UX and UI designers both contribute to the creation of aesthetically pleasing interfaces, but their participation and skill sets are required at different stages of the design and development process. So how can you determine which career is the best fit?
User Experience (UX) Designers
UX designers are adept at recognizing issues and creating interfaces that are as intuitive as feasible.
UX designers are renowned for being customer-obsessed and ensuring that all designs are intuitive. The work of a UX designer is frequently less visible than that of a UI designer and involves knowledge of statistics and interface testing.
But how does this manifest itself on a daily basis?
Your day-to-day activities will vary based on the stage of the project on which you are working as a UX designer.
You may begin the day by recruiting or vetting potential users for your next usability test, or by composing the script for your next remote user testing. You could be redesigning wireframes based on technological constraints or just-analyzed user test feedback.
If you are part of a smaller team, you may be responsible for a greater variety of activities, such as assisting with information architecture, project management, and collaboration with development teams.
UX designers must have a firm grasp of the objectives they are pursuing. Is it to increase registrations? Create a comprehensible informational dashboard? Regardless of the objective, it is the responsibility of the UX designers to develop a plan for a more usable interface.
Research and User Experience Testing
To establish that you’re working on the proper plan, you’ll need to learn how to test your ideas. Usability testing entails recruiting people, developing test scripts, and evaluating and presenting test results.
For testing, prototypes are required, and for a UX designer, this typically entails building wireframes and considering interactivity. Some prototypes may begin as sketches, but a UX designer may be responsible for bringing them to a higher level of quality using a technology such as InVision or Figma.
UX designers do not operate independently. UX designers can anticipate working closely with UI designers, project managers, and front-end developers on digital projects. They must be able to comprehend the project lifecycle, the fundamental technical components of a build, and the fundamentals of effective visual design.
As UX design is a relatively new profession, there are no established routes to becoming one. Those with a background in sociology, psychology, or human-computer interaction are frequently attracted to the profession, but there is no prerequisite and fundamental skills can be easily obtained.
According to Glassdoor, the average annual compensation for UX designers is $85,277.
User Interface (UI) Designer
Designers of user interfaces are responsible for producing aesthetically pleasing interfaces, from color palettes to drop-down menu interactions.
UI designers use the wireframes created by UX designers as blueprints to implement a variety of stylistic aspects. UI designers are the brains behind a website’s aesthetics and interactivity.
Typically, UI designers are brought in after some UX work has been performed. You will likely begin a project by conducting design research and determining how to apply brand guidelines to a new interface.
You will make judgments ranging from selecting the best typeface to designing button styles, and you will likely need to persuade people of your choices.
As a UI designer, you will need to comprehend responsive design and determine how transitions and interactivity function. As your concepts advance, you will likely collaborate with UX designers to test your work before it is implemented.
UI designers are responsible for the complete user interface’s visual design. This encompasses anything from creating style guides that specify how icons and menus should appear to implementing the style standards.
Interaction and Animation
This is a potential area of collaboration between UX and UI designers. A UX or UI designer may be responsible for the philosophy behind what touches and taps will do, but a UI designer implements the concept visually so that a user may comprehend an interface without instructions. The interactions a UI designer makes contribute to the intuitiveness of an interface.
Depending on the size of the team, UI designers can anticipate to collaborate with other UI designers, project managers, UX designers, and a development team. A designer of user interfaces is also responsible for documenting design decisions so that others can use their principles.
Due to the visual nature of user interface design, many professionals come from backgrounds in fine arts, graphic design, or front-end development. A formal design degree is not required, but an impressive portfolio is.
According to Glassdoor, the average annual compensation for UI designers is $76,115.
Don’t Choose—Do Both!
Large corporate job postings or freelancing assignments may require competence in one field, but in reality, you do not have to choose. If you can do both UX and UI design, you have a competitive advantage because you can handle both the analytical and project management components, as well as the aesthetics and interactions. You’ll likely get paid more, too.