UX/UI design exists as separate elements but are often lumped together. After all, the user experience and interface are closely interrelated. This career is on the rise, which might have piqued your interest, but what exactly is UX/UI design and why is it so important?
Most people lump UX/UI design along with graphic design, but it is much more than that. UX/UI design is concerned with the user interface, the overall user experience, and understanding how the human mind works. This job is important because you will create technology that helps create a more inclusive and accessible environment while helping a company achieve its goals.
This guide to UX/UI design will tell you everything you need to know if you're considering a career in these related fields.
Going back to the point we touched on in the intro, UX/UI might be paired together, but they are technically two different components of design. Here's an explanation of each individually.
Let's start with UX, which is short for user experience.
A UX designer ensures that an end product provides the most optimal experience for the customers of that product while ensuring the technology is accessible for all customers.
This entails completing tasks such as competitor analyses, customer analyses, user research, product strategizing, content development, wireframing and prototyping, testing, and analyzing the final result before it's iterated.
All along, a UX designer works closely with their client, the company that owns the product, to coordinate with them about the changes to the design. Those changes must meet the client's approval before being iterated.
A UX designer will also have to correlate with others on their team (provided they're working as a team and not on their own) as well as with UI designers.
UI is short for user interface and is also referred to as user interface engineering.
A UI designer builds the interfaces that are used for all sorts of products, from electronics like mobile devices and computers to home appliances and everything in between.
There are three types of UI designs: gesture-based interfaces, voice-controlled interfaces, and graphical user interfaces.
A gesture-based interface is by far the most advanced, as one's movements allow one to connect with 3D spaces, such as what's capable in today's virtual reality entertainment.
Voice-controlled interfaces or VUIs include voice assistants like those on your smart speaker or smartphone. Alexa and Siri are both examples of VUIs.
Graphical user interfaces or GUIs feature digital renderings of an image on a control panel, such as a computer desktop.
Unlike UX design, UI design is only concerned with digital products, especially the visual touchpoints that make these products interactive.
You've got some design chops, and you're quite intrigued by the idea of working in a career where you're helping people achieve their goals.
If you're strongly considering studying UX/UI design, here's how you do it.
First, you have to select a college or university with a UX/UI program.
Conduct some research to ensure the institution aligns with your needs and can project you toward your career goals.
Making a college decision is hard and is not to be rushed. Once you're confident in your decision, then it's time to apply.
Keep a couple of backup schools in mind in case you get turned down by the first college you wanted to attend.
If you get accepted by several schools, then you have to narrow it down to just one. Then accept the enrollment and you're officially a student.
Now it's time to begin your UX/UI education.
That education should teach you all the pillars of UX/UI design, including website design principles, typography, animation and motion, design technologies, and digital design.
You'll learn to work in the programs that real UX/UI designers utilize, from Microsoft Office to Figma and Adobe XD.
Your time in academia will also allow you to build a professional-level portfolio of all your designs that can help you on the road to finding your first UX/UI design job!
To further make you an appealing job candidate for an entry-level UX/UI design job, you might consider earning several UX/UI certifications.
Some UX/UI design programs offered by colleges such as Bryan University will include preparation for the Adobe XD certification as part of your education.
You'll be readier to take the Adobe XD certifying exam, and hopefully, you'll pass it. Your school might even cover the cost of the first test attempt, just like Bryan University does.
Once you have your degree in hand and maybe a couple of certifications too, you're ready for your first job in UX/UI design.
That will be an entry-level job, but if you work hard and utilize your skills well, it won't be long before you begin climbing the career ladder.
Here are some job titles you can hold with your degree.
A UX analyst, which is sometimes also referred to as a UX business analyst, gathers and studies data about user experiences with an end product.
Although the end products that a UX analyst is involved in are technically not owned by them, they're still actively building the design of the end product and wanting to improve it as much as possible.
By reviewing trends in how users are interacting with and enjoying the end product, a UX analyst may recommend further tweaks to the end product.
If you're hired as a website designer, then it's your responsibility to create responsive and appealing websites for a variety of clients.
You'll receive information that should inform your design decisions such as a recommended color scheme, typography, and the client's logo.
Then you'll build the site, working with the client the entire time to ensure the site meets their preferences. You'll revise the site design as needed until the website finally goes live.
Also known as a UX developer, a UX designer is in charge of creating designs that improve the usability of an end product, as we've discussed throughout this guide.
A UI designer creates the digital design elements that ultimately influence usability. They'll create imagery, animations, buttons, color palettes, and typography to make a digital design more pleasing.
Working as a UX strategist requires you to be involved more with stakeholders than on the client side of things.
You'll determine what should be added to a product before it enters the final review stage, and you'll also suggest improvements that can be made.
UX strategists make business decisions based on factors such as desirability, value, and adaptability, which are known as UX strategy elements.
A UX writer isn't the same as a freelance writer or copywriter. Rather, in this role, you'd write the microcopy that's then applied to digital products such as websites and apps.
It's this microcopy that keeps websites and apps usable.
Another role that you could occupy throughout your UX career is a UX researcher.
A UX researcher is a representative of the end user. Throughout the UX design process, they advocate for the end user, ensuring that the product is geared towards the end user and that the product will also meet the goals it's designed to fulfill.
In this leadership role, a UX manager will wear many hats.
You have a hand in project management, from managing the budget to which projects are approved versus those that go on the chopping block.
You manage people, building and then overseeing the success of teams.
You're a UX designer who's cherished for your high-quality work, and your communication skills are top-notch as well.
You have a deep, profound knowledge of all things UX that you share whenever you get the opportunity.
UX/UI design is so critically important for the reasons that we touched on in the intro. Let's expand upon those reasons now.
UI design is all about how a product looks while UX is centered on the experience of using that product for the end user. By combining these elements you get a truly consumer-centric product.
Whether the goal is more visibility, better branding, or expanding one's audience, without UX/UI design during the product development and design stages, it would be hard for companies to achieve these goals.
With competition stiff in just about every industry imaginable, it takes an exemplary product right out of the gate for a company to make an impact.
UX/UI design ensures that the impact of memorable products will surely resonate better with audiences.
UX/UI design also ensures that the product will be accessible for all customers to interact with and enjoy.
When customers are satisfied with a product, they buy more, and not just that one product, but newer products since the company built their trust.
This pads the company's bottom line not only now but in the future as well, and it's all thanks to the UX/UI design touches.
Have you decided that a career in UX/UI design is the right choice for you?
At Bryan University, our UX/UI Undergraduate Certificate will pave the way for you to begin in UX/UI design.
You'll learn all the design fundamentals and receive preparation and one paid exam attempt for the Adobe XD certification.
Our students can also concurrently pursue their Associate Degree in Graphic Design as part of a dual enrollment.
You'll strengthen your digital design skills and learn more skills needed in today's UX/UI designers such as image manipulation, website design, and page layout design.
You'll work frequently in Adobe Illustrator, and your education also pays for one attempt at the Adobe Illustrator certification. You'll receive preparation for this cert as well!
Ready to get started? Enroll today!