IN THIS ARTICLE
- Is It Easy To Land a User Interface (UI) Designer Job?
- UI Designer (and Other Related) Jobs To Consider
- How Can You Land a UI Design Job?
- Getting a UI Designer Job: Real-Life Examples To Inspire You
- FAQs About UI Designer Jobs
Get expert insights straight to your inbox.
Working in UI design fulfills a core desire for humans—to build useful and beautiful things. But given that UI design is such a popular creative field, this also means more competition, even with entry-level jobs. Entry-level job seekers are expected to know how to navigate complex design roadblocks and make design decisions every day (even if some of them are as “minor” as the color of a button on the site). All of this makes it difficult to break into the industry.
So if you’re looking to break into the UI design industry, then you should know the landscape of different roles and their respective responsibilities. Do you know the difference between a UI designer, an interaction designer, and a visual designer? Understanding these distinctions will help you plan and land the right design job. Start with this guide to know what’s out there. Then go after what excites you.
Is It Easy To Land a User Interface (UI) Designer Job?
Though user Interface design is somewhat singular in that it exists at the intersection of creativity and tech, it’s much like other careers when it comes to landing a job. What’s important is that you have a foundational education and that you continue learning. With a solid portfolio, you’ll land a job in no time.
UI Designer (and Other Related) Jobs To Consider
Here are the nine most popular user interface designer job types you can explore:
UI designers create intuitive interfaces after understanding customer experiences, user needs, and design patterns. Their responsibilities include conducting user research, skimming through customer feedback, and working with developers and system architects to design compelling UI solutions.
UI designers are expected to know information design and prototyping. They must have experience in customer journey mapping and wireframing. Knowing how to use prototyping tools like Sketch, Figma, and InVision is critical.
The average salary of UI designers is $98,076.
UI architects execute the UI designer’s vision through coding and maintenance. They possess the same fundamental knowledge of the design process that UI designers do, but the concepts are applied differently, as UI architects provide the information architecture frameworks for an app or website.
UI architects need to have a strong understanding of front-end programming languages and be comfortable with UI libraries and frameworks. They must be familiar with object-oriented design. UI architects contribute to the software development lifecycle with structural decisions.
The average salary of UI architects is $135,098.
Motion designers execute all the artwork you see on the web. They deliver concepts and layouts for marketing promos, tutorial videos, trailers, and other visual (including AR/VR) assets—hence they are also called motion graphic designers. Using motion graphic tools, they create vibrant designs and sketches based on design guidelines and storyboards.
Motion designers must have a visual media or production background and need to know how to use tools like Premier, Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop. Since there are various forms of motion video content, motion designers need to understand how to adapt animation principles across different formats for artful design.
Motion designer salaries vary vastly based on the specific kind of tools you use and your portfolio. The average salary is $73,318.
Interaction designers focus on the interactive elements of a product’s UI. These include the various touch points and decision-making junctures for a website or app user. At large companies like Google, job titles like interaction designer and user experience designer (UX design) are used interchangeably. Some organizations prefer using the terms “experience architects” and sometimes “product designers,” so check out those roles too.
You need to be familiar with interaction design tools such as Axure and Adobe XD.
Interaction designers can earn an average of $85,271 annually.
Visual designers are entrenched in the visual aspects of product design, as opposed to graphic designers, who work on visual elements for marketing purposes. But this is a fluid distinction. Visual designers work on the design vision for a product, starting from design ideas and conceptualization, prototyping, and execution. They work with product managers to meet user needs using design practices.
You need a background in design through a bachelor’s degree, design courses, or bootcamps. A portfolio applying various design processes within a digital product is vital.
The average annual salary of a visual designer is $67,557.
Mobile App Designer
Mobile application designers tend to make more money than web designers because of the differences between mobile versus web apps. Mobile app developers are sometimes software engineers who have upskilled to build or maintain apps for an organization. They create responsive interfaces across a variety of devices, and their role entails creating accessible design user interfaces, adhering to complicated update cycles, and ensuring cross-platform compatibility.
You should understand object-oriented programming and modern app architecture if you want to work as a mobile app developer. Experience in digital product design, human-mobile interaction, and UX for mobile is essential too.
Mobile app designers earn an average of $53K each year:
As the name suggests, a product designer is responsible for the usability of a product. They prioritize the product development cycle as a whole rather than specific design elements like a UI designer would. Product designers use UX techniques and a deep understanding of design principles to create product solutions. They create product prototypes and influence product research through testing.
Product designers need an education in computer science, software engineering, and user-centered design. Some organizations want their product designers to have a strong background in visual design as well.
The annual average salary of product designers is $64,151:
UI developers write code for the designs that UI design departments create. UI developers should know how to do backend and UI work holistically. They draft documentation for development teams, including implementation guides on executing design specifications. UI developer and UI design teams jointly participate in code reviews to align the backend with the UI vision.
