UI Developer

Job Description

The user interface (UI) is where users control and use a particular piece of software, and UI Developers are responsible for visualizing and creating that part of a program. A UI Developer lives at the intersection of computer programming, psychology, and graphic design. UI Developers have to get inside a user’s mind and predict how a user would want to control a piece of software, then design an interface that is intuitive and easy to learn.

UI Developers are responsible for making sure programs behave as users would expect them to. They often have to have a wide variety of expertise, including knowledge of web development languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, as well as application programming languages like Java, .Net, AJAX, and Ruby. Also, a UI Developer should know about graphic design programs like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, and Flex to design the look of the user interface.

In addition to hard technical skills, UI Developers should also have soft skills like verbal and written communication, project management, team leadership, and presentation. A UI Developer needs to be able to effectively communicate ideas to stakeholders outside of the development team to align the goals of a particular project. Generally, a UI Developer doesn’t work alone, so team leadership and the ability to motivate and coordinate colleagues are also critical.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities

  • Collaborate with product management and engineering to define and implement innovative solutions for the product’s direction, visuals, and experience
  • Execute all visual design stages from concept to final hand-off to engineering
  • Conceptualize original ideas that bring simplicity and user-friendliness to complex design roadblocks
  • Create wireframes, storyboards, user flows, process flows, and site maps to communicate interaction and design ideas effectively
  • Present and defend designs and key milestone deliverables to peers and executive stakeholders
  • Conduct user research and evaluate feedback
  • Establish and promote design guidelines, best practices, and standards

Education and Background

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in human-computer interaction, interaction design, engineering, or a related field.

A master’s degree in those fields is strongly preferred.

Skills and Competencies

  • Demonstrate UI design skills with a strong portfolio
  • Substantial experience in creating wireframes, storyboards, user flows, process flows, and site maps
  • Proficiency in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • Excellent visual design skills with sensitivity to user-system interaction
  • Ability to present designs and sell solutions to various stakeholders
  • Ability to solve problems creatively and effectively
  • Experience working in an Agile/Scrum development process

Compensation

According to Payscale the median annual salary of a UI Developer with

1 Year of Experience:

  • Orlando, Florida: $50,000
  • Tampa, Florida: $62,000
  • Jacksonville, Florida: $50,000
  • Miami, Florida: $60,000
  • Atlanta, Georgia: $68,000
  • Chicago, Illinois: $70,000
  • Houston, Texas: $75,000
  • Los Angeles, California: $60,000
  • New York City, New York: $70,000
  • Seattle, Washington: $70,000
  • Overall: $68,000

5 Years of Experience:

  • Orlando, Florida: $67,000
  • Tampa, Florida: $72,000
  • Jacksonville, Florida: $64,000
  • Miami, Florida: $75,000
  • Atlanta, Georgia: $80,000
  • Chicago, Illinois: $88,000
  • Houston, Texas: $85,000
  • Los Angeles, California: $85,000
  • New York City, New York: $88,000
  • Seattle, Washington: $81,000
  • Overall: $80,000

Similar Job Titles

  • Web UI Developer
  • Front-End Developer
  • Front-End Engineer
  • CSS/HTML Developer
  • Front-End Web Designer
  • Web/Front-End UI Developer
  • Web/Front-End UI Engineer
  • Front-End Accessibility Expert
  • Interaction Designer
  • Art Director
  • JavaScript Developer

Career Path

A UI Developer needs to have a bachelor’s degree in human-computer interaction, interaction design, engineering, or a related field. Students are encouraged to pursue internships with technology companies while they are in college to gain some real-world experience in the field. Some companies prefer applicants to have a master’s degree.

UI Developers need to study HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, as well as application programming languages like Java, .Net, AJAX, and Ruby. Knowledge of the Adobe Creative Suite (for creating design mockups of user interfaces) and the inner workings of the most popular web browsers like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer are also essential skills for a UI Developer to have.

A UI Developer can move up into a role like IT Project Manager. In that role, they oversee and guide the entire development process of a project, sometimes supervising a team of software developers and UI Developers. UI Developers who want to move into management roles should spend extra time developing soft skills like relationship building, motivating and influencing others, and communication.

Position Trends

UI Developers need to keep up on the latest trends and study how users interact with websites and software. According to the design website DesignHill, there are several trends UI Developers should be on top of in the next few years, including full-screen video, more vivid colors, and long scrolling.

Videos have been used for a long time to grab users’ attention, but many websites and some apps are expanding their videos to full-screen to increase user engagement. More vivid colors are also being used to increase user engagement. For a few years, UI design trended toward muted colors, but as that trend continues to recede, many brands are using brighter colors to highlight their identity and personality. That trend is also expected to show itself in user interfaces.

A third trend UI Developers should be aware of is the use of cards. Cards are used to display large amounts of data on a single screen, letting users get the information at a single glance. They’re becoming more common because they work well both on desktop and mobile screens. Cards can also be manipulated and moved in different ways, giving UI Developers more flexibility.

Job Outlook

As more of our society’s daily functions move into the digital world, the need for UI Developers to envision the ways we will use those websites and applications will only increase.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Web Developer field is expected to grow by 13 percent between 2018 and 2028. That’s much faster than average.

Typical Hours

The typical work hours in an office setting for a UI Developer are usually from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Additional work hours can be required when approaching project deadlines.

Where You Can Find Jobs

  • 4 Corner Resources
  • Career Builder
  • Glassdoor
  • Indeed
  • LinkedIn
  • Monster
  • IT Career Finder

Are You Interested in Becoming a UI Developer?

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