how to become a ui designer (2024 Guide)

Is a Certificate in User Interface Design Worth It?

BrainStation’s UI Designer career guide is intended to help you take the first steps toward a lucrative career in UI design. Read on for an overview of whether certifications can help your UI design career.

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Few roles in tech combine creativity, stylistic flair, and technical savvy like user interface design.

A User Interface Designer isn’t just responsible for creating beautiful digital products, but also understanding how brand, typography, and layout need to smoothly interact to create a responsive and efficient experience for users. It’s easy to understand why so many have been compelled to join the rapidly growing field.

Whether you’re new to the field or looking for more competitive credentials, read on for reasons why earning a UI design certificate could be a valuable career move.

Companies focusing on user experience

Wisely, companies are becoming more consumer-focused and design-focused than ever.

According to 2018 digital trends study conducted by Adobe and Econsultancy, the organizations polled identified optimizing the customer experience as the single most-exciting opportunity for their companies.

Meanwhile, the same study showed that user interface and user experience design was also the biggest self-identified weak spot for the companies participating. Where 74 percent of respondents said they had a strong company culture, only 50 percent felt confident that they “have well-designed user journeys that facilitate clear communication and a seamless transaction.”

Well, those companies are doing what they can to catch up. The Adobe/Econsultancy survey found that 73 percent of companies were “investing in design to differentiate our brand,” up from 59 percent in 2015.

But they’re struggling to find the right people. Only 61 percent of respondents felt they had the people needed to engineer good customer experiences.

Perhaps that’s why an Emsi study found an average of 4,900 new job postings per month for user interface designers in 2016, with Oracle, Creative Circle, Amazon, and Pegasystems standing as the companies hiring the most in this area.

Naturally, that shortage has led to robust salaries. User Interface Designers on average make $84,435 annually, while Senior User Interface Designers on average receive $107,002.

eCommerce continues to grow

These days, companies simply can’t expect customers to interact with an unattractive, confusing, or unresponsive digital product, and they can’t afford to lag behind the competition.

eCommerce/digital now influences up to 56 percent of in-store purchases and represents almost 10 percent of all U.S. retail sales, a figure Absolunet reports is growing 15 percent annually.

Mobile-specific eCommerce, meanwhile, is growing at a pace that’s almost too fast to keep up – that report forecasts that mobile will represent 70 percent of all eCommerce traffic by the end of the year.

UI design is crucial to creating a worthwhile app

As companies try to catch up to the mobile transformation, it’s important to keep in mind that quality is crucial in the mobile realm. Users simply won’t bother with an unattractive mobile app with a confusing customer journey.

A 2016 Localytics survey found that across all app users, 80 percent do not use the apps they download after three months. AppsFlyer meanwhile found that 30 days after download, roughly three percent of iOS and Android apps were still actively used.

Mobile app users may became only more discerning in the years ahead. eMarketer reported last year that while Americans are spending more time using apps – 19.9 percent of average daily total media time – they are at the same time using fewer and fewer apps.

Certificate courses ensure your skills are current

The famous designer Neville Brody once said, “digital design is like painting, except the paint never dries.” Similarly, User Interface Designers should never stop growing and adapting. With employers demanding deep and up-to-date skill sets, a certification course might be the best way to ensure that your toolbox contains everything industry leaders are looking for.

Emsi’s study found that user interface design positions will want a candidate who is versed in the essentials of web design – such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript – but User Interface Designers should also possess other tools needed for prototyping, wireframing, and designing digital products.

BrainStation’s part-time User Interface Design course, which can be completed online or on our campuses in New York, Toronto, or Vancouver, helps students master industry tools including Sketch, Invision, Flinto, and Zeplin. By the end of the course, students graduate from learning the fundamentals of visual design, brand consistency, and typography, to creating their own clickable prototype of a mobile app, complete with its own UI scheme.