User Interface (UI) Designer Career Overview & Outlook

Are you intrigued by user interface (UI) design? If so, read this article to get all the information about this profession. UI design is an interdisciplinary, dynamic industry that is constantly evolving.

There are many benefits that you will get when you become a UI designer. With a lot of job opportunities, global demand, low barriers to entry, accessible online resources, affordable UI certifications, and attractive salaries, there is no better time to become a UI designer!

Job Description

In their day-to-day work, these professionals may take on various tasks and responsibilities. These may include competitor analysis and design work via the development of overarching design guidelines.

The exact tasks of a UI design will depend on the size of the team and seniority level. But here are some common tasks of UI designers:

  • Conduct user research and analysis of existing designs to understand product goals and user needs.
  • Work independently or with UX designers.
  • Conduct competitor analysis to know how users expect the product to behave and look based on their similar products.
  • Make prototypes and wireframes to communicate the feel and look of the UI before it is developed.
  • Hand designs off to developers.
  • Develop and maintain a UI style guide to ensure design consistency.
  • Design the interactive properties of UI elements. For instance, create animations and establish what occurs when users click a certain button.
  • Make decisions about color palettes and typography, design logos, and individual UI elements like icons, forms, and buttons.

Either way, the roles of UI designers are creative, collaborative, hands-on, and highly user-centric.

Group of UI Designers

Where Do UI Designers Work?

UI Designers might work in various industries, from tech startups to corporate retail. They typically work onsite but can also have remote opportunities.

These professionals usually work a 40-hour week but can work overtime during some phases of a project.

Here are some job titles UI Designers can hold:

  • UI Architect
  • UI Engineer
  • UI Designer
  • UI Developer
  • UI/UX Designer
  • Visual Designer
  • Product Designer
  • Interaction Designer

Education Requirements

UI development employers usually require candidates to hold at least a bachelor’s degree, majoring in Web Development, Computer Science, Mobile Computing, Human-Computer Interaction, Software Engineering, Graphic Design, or a related field.

Alternatively, you can also get a certificate to strengthen your skills and knowledge.

Essential Skills

Some common essential skills for UI designers.

Regarding the essential skills UI designers need to grow and thrive in the field, it is a lot more diverse than many can expect.

Of course, UI designers need a keen eye for detail. But being one UI designer is much more than sitting in front of a computer.

As a UI designer, you will thrive in one team setting if you have excellent soft skills. They should be important as mastery of the technical methods and tools.

Here are the hard and soft skills all UI designers should have:

Hard skills

As a UI designer, you must have a solid understanding of the fundamental theories, practices, and methods that form the basis of UI design.

These include typography, UI design patterns, fundamental design approaches like the Gestalt Principles, and color theory. They will help you get a deeper insight into how to interpret your work and how users perceive it.

An entry-level UI design position also expects proficiency in at least one of the industry-standard prototyping and design tools such as Adobe XD and Sketch and prototyping tools like InVision. Once you have learned your way around one, getting to grips with the others will be easier.

Soft skills

  • UI designers must put themselves in the customers’ shoes, which requires empathy. Keeping inclusivity and accessibility at the forefront of the mind is vital for making interfaces that all customers will enjoy.

So if you put creative visuals and aesthetics above usability, you will not get very far!

  • UI designers will have to collaborate with stakeholders at every level. So teamwork is essential, involving troubleshooting and listening together to identify the root of the problem.

As a UI designer, you should be comfortable when taking creative direction. All team members share a common goal, and teamwork skills will make their dream work!

  • Communication is one of the essential skills for UI designers. You must effectively communicate the intended function of every element you have designed when you hand over your designs to the developers.

Communicating with stakeholders and your client is also a large part of all UI design roles. You typically need to justify and explain your design decisions in as much detail as you can.

Essential Tools

Just several years ago, designers had to work with a few software programs, including Adobe Photoshop, one of the most popular ones by far.

Designers can hold an arsenal that extends far beyond Adobe Photoshop. Here are some essential tools an UI/UX designer must learn:

  • Red Pen: This tool is becoming more popular among design teams since it enables their members to share feedback effortlessly and quickly.
  • Figma: This software is preeminent web-based. It is another excellent prototyping and vector graphics editor tool.
  • Balsamiq: This tool enables you to build outlines, wireframes, and mockups of your webs through an extremely intuitive interface.
  • Utilized: It is a vector graphics design editor utilized for user interface and user experience design of mobile apps and webs.
  • Adobe XD: This tool is something that every UI/UX designer should learn. It is a vector-based software that is great for prototyping and interface design.

Job Outlook

UI Designers are in high demand.

The U.S. BLS does not provide information on UI designers. But it is estimated a 13% job growth for web developers from 2020 to 2030. This growth is much faster than average compared to all professions.

As a UI Designer, you have various opportunities to diversify, branch out, and work cross-disciplinarily.

Tech is constantly changing, and new frontiers of UI design are regularly invented every day, which works on different devices, in different spaces, and in different types of media.

So UI Designers are in high demand, bringing them better job security and great salaries.


The average annual salary for a UI designer in the United States is $102,454. Through simple calculation, it is easy to convert that average salary to $49.26 per hour, $1,970 per week, and $8,537 per month.

Most UI designer salaries currently range from $80,000 to $120,000, with top earners getting $141,000 annually across the United States.

The average salary range for UI designers differs greatly (by as much as $40,000), showing there are various possibilities for increased pay and advancement based on location, skill level, and years of experience.

Advantages and Disadvantages

What are the Pros and Cons of being a UI designer?


  • Make an Impact
  • It’s Creative and Logical
  • Work in a Growing, Multidisciplinary Industry
  • Low Barriers to Entry
  • It is Easy to Switch to a Career in UX Design
  • You Don’t Have to Master Tools
  • Opportunities for Career Growth, Specialization, and Skills Development
  • Accessible and Affordable UX Certifications
  • Join a Thriving Community
  • Work Remotely
  • Salary Satisfaction


  • Negative critiques and feedback
  • Conveying complex designs to developers
  • You will not always get to design what you want


Is UI Design a Good Career?

Yes, not just a promising career, UI designer is even better than good. Here’s why:

  • The salary is excellent.
  • UI is unlikely to be automated.
  • There is always a high demand for UI designers.

How Many Types of UI Designers Are There?

  • Graphic designers

They are visual communicators who manually develop visual ideas while utilizing computer programs. They typically convey information that educates, entertains, and motivates the audience through virtual and physical genres, such as pictures, words, and illustrations.

  • User Interface (UI) Developers

These developers are responsible for building, managing, and debugging scripts and code that make webs run smoothly.

They merge technological knowledge and design sense and have the ability to produce designs in Photoshop before converting everything through code. In the field, User Interface (UI) devs provide stuff like CSS, Javascript, and HTML.

  • Information Architects (IA)

Information Architecture combines science and art that makes organizational structures show facts and data. They should help convert technical and business specifications into planning documents and produce stuff like User Flow Diagrams, Wireframes, and Sitemaps.

How Do I Know If Being a UI Designer Is Right for Me?

Here are some signs that you are a good fit for a career in the UI design field:

  • You put people first.
  • You thrive on a variety.
  • You enjoy problem-solving.
  • You are a stickler for detail.
  • You are a good collaborator.
  • You want to make a difference.
  • You want long-term job security.
  • You are interested in technology.
  • You want to earn a decent salary.
  • You want the chance to branch out.
  • You have dreams of going freelance.
  • You want to be creative and analytical.
  • You are prepared for a steep learning curve.

How to Start My Career as a UI Designer?

Here are 6 basic steps you can follow to become a UI designer:

Step 1: Learn the fundamentals of being a UI designer.

Step 2: Sharpen and reinforce your design sense.

Step 3: Invest in proper design software.

Step 4: Put together a portfolio of your work.

Step 5: Gain Feedback (then learn from it)

Step 6: Get Hands-on Work Experience

How Long Does It Take To Become a UI Designer?

There is no set time for how long it will take to become one UI designer.

It significantly depends on how long it takes you to learn UI design skills, build a portfolio and land a job in this field.

Career Advice

As a UI designer, you must have a keen visual eye, while the psychological aspect should not be underestimated.

To design user-friendly interfaces, it is essential to understand how people work and how each visual and interactive element will shape their experience.

Hopefully, by now, you have got a clear idea of what UI designers do and the essentials to pursue this career. Thanks for reading!