That’s just a high-level distinction between the two—we’ll outline all their key differences in more detail later on. But first, let’s learn more about what visual design and UI design each entail. If you’re already working full time in another field, practice your UX design skills on the job by identifying a potential challenge and designing a solution.

  • Despite their similarities, graphic design and UI design are two distinct disciplines with several clear-cut differences.
  • UX design involves managing the user journey as they interact with a product or service, while UI design focuses on the actual construction of that product or service’s interface.
  • As you can see, there’s no definitive winner when comparing UI and visual designer salaries.
  • Any sort of visual element, interaction, or animation must all be designed.
  • According to various salary aggregate websites, product designers tend to have slightly higher average salaries than UX designers in the US.

At this stage, a user interface (UI) designer will add visual or interface elements. User experience (UX) refers to the user’s journey when interacting with a product or service. If you’re ready to shift to a career in UX, enroll for free in the Google UX Design Professional Certificate on Coursera. This program helps you build job-ready skills in less than six months—no experience or degree is required. You’ll walk through the design process with UX professionals from Google and complete three end-to-end projects for your portfolio—a website, a mobile app, and a cross-platform experience.

Which Career Path Should You Choose?

User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design often go hand in hand, but the two fields have some important differences. While UX encompasses the overall experience a user has with a product or service, UI focuses on the graphic design and interface. UI designers are responsible for the look and feel of digital products. They work with colour, typography, layout, imagery, and spacing to create aesthetically pleasing designs for websites, apps, and software. They also take care of interactivity, adding the necessary interactive properties to individual UI elements.

ux designer vs ui designer

And bootcamp programs like Flatiron School offer a fast, efficient way to learn or improve skills and break into an exciting and growing field for a rewarding career and future. And as the demand for these products increases so does the need for good UX/UI designers who, in turn, can command far higher salaries. Graphic design, in comparison, is stagnant and not reflective of technological progress. The job market is also shrinking for this type of design over more technology-focused design jobs.

How to Get Started As a UI or UX Designer

The UI design process is also highly user-focused and the goal is always to create interfaces that are easy to use and allow the user to move seamlessly from point A to B. However, unlike UX which is broad and all-encompassing, UI concentrates on the design and layout of digital screens, as well as the individual elements they contain. This includes things like buttons, swipe and scroll motions, menus, typography, imagery, colours, animations and the transition from one screen to the next. UI design (also known as user interface design) focuses on the way a product looks and functions. UI designers work on the visual design of a product, often working from the wireframes or mockups a UX designer has provided. Both UI and UX design are well-paying careers that are in demand.

UX designers can’t just work in isolation and then hand off their sitemaps and wireframes to the UI designer or developer when they’re done. Realistically, the UI designer could run A/B tests over the entire life of a website. They’re not just useful for ironing out visual design issues but also for improving the overall look and feel of the website. A style guide is a must regardless of what type of website you build. A design system, on the other hand, is best for larger websites and ones that require ongoing maintenance and updates.

So what’s product design, exactly?

We expand on this definition in our complete introductory guide to UI design. You can cover them by having a singular, interdisciplinary individual or having two separate roles for both areas. However, both options have tradeoffs, which you must carefully consider when deciding on your ideal team setup. It doesn’t mean that the UI designer can’t participate in the research phase or that the UX designer can’t help with instilling joy in the product. It’s more about who is the most competent to have ownership and the final say at a specific phase.

ux designer vs ui designer

Since UX and UI designers oversee the design and implementation process for digital products and services, they must be versed in a variety of applicable skills. Here are several skills that new UX/UI designers will need to build a successful career. For aspiring designers, understanding these distinctions are key in establishing general web development knowledge, honing applicable skills, and breaking into the UX/UI design field.

Product Designer vs. UX Designer: The Difference Explained

Since UX and UI designers often work closely together, it’s common for UX and UI to be confused with one another — even though they represent different components of a product or service’s design. While there is some overlap between the two roles, there are several key differences to consider. If you have some experience in graphic design, there are some compelling reasons to consider shifting to UX. Demand for graphic designers is projected to decline by four percent over the next decade [3], according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

It might be more accurate to refer to UX designers as UX specialists. While they have a hand in designing wireframes and low-fidelity prototypes for a website, the majority of what they do involves research, testing, and validation. Traditional degrees are another great way to learn UX/UI design skills. Completing a traditional degree program typically requires two to four years of full-time study (or longer if you’re studying part-time).

Becoming a UX designer or product designer

In this structured journey, a UX/UI designer, much like an architect and builder, ensures that every stage, from conception to completion, prioritizes the user. It’s a labor of love, patience, and continuous learning, resulting in digital landscapes that users cherish and navigate with ease. Get an interactive introduction to UX design with the Google UX Design Professional Certificate on Coursera. Build job-ready skills and complete portfolio-ready projects in less than six months—no degree or prior experience required. Upon completion, gain access to career resources like resume review, interview prep, and more.

ux designer vs ui designer

Since UX is a relatively new field, you won’t find as many established degree programs in UX specifically. Instead, UX designers might get their degrees in computer science, human-computer interaction, psychology, or design. Explore our short courses to expand your skills, or check out our rigorous UX Academy program.