UI developers make an average of $91,566 per year. You can cross the $100K mark with a diverse portfolio, proficiency in the tools mentioned above, and design skills.
Freelance UI Designer
Working as a freelance UI designer comes with all the same pros and cons as any freelance career. You’ll have complete freedom, which can be both daunting and liberating.
To work as a freelance UI designer, you should have a strong familiarity with design tools, a portfolio of impactful designs, and project management skills.
The average salary for freelance UI designers depends on many factors, including finding high-paying vetted clients, navigating through the feast and famine cycles, and setting your hours. Many seasoned freelancers earn competitive salaries with their UI design skills.
Get To Know Other Design Students
How Can You Land a UI Design Job?
Start by getting yourself educated. It used to be that a college degree was required for a job in UI design, but nowadays, one of the best ways to land a UI design job is through a UI/UX bootcamp. Once you’ve finished your education, take these steps to land a job:
Consider Niching Down
Don’t try to learn every tool relevant to every role. Instead, experiment with a couple and then commit to a specialty. Niching down like this will give you the confidence to command higher salaries. Potential recruiters prefer specialists over generalist UI designers.
Put Together a Strong UI Design Portfolio
Job seekers need a UI portfolio as proof of expertise. When you include screens you have designed, talk about what the goal of that screen is, why you have chosen particular typography, spacing, etc. You could create a video of your designs with animations and simple explanations.
Network and Get Involved in UI Design Communities
Facebook communities, Slack channels, and Reddit communities are all great ways to network. You can clarify simple doubts and seek career advice. Connect with UI design professionals on LinkedIn too.
Search for the Right UI Design Job for You
Leverage job alerts (and your network) to identify design positions that interest you. Engage with recruiters, ask questions, get design internship experience, and gather insights from seasoned professionals.
Explore Freelance Work
Check out freelancing platforms like UpWork and Fiverr to help build out your portfolio.
Tailor Your Resume to Each Role and Prepare for Each Interview
You shouldn’t be sending the same resume to every company. Instead, tailor your resume to each role you’re applying for. Look through the job posting details and then see where your own skills and expertise align. For UI design interviews, research the company and talk to professionals who have recently gone through the process.
Getting a UI Designer Job: Real-Life Examples To Inspire You
Starting your journey as a UI designer can be overwhelming, especially when you haven’t taken the traditional career path. Don’t fret; here’s some inspiration for you:
While pursuing a degree in sports business, Nicola Guzowska started learning UX/UI design as a hobby. She completed multiple courses on UX, UI, motion design, and other related fields. After building a website and portfolio, she attended meetups to talk about her work. She tailored her CV, optimized her LinkedIn profile, and tracked her job applications meticulously. Nicola is also a part of many UX/UI groups on social media platforms like Facebook and Slack.
In 2016, Rachel How abandoned her law degree. She worked a slew of customer-facing jobs in retail, marketing, and real estate. Rachel credits these jobs for her soft skills that come in handy as a UI designer.
Learning to code and use a wide range of tools like Adobe was a priority. Rachel used all the free resources she could find. She found a Google job interview question online and turned it into a case study for her portfolio. After numerous rejections, Rachel focused on practicing UI design interview questions and polishing her presentation style.
Rachel’s advice is simple: you have everything you need to start and will never feel ready anyway, so just start!
FAQs About UI Designer Jobs
We’ve got the answers to your most frequently asked questions.
Is UI Design a Good Career?
UI design is a great career. You can build a satisfying and lucrative career with sustained upskilling and a laser focus on how digital products look and feel to the user.
Are UI Designers in High Demand?
Yes! UI designers are in high demand because of the expansive development of technology and digital transformation.
What Pays More: UI or UX?
The answer depends on many factors, including experience, the goals of the organization/business, location, and the educational qualifications of the candidate. User experience design and user interface design are equally important.
Related Read: UX vs. UI: The Difference Between UX and UI Design(ers)
Which Degree Is Best for UI Design?
You don’t need a degree to become a UI designer, but if you still want to go down the traditional degree path, consider a bachelor’s in graphic design or computer science.
Is a UI Design Job Stressful?
UI designer jobs can be stressful if the company you work for clubs multiple roles under one title, thus spreading you thin. However, UI designers working in companies aligned with their goals report low stress.
Since you’re here…
If you’re looking to move into design, having strong UX and UI skills is a major edge. Our UI/UX Design Bootcamp has earned graduates jobs with the most competitive organizations on earth, and 99.5% of our students are fully employed within 12 months of graduation. Check out our student reviews for good feels, and If you’re totally new to the field, try our free intro course.