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From App To Offer Navigating a UI Internship Search
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From App To Offer: Navigating a UI Internship Search

9 minute read | May 3, 2023
Sakshi Gupta

Written by:
Sakshi Gupta

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UI designers are responsible for designing the interactive and visual elements of every single app and website you use. Their job is to design apps and websites that are both aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate—good UI design is often the difference between an app being intuitive and infuriating. 

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in UI design, landing a UI internship can be an excellent way to gain experience, build your skills, and make valuable connections in the industry. However, navigating the UI internship search can be overwhelming, especially if you’re unsure where to start. 

In this article, we’ll explore the skills needed to be successful in a UI internship and share tips for finding and securing the right opportunity for you.

Is It Hard To Land a UI Internship?

Landing a UI design internship can be challenging, as these positions are highly competitive. Companies often receive a large number of applications from highly qualified candidates. To increase your chances of success, it’s important to have a strong portfolio, relevant skills and experience, and a proactive approach to networking.

How Does a UI Internship Work?

A UI internship typically involves working as a design team member to assist in developing and implementing user interface designs for various applications or products. A UI intern’s specific tasks and responsibilities may vary depending on the company and project they are working on.

What Does a UI Intern Do?

A UI intern’s common tasks and responsibilities may include:

  • Assisting with user research and usability testing to gather feedback on UI designs.
  • Collaborating with other designers, developers, and stakeholders to create user-friendly designs.
  • Creating wireframes, prototypes, and visual designs using software tools like Sketch, Adobe XD, or Figma.
  • Conducting design reviews and presenting designs to the team and stakeholders for feedback.

Benefits of a UI Internship

An internship offers a chance to gain practical experience working on real-world design projects under the guidance of experienced professionals. Moreover, it provides an excellent opportunity to build a professional network and make valuable connections in the industry. 

Interns develop their design skills during an internship and learn new software tools and techniques. 

Tips To Land a UI Internship

Tips To Land a UI Internship

If you’re interested in pursuing a UI internship, take these steps to increase your chances of success:

Learn the Basics

Before starting a UI internship, it’s important to have a solid foundation in design basics, such as color theory, typography, layout, and composition. You can start by studying design principles and theory through online courses, tutorials, and books. Experience in Figma, Sketch, or Adobe XD is also important. 

Build a Strong Portfolio

Having a strong portfolio is essential for anyone pursuing a UI internship, as it allows you to showcase your design skills and creativity to potential employers. 

A portfolio can include a variety of design projects, such as website designs, mobile app designs, and user interface designs. A strong portfolio should demonstrate your ability to create user-friendly designs that are visually appealing and meet industry standards. 

Grow Your Network

A strong network is crucial for anyone seeking a UI internship, as it can help you connect with industry professionals, learn about job opportunities, and gain valuable insights into the field. 

Get Involved in the UI Community

Getting involved in the UI community is an effective way to build your network and connect with other designers and industry professionals. Here are some ways you can get involved:

  1. Attend industry events such as conferences, meetups, and workshops. 
  2. Join online design communities and forums like Dribbble, Behance, or Reddit. 
  3. Volunteer for design projects or initiatives. 

Create a LinkedIn Profile and Build Connections

LinkedIn is particularly useful for building your network and landing a UI internship because it allows you to showcase your skills and experience to potential employers. You can create a detailed profile highlighting your education, UI design certifications, work experience, and design skills, giving potential employers a clear sense of your qualifications.

Find a Mentor

YouTube video player for p1f-CUty0kU
UI/UX design alum Ali Marrocco talks about her Springboard experience and how she became good friends with her mentor Rafal.

A mentor can offer advice on career development, provide feedback on your work, and help you identify areas of improvement. Mentors also share their knowledge and expertise, helping you develop your UI skills further.

Start Your Application

Thoroughly preparing your application for a UI internship is essential to increase your chances of success and stand out as a candidate. Here are some tips for doing so:

Craft a Strong Resume

When crafting your resume, focus on the skills and experience that are most relevant to the UI internship, such as proficiency in design software tools, experience with user research and testing, and knowledge of design principles and trends.

Make sure to customize your resume for each UI internship application, highlighting the skills and experience that are most relevant to the specific position.

Keep Your Portfolio at the Ready

Having a portfolio ready allows you to quickly apply for UI internships as soon as they become available. It also shows potential employers that you are proactive and prepared, which can make a positive impression and increase your chances of success.

Store Your Important Documents in One Place

To save time, make sure you keep your documents organized and easily accessible. This way, you can ensure you have all the necessary materials ready in case an opportunity arises, and reduce your stress and anxiety, allowing you to focus on your goals.

Apply for Internships

Let’s explore the key steps to successfully apply for UI internships:

Prepare for Each Interview

To prepare effectively, it’s important to research the company and the position you’re applying for and practice answering common interview questions. You should also prepare a list of questions for the interviewer to demonstrate your interest in the company and the position.

What Questions Are Asked in a UI Internship Interview?

