Before opening this article today, chances are you’ve already used your smartphone, tablet, or laptop more than once to fulfill a task or daily need. In 2023, our daily lives are fully integrated with, and reliant on, technology.
As a result, the way apps and websites are designed has a huge impact on people’s day-to-day experiences—and a company’s bottom line. And this design is largely due to the skill and creativity of user interface (UI) designers.
But how exactly is UI design important and why do people have so much passion for UI careers?
We’ve created this guide to answer all your questions about why UI design is considered a great career choice.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Why is UI design important?
- Top 5 reasons why UI design is a great career choice
- How to become a UI designer
- Final thoughts
Let’s get into it!
1. Why is UI design important?
The world is becoming more and more dependent upon the internet and digital interfaces. There is little left that hasn’t become digitized or turned into an online experience.
Think of all the things we can do from a laptop or smartphone. From ordering groceries to doing your taxes, and even seeing how a new piece of furniture would look in your house, there is so much potential for digital spaces to change our world.
UI design has a major role in making sure these interfaces help us achieve our goals with ease and enjoyment. For the users, UI designers ensure the visual design of an app or website is visually pleasing and intuitive to navigate.
For a company or business owner, UI designers ensure their online pages or apps are up to par with industry standards and stay competitive. This can increase site traffic and the potential for conversion rates and higher KPIs.
Doing this might entail selecting the proper colors, photos, and animations to accurately represent a brand’s image or making sure buttons look clickable and important product features are easy to find.
UI is truly where aesthetics and functionality intersect.
Without good UI, users’ needs may go unmet and the success of a brand, company, or product may plummet.
2. Top 5 reasons why UI design is a great career choice
There are many reasons the UI design field might be for you. We’ve highlighted 5 of the top reasons people choose to become a UI designer.
1. High demand
You of course want to know that you’ll be entering a market with some job security; rest assured, there’s a reason Indeed put UI design at the top of its list of in-demand IT jobs.
As mentioned earlier, there’s little left to become digitized or put online. Even simple everyday items like watches, ovens, washing machines, and cars have some sort of digital interface attached to them.
It’s expected for companies to have an online presence and offer their services via some sort of app. Therefore, a variety of industries are in constant need of UI designers to make their websites and digital products attractive and intuitive. This high demand is a great reason why UI design is a top choice for a future career.
And, naturally, because UI designers are in high demand, companies often offer competitive salaries to both new and experienced designers.
2. Creative outlet
Much of UI focuses on functionality and intuitiveness of designs. But the other half is all about appearance and aesthetics.
This is why UI design is considered a creative discipline that manages to strike a rare balance between being both lucrative and innovative.
Designing the look and feel of a product requires a lot of knowledge about creative design principles like color theory, font pairing, balance, movement, hierarchy, proportion, and emphasis.
However, memorable and ground-breaking designs also come from the power of imagination, artistry, and unique expression. Therefore, those with a natural desire to create can find a great outlet for their individuality in UI design while still earning a comfortable income.
3. Plenty to learn
As technology advances, UI designers are constantly encountering new ways to design more efficiently and with cutting-edge graphics or animations.
Another reason why UI design is considered a great career is because, from brand-new design software to more complex digital products, it’s a field that is consistently evolving.
Therefore, what you are designing day-to-day as a new UI designer is often very different from the process you will use as you gain more experience in the field. The introduction of 3D graphics, animation, voice UI, and special effects has greatly expanded the toolbox of UI designers of today.
With constant innovation being introduced into the field, it’s hard for UI design to become mundane or boring. There are always new design trends, fields to specialize in, and ways to create.
4. Diverse work environments
Client bases for UI designers used to be heavily based in the tech industry.
But, with most day-to-day experiences being put online, UI designers can work for companies like restaurant chains, furniture stores, home improvement warehouses, health services, makeup artists, mechanic shops, or even florists. There are endless industries to explore!
Design agencies are still great options for UI designers with most clients being found for you. Often the option to specialize in one specific area of the UI design process is common in agency settings as well. It is also well-accepted for UI designers to work from home or freelance at their own pace.
Furthermore, both larger corporations and small businesses are looking to hire in-house UI designers with the responsibility of completing the entire UI process from start to finish as a solo designer or part of a small team.
5. Impactful work
As a UI designer, you are doing more than just creating a graphic interface. You are helping people complete important tasks and goals that affect their daily lives. Many crucial day-to-day experiences are being put online.
Therefore, UI designers are often assisting people with accessing healthcare, finding housing, monitoring their child’s school progress, securing meals and groceries, looking for jobs, and obtaining household necessities.
UI designers make sure these necessary tasks are easy to accomplish with the interfaces they create. Not only do they make their goals accessible, but they also try to make the experience enjoyable, attractive, and satisfying with effective and pleasing aesthetics.
3. How to become a UI designer
There are both formal and informal options for learning UI design. Here are the top 3 most common paths to becoming a UI designer.
If a university education isn’t the best fit for you, bootcamps are often a more affordable and expedited option for aspiring UI designers. They can be both online or in-person and range from 3-12 months.
The pace is often much quicker but also more flexible if you need to slow down or make your own schedule.
Many bootcamps provide post-camp career services as well as mentors and tutors to help personalize your education and job-hunt process.
Some examples of schools considered to be boot camp-type learning environments are CareerFoundry, Bloc, General Assembly, and Thinkful.
Some schools, like CareerFoundry, offer free short courses for you to try out the program to see whether it’s for you.
University or technical school
Some people choose a 2-4 year programs to earn a formal degree in UI or a related field. These more traditional education options are often very structured and usually in-person.
While university programs cover broad topics regarding UI design, technical schools are a bit more focused and usually take less time.
While these educational programs are usually very in-depth, they can be quite expensive and time-consuming. With other more affordable options becoming widely accepted, formal UI degrees are falling out of favor.
Another trend that is becoming quite popular is to be a self-taught UI designer. Self-taught designers use books, YouTube videos and courses, online articles, and blogs to learn and practice UI design.
UI designers that take this route can move at their own pace and follow their learning style.
While cheaper and extremely flexible, the self-taught path requires a great amount of discipline and some self-investment. Some people like the freedom of teaching themselves while others crave interaction with fellow students and mentors.
When teaching yourself it’s important to stay motivated and network via online UI spaces or in-person meetups.
Videos like this one are a great place to start!
4. Final thoughts
So, why UI design? Hopefully, this article has answered that question for you in full.
UI design is turning into a highly sought-after career for its comfortable pay and job security. Yet, there is more to UI design than a steady paycheck.
For many, it’s a place to express their creativity while making meaningful changes to the world around them as well as an opportunity to network with other creative professionals in diverse work environments.
There are many different ways to become one, and that’s why we’ve created this step-by-step guide to how to become a UI designer.
If you want to learn more about UI design and related topics, check out these articles: