UI DesignerJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

A UI designer has the position within a company of mocking up or designing, and in some cases implementing, the GUI or graphical user interface in either a program, website, or game. A UI designer is in charge of creating, categorizing, and drafting UI objects in order to pursue the desired vision of the project. A company that hires a UI designer will oftentimes either subcontract work out to other companies with either a web app, website, game, or app, or will have a web app, website, game, or app itself. 

The UI designer must be confident in their use of industry-standard software for design and graphical interfaces. These designers benefit from being creative, organized, and level-headed in order to meet the deadlines set for their work efficiently as well as in order to properly respond to criticisms of their work and revise their designs based on feedback from other team members. Hiring a UI designer can be extremely paramount to successfully showcasing your application and increasing sales, and is crucial to the useability of any software.

Sample job description

[Your Company Name] is currently looking for a UI designer to join their team during the next quarter. The UI designer will be responsible for crafting intuitive interfaces that balance form and function while adhering to best practices as established by the community. You will need proven experience as a UI designer or in a related role, be able to craft beautiful interfaces that are intuitive to use, collaborate with team members throughout the product lifecycle to create a cohesive experience for end-users, ensure designs adhere to UI standards and best practices, such as Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines, and have a strong understanding of design principles, user experience, and information architecture.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Work with UX designers to build storyboards, site maps, and conceptual designs
  • Conduct user research to inform UI layout decisions
  • Design dropdown menus, site layouts, and other aesthetic elements
  • Track human-computer interactions created by particular UI designs
  • Present concepts and defend design choices during creative and client reviews
  • Analyze consumer responses and monitor website traffic to inform revisions and improved design
  • Develop visual design and layout best practices

Education and experience

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science, graphic design, web development, or a related field.

Required skills and qualifications

  • Expertise in visual design and use-system interactions
  • Proficiency in JavaScript, HTML, and CSS
  • Proficiency with creative design programs such as Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Strong communication and presentation skills
  • Robust creative-thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work under tight deadlines

Preferred qualifications

  • Excellent graphic design skills with a focus on typography, layout, and iconography
  • Proficient in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign
  • Knowledge of HTML and CSS
  • Familiarity with prototyping tools such as InVision

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a UI designer is $87,450 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$86,950$117,650
Los Angeles, California$98,100$132,750
Denver, Colorado$81,750$110,600
Washington, DC$99,600$134,750
Miami, Florida$81,400$110,100
Orlando, Florida$75,100$101,550
Tampa, Florida$75,800$102,600
Atlanta, Georgia$79,550$107,600
Chicago, Illinois$91,450$123,700
Boston, Massachusetts$98,850$133,750
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$78,800$106,600
New York City, New York$104,050$140,800
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$84,750$114,650
Dallas, Texas$82,500$111,650
Houston, Texas$81,750$110,600
Seattle, Washington$95,150$128,750
National Average$74,350$100,550

Typical work environment

UI designers typically work in an office setting or at home. They may spend time on their computer, sketching out ideas or wireframing in a program such as Photoshop or Illustrator. They may also meet with team members to discuss project progress and collaborate on ideas.

Typical hours

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

Available certifications

There are no specific certifications required for a UI designer, but some employers may prefer candidates with a certification in graphic design or a related field. Certifications that could be beneficial for a UI designer include the Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) designation for Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, as well as the UX Certification from Human Factors International.

Career path

Becoming a UI designer and developer begins with earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science, digital media, graphic design, or a similar field. Many candidates will continue their formal education by pursuing a master’s degree to demonstrate their expertise and stand out to future employers.

UI designers pair their in-depth knowledge of visual design and human psychology with their technical skills in web development to create user-friendly interfaces. Building a substantial portfolio of design work is key to proving they have the necessary hands-on experience and expertise to perform this task.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 27-1021

2020 Employment31,500
Projected Employment in 203033,300
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 6% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift1,800 increase

User experience (UX) and UI designers will continue to work closely to create the “look and feel” of digital products. Many employers have even begun combining UX and UI roles into one hybrid position. As such, UI designers and developers will need to incorporate more conceptual thinking into their wheelhouse and brainstorm big-picture concepts with the creative team.

As interface design tools become more sophisticated, more possibilities for innovative, engaging UI elements will emerge. Streamlining UI for virtual and augmented reality will continue to be a priority as the media become more prevalent in the marketplace. 3D graphics will also continue to inform modern website and mobile app design, including the development of interactive, engaging UI.

Sample interview questions

  • What are some of your hobbies?
  • Describe a project you’ve worked on that was particularly challenging. How did you handle it? What were the results?
  • How would your current or last employer describe you?
  • What is your ideal workflow, and how often do you like to incorporate feedback into your process?
  • How comfortable are you with ambiguity?
  • Can you describe your design process from initial concept to final execution?
  • What is the biggest mistake or regret that you have made in a previous role? How would you handle it differently if given the opportunity again?
  • What do you consider essential for creating effective design patterns and best practices? How does this differ from following design trends?
  • What are some of the limitations in using Photoshop or Sketch for designing mobile interfaces?
  • Have you ever disagreed with a supervisor over an issue related to UI design? What was your reasoning, and what action did you take? Would you handle it differently now?
  • Can you describe a time when your personal values came into conflict with a company policy? How did you handle it? What was the outcome, and would you handle it differently now?
  • What is your favorite part of working on a UI team? What do you like least about it?
  • Do you consider yourself more of an artist, designer, or engineer when it comes to your work? Why?

UI Designer Jobs in Ashburn

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