The specific questions asked in a UI internship interview can vary depending on the company and the position you’re applying for. However, here are some common questions you may encounter in a UI internship interview:

  • What inspired you to pursue a career in UI design?
  • What design software tools are you proficient in?
  • Can you walk me through your design process?
  • How do you approach usability testing and user research?
  • Can you describe a project you worked on and your role in the design process?

A Good First Impression 

A good first impression during a UI internship is important to establish a positive working relationship with your colleagues and supervisors. Dress professionally and make sure to arrive on time. Bring a notebook, pen, and any materials you may need for the day.

Send a Thank You Email After the Interview

After your interview, sending a thank you email demonstrates your appreciation for the interviewer’s time and consideration and allows you to reiterate your interest in the position and the company. 

Follow Up

Following up after a UI internship interview is important to demonstrate your continued interest in the position. A thoughtful follow-up email can help you stand out from other candidates and increase your chances of landing the internship.

Where Can You Intern?

ui internship, Where Can You Intern

Here are some of the different ways you can land a UI design internship:

In-House UI Teams

Interning at an in-house UI team can offer a unique learning experience, as it allows you to work on design projects for a specific company or organization. In-house teams are typically focused on creating user interfaces for products or services offered by that company, which can provide a deep understanding of the company’s brand, mission, and target audience.

Agencies

Interning at a UI agency can offer a fast-paced and dynamic learning experience, as agencies typically work with a variety of clients and projects. This can provide exposure to a wide range of design challenges and allow you to build a diverse portfolio of work.

When Is the Right Time To Get a UI Internship?

Consider these factors before deciding to pursue a UI internship:

Foundational Knowledge Required

The foundational knowledge required for pursuing a UI internship includes understanding design principles, color theory, typography, and layout. Furthermore, proficiency in design software tools such as Sketch, Adobe XD, or Figma is essential for success in the field.

Skills Needed

UI internships require both technical and soft skills.

Technical Skills

Here are some important technical skills for UI internships:

  • Design software tools
  • Programming languages
  • Knowledge of user experience
  • User research and testing
  • Responsive design

Soft Skills

In addition to technical skills, UI internships also require a range of soft skills essential for success in the field. Some important soft skills for UI internships include:

  • Communication skills
  • Artistic skills
  • Customer service skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Collaboration

Know the Popular Tools

To be successful in a UI internship, you should be familiar with a range of UI design tools, including but not limited to Sketch, Adobe XD, Figma, InVision, Photoshop, and Illustrator.

UI Internship Roles

Internships are available for various UI roles. Here are some of the most popular ones:

UI Designer (Most Popular)

A UI designer creates visually appealing and user-friendly interfaces for digital products such as websites, mobile apps, and software programs. They collaborate with other designers, developers, and stakeholders to ensure that designs meet user needs and business requirements.

UI Developer

UI developers are responsible for implementing the designs created by UI designers using programming languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. They ensure designs are functional, responsive, and accessible to users.

UI/UX Writer

A UI/UX writer is responsible for creating clear and concise text for digital products such as websites, mobile apps, and software programs, focusing on enhancing the user experience.

Get To Know Other Design Students

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Natalie Breuner

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Resources for Finding UI Internships

Here’s where to find UI internships:

Job Boards

Job boards can be a valuable resource for job seekers, as they offer a centralized location for finding job postings from various companies.

General 

Finding UI internship positions on general job boards can be a bit challenging, but a few strategies can help. 

Use keywords such as “UI internship,” “user interface design,” or “user experience design” when searching for job postings. This can help you narrow down the results to positions that are relevant to your interests and skills.

While general job boards may not always have a wide selection of UI internship positions, individual company websites may have more specific listings. Check the websites of companies that you’re interested in working for to see if they have any open internship positions.

Niche

Look for job boards specializing in UI design jobs, as these are more likely to have UI internship positions listed. Uxcel and Dribble are two of the most popular.  

Company or Agency Website (Career Page)

Finding UI internship positions on company or agency websites can be a great way to understand the specific opportunities available and the company culture. Check the “Careers” or “Jobs” section of the company or agency’s website, and look for positions that match your skills and interests. 

Network 

Reach out to friends, family, and colleagues to let them know that you’re interested in pursuing an internship in UI design. They may be able to provide valuable leads or introduce you to professionals in the field who can offer guidance and support.

Online and Slack Communities

Online communities and Slack groups are also useful for job leads and referrals.

UI Internship FAQs

We’ve got the answers to your most frequently asked questions.

Is UI a Good Career?

UI design can be a very rewarding and fulfilling career for those passionate about design and technology. It offers exciting opportunities to work on interesting and challenging projects and collaborate with other designers and professionals.

What Is the Average Salary for a UI Intern?

The average salary of a UI intern is $61,453 per year.
average salary of a UI intern
Related Read: What Do UI Designers Earn?

How Can I Land a Remote UI Internship?

Reach out to companies or organizations that you’re interested in working for and inquire about remote internship opportunities. Even if they don’t have any open positions listed, expressing your interest and sharing your work can help you stay top of mind if an opportunity arises.

Since you’re here…
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About Sakshi Gupta

Sakshi is a Managing Editor at Springboard. She is a technology enthusiast who loves to read and write about emerging tech. She is a content marketer with experience in the Indian and US markets.