Deciding on a career path can be challenging, especially in the field of design where there are so many options to choose from. Two popular choices are UI (User Interface) design and UX (User Experience) design. Both fields involve designing digital products, but they differ in their focus and responsibilities. They labor to create great user interfaces, but their involvement and skill sets are needed at various stages of the design and development process. How do you determine which career is best for you, then?
User Experience (UX) Designer
UX Design is more concerned with the overall user experience of a product. UX designers aim to make a product that is not only visually appealing but also intuitive and easy to use. They use research methods such as user testing and surveys to gather feedback and make informed decisions about the product’s design. UX designers work closely with developers, product managers, and other stakeholders to create a product that meets the needs of the users and the business. UX designers are competent at spotting issues and creating user interfaces that are as simple to use as possible.
UX designers are famous for being fixated on customers and guaranteeing the simplicity of every design. A UX designer must have knowledge of analytics and testing interfaces, and their work is frequently less visually appealing than a UI designer's.
What does this actually look like on a daily basis, though?
Your daily activities will fluctuate depending on the stage of the project you're working on because UX designers take on a range of tasks on a project.
You might begin your day by gathering or qualifying possible participants for your upcoming usability test or by writing the script for your upcoming remote user testing. You might be reconsidering your wireframes in light of recent user testing results or technical constraints.
If you're part of a smaller team, you could be able to handle a larger variety of duties, such as project management, information architecture assistance, and collaboration with development teams.
Strategy: UX designers need to be crystal clear about the objectives they're pursuing. Is it to promote sign-ups, perhaps? Establish a transparent information dashboard? UX designers are in charge of coming up with the plan to attain a better usable interface, regardless of the purpose.
Research and usability testing: are essential if you want to be sure that the plan, you're developing is sound. User participation, the creation of test scripts, analysis of your results, and presentation of your conclusions are all necessary for usability testing.
Prototyping: Testing necessitates prototypes, and for a UX designer, this typically entails developing wireframes and considering interactivity. While some prototypes begin with sketches, a UX designer may be in charge of bringing them to a higher fidelity using a program like InVision or Figma.
The work of UX designers is collaborative. UX designers can anticipate working closely with UI designers, project managers, and front-end developers on a digital project. They require knowledge of the project lifecycle, the ability to comprehend the fundamental technical elements of a build, and sound visual design standards.
There aren't any established paths to becoming a UX designer because it's a new profession. The field frequently attracts individuals who have studied sociology, psychology, or human-computer interaction, however there are no prerequisite and fundamental skills that can be easily learned.
According to CareerFoundry, UX designers earn an average annual salary of US$106,896.
User Interface (UI) Designer
UI Design, on the other hand, is all about the look and feel of a digital product. UI designers create the visual design, layout, and typography of a website or application. They ensure that the interface is attractive, easy to navigate, and aesthetically pleasing. They are responsible for creating wireframes, prototypes, and high-fidelity mockups, which are the visual representations of the product. It is the responsibility of user interface designers to create interfaces that are aesthetically pleasing, including color schemes and dropdown menu interactions.
The wireframes created by UX designers are used by UI designers as a starting point for a variety of stylistic aspects. The beauty and functionality of a site are created by UI designers.
The involvement of UI designers often occurs after some UX work has been performed. You'll probably begin a project with design research and decide how to adapt the current brand standards to a fresh interface.
You'll need to decide on anything from the ideal typography to how to design button styles, and you'll probably need to persuade people of your judgments.
You'll have to decide how transitions and interactivity function as a UI designer, which means you'll need to grasp responsive design. You'll probably collaborate with UX designers as your designs advance to test them out before they are put into production.
Visual Interface Design: The entire visual interface is the responsibility of UI designers. This encompasses everything from creating style manuals that specify how menus and icons should look.
Interaction and animation: UX and UI designers may collaborate in this area. A UI designer applies the principle visually so that a user may grasp an interface without instructions, even though a UX or UI designer may be responsible for the strategy of what touches and taps will do. An interface can be more user-friendly by using the interactions that UI designers build.
Depending on the size of the team, UI designers can anticipate working with other UI designers, project managers, UX designers, and a development team. A UI designer must also make sure that design choices are documented so that others may follow their instructions.
Many UI design specialists have training in the fine arts, graphic design, or front-end development because of the visual nature of the field. Although a solid portfolio is necessary, a formal degree in design is not.
According to CareerFoundry, UI designers earn an average annual salary of US $77,692.
When deciding between a career in UI design or UX design, consider the following:
Skillset: UI design requires a strong eye for aesthetics and visual design, while UX design requires research and analytical skills.
Interests: Do you enjoy making things look good or figuring out how to make things work better for the user?
Career growth: Both UI and UX design offer opportunities for growth, but UX design is a growing field with more demand for professionals.
Who says you have to choose?
The truth is that you don't have to choose, even while major corporate job listings or freelancing assignments can call for skill in one area. Being able to perform both the project management and analytical tasks, as well as add the necessary aesthetics and interactions, puts you at a competitive advantage. You'll probably also be paid more.
We can help you get a first-hand look into both career paths in order to decide. Come and be a part of the GoCreate USA mentorship program which is part of a Bootcamp experience. Where you would have the opportunity to work as an apprentice with our partners and work on live projects.
Check the Brave Achievers GoCreate website for opportunities for training and mentorship.