What does a UI designer do?

Search the internet for UI Designer and the likelihood is you’ll get search results for both a UI and UX designer, or depending on your previous search history, unitary tract infection! 

A few people have asked me what a UI designer does, so I thought I’d compile this post to help explain things a little more.

What does UI Design mean?

User Interface design, or UI design for short, refers to the design of a digital product’s interface. This can be anything, from websites, mobile apps, customer pay-points – any digital platform that a user has to interact with in some way.

What does a UI Designer… design? 

A UI designer, such as myself, will focus on the look, style and interactivity of the platform, whilst also designing the movement elements between different screens and scenarios, as well as creating the visual elements and their interactive styles that help with the overall interaction.

UI design is very visual and UI designers need to ensure designs are accessible. From designing icons, screens and other individual elements, to producing style guides and and ensuring proper implementation of visual language across the platform, there’s much more thought that goes into UI design than designing all the ‘fun’ elements.

You see the work of UI designers around you all day, everyday…

Say you’re downloading your favourite social media, takeaway or food shopping app from the app store. You don’t have to spend ages working out how to use it, because the team behind the UI design have designed it in such a way that it already feels natural in how you use it. 

We do this by mapping out the user journey and using stylistic elements such as patterns, colours and even using white space to guide you through in a way that your brain acknowledges