotely as a UI designer whether you’re in a fishing community in Alaska or in a small Nebraska town.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to learn UI Design?

It doesn’t take you a long process to learn UI design. Without a bachelor’s or master’s degree, you can master the skills needed in 10 weeks. It also explains why designers are increasingly enrolling in UI design courses and boot camps.

You can begin with an introductory design course before moving on to a career-focused UI/UX design certification course.

This way, you will have a chance to master all essential skills in the industry. Research, product design, information architecture, prototyping, wireframing, and visual communication will benefit.

How much can a UI designer earn?

According to our data, UI designer average salaries range from $51,542 to $112,904. Entry-level employees start at $40,000, and seniors can reach $150,000!

In 2023, UI designers were among the top 15 most in-demand occupations on LinkedIn. This trend will continue as people now become more reliant on digital products and services for daily work and interactions, which means the average salary of UI designers will gradually increase over time!


This article has outlined a full-detailed guide on how to become a UI designer in five steps. No matter where you start, there’s always a way for you to pursue.

Whether online or offline, free or paid courses, make sure you equip yourself with enough knowledge and experience before heading to real projects!

With the proper orientation from the beginning, you will get very far in this industry! Good luck!