What Does a UI Designer Do? (With Role, Skills and Salary)

Updated 20 June 2023

Many companies require digital design professionals to produce functional and visually pleasing websites, software and applications. Technology is beneficial in a wide range of employment fields, which may raise the demand for creative persons who understand how to build user-friendly apps and content. If you enjoy technology and design, a career in user interface (UI) design might be for you. In this article, we discuss what does a UI designer do, list the skill requirements and outline the steps you can take to start your career in UI design.

Related: Product Designer vs. UX Designer: A Complete Guide

What does a UI designer do?

If you're interested in this career path, you may wonder, 'What does a UI designer do each day?' A UI designer is a highly trained digital specialist who crafts the design of a website. The UI is the first point of interaction between a user and a website, software or application. UI visual designers construct websites with the user in mind, prioritising their experience.

UI designers make certain that the user interface is as appealing and intuitive as possible to ensure that users can easily navigate the application. UI designers also play a major role in defining consumers' brand perception as the work entails providing an interface that is consistent with the organisation's image and product.

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UI designers' typical responsibilities

A UI designer's key responsibilities include collaborating with customers to create images for a product's user interface, creating prototypes and testing UI design aspects. To design user interface aesthetics, they may employ a number of computer tools. UI designers examine all elements of design, like the space between separate portions of the interface, the colour of the interface, the size of the UI and the typeface. UI designers may not be responsible for designing a website in its entirety but rather for repairing any flaws in its design.

A UI designer's typical duties may include:

  • analysing competitively the visual aesthetics and appearance of a website, an application or a software

  • evaluating and estimating how a website design may make a user feel

  • conducting user research and creating personas

  • considering the most optimal layout for the best user experience

  • coming up with visual touchpoints

  • designing visual aspects of a website, such as sliders, icons, buttons, typography and scroll bars

  • coming up with a unique colour palette that brings some character and personality

  • creating a style guide or visual language to ensure user familiarity and consistency

  • designing interactions such as animation

  • looking into how the UI would look on a variety of different screen sizes

  • creating and testing prototypes to identify room for improvement

  • implementing branding across multiple sites or platforms

  • contributing to front-end development

Related: What Does a UX Designer Do? Duties, Skills, Salary and FAQs

What skills do you need as a UI designer?

The journey toward becoming a graphic designer necessitates the mastery of a unique set of technical and soft abilities. Qualified UI designers usually possess and display the following skills:


Paying close attention to detail is a crucial part of UI design. This sort of work focuses on the specifics of a website, frequently involving several tiny tweaks that improve user experience. UI designers pay attention to little things that other users may overlook and guarantee that every component of the website offers the finest user experience possible.

Related: How to Improve Attention To Detail Skills

Intuitive creativity

Individuals that work as UI designers are usually creative. It's critical for UI designers to tackle both design-related challenges and problems that necessitate creative and imaginative solutions. It's also important that UI designers are able to troubleshoot technical issues that users may encounter when engaging with their website. Code issues, website constraints and user interaction issues are some common problems that a UI designer solve at some point.

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UI designers create websites for people to use. As such, it's important that they grasp what a user can find appealing or tough while utilising a website. Empathy can assist UI designers in anticipating potential site design challenges that a user may encounter while navigating the application or website. That said, it's critical for UI designers to design applications or websites with various people in mind.

Related: What Does a UX Consultant Do? A Definitive Guide

Communication skills

As a UI designer, you can expect constant interaction, communication and collaboration with clients, developers and team members. To work effectively with teams, it's important for UI designers to have great written and vocal communication abilities. This also entails being able to interact with others who may lack design skills and to interpret thoughts, visions and goals to team members as needed.

Related: How to Improve Communication Skills (With Definition and Examples)

Problem-solving abilities

UI designers frequently make decisions based on what they feel is ideal for the user experience. They employ problem-solving abilities to provide solutions to any impediments that may influence a user's experience with a product. Because the development of new operating systems and technological gadgets is ongoing and continuously growing, it's critical for a UI designer to foresee prospective design challenges.

Thorough understanding of design principles

While working, UI designers may use fundamental design ideas. These principles assist in guaranteeing that consumers can readily follow the site's directions and understand how to navigate it. In their work, UI designers frequently employ concepts and frameworks such as colour theory.

Experience with design tools

UI visual designers are usually conversant and proficient in prototyping technologies and design applications such as Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe XD, Proto.io, Sketch and Figma. These tools can assist UI designers in developing prototypes to test their hypotheses. Prototyping software can guarantee that consumers can navigate and comprehend the things they're utilising. UI designers may also work with the Principle software tool to refine specific animations and transitions.

Experience with front-end development

Clearly understanding how to code might aid a UI designer's job and even the recruiting process. While it's not always necessary, UI designers may assist with front-end development with the design parts of a website. They may assist a development team in visualising what is and isn't achievable in terms of website design.

How much can you earn as a UI designer?

The national average salary for a UI designer is$4,453 per month. Be mindful that this figure varies greatly depending on your level of education, professional experience and industry expertise. It's also highly dependent on your employer's organisation size, type and industry. On top of this base pay, UI designers may receive other benefits and perks such as paid leave, paternity leave, paid vacation, medical insurance, subsidised facilities and subsidised transport.

How to become a UI designer

Although there's no fixed pathway toward becoming a UI designer, you can consider taking the following steps to kickstart your career in UI design:

1. Pursue a degree

Although a bachelor's degree isn't always the prerequisite toward becoming a UI designer, having one might help you stand out during the initial employment process. While there's no specific degree for this position, there are degree programmes that can assist you in mastering design ideas. These degree courses entail computer science, information technology, web design and graphic design. A bachelor's degree usually takes four years to complete.

2. Consider enrolling in an upskilling programme

Another approach toward becoming a UI designer is to enrol in an upskilling programme, sometimes known as a "boot camp." These programmes normally run six months to a year and offer you the abilities that you need for this job. There are a variety of programmes that you may undertake virtually or in person. Another advantage is that they're typically less expensive than a standard four-year degree.

3. Accumulate professional and practical experience

Consider acquiring some relevant experience before applying for your first full-time UI graphic design career. Finding a UI visual design internship is one approach to do this. Use this as an opportunity to meet new people in the business, broaden your professional network and expand your skill set. You may also obtain additional experience and expand your portfolio by reaching out to new organisations that require assistance with a suitable project or website development. This way, you can have work samples to display when you apply for full-time employment.

What is the work environment of a UI designer?

Generally, UI designers usually work full-time in an office or studio setting. UI designers may accomplish tasks on their laptops, allowing them to work in both autonomous and workplace situations. Because technology is always improving and generating new types of computer programmes, artificial intelligence, apps and gadgets, a UI designer may be able to work in any field. A UI designer may choose to work in various industries such as web design, law, gaming, educational services, government, automotive, finance, information technology and healthcare.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed. Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.


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