ui designer (2022 guide)

What Is UI Design?

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 what UI design is and how it differs from UX design.

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The “UI” in “UI design” stands for “user interface”—in other words, it’s the field of design concerning all the visual elements the users of a website, app, or piece of software (or mobile device, or even appliance) interact with. That makes UI design a close cousin of graphic design, albeit one with a few more competencies added to the repertoire.

How Is UI Design Different From UX Design?

UI design is a sibling to UX (user experience) design—but with a narrower focus. UI design deals with individual design elements, while UX concerns a user’s entire journey from beginning to end. “Unlike UX Designers, who are concerned with the overall feel of the product, User Interface Designers are particular about how the product is laid out,” says Designer and Developer Lo Min Ming in Fast Company. “For example, a UI Designer creating an analytics dashboard might front-load the most important content at the top, or decide whether a slider or a control knob makes the most intuitive sense to adjust a graph.”

What Is the Role of a UI Designer?

UI Designers work closely with other design specialists (including UX Designers) to make sure every web page conforms to the overall design vision of the website. Put another way, UI Designers are in charge of designing each of the screens or pages that users interact with, and making sure they all work together to create the experience the UX Designer is aiming for. That requires a canny blend of appealing visuals and functionality—where those overlap is the UI Designer’s sphere.

Other aspects of the UI Designer’s role may include creating a cohesive style guide, maintaining visual consistency, and working alongside the Graphic Designers and Copywriters who create content for the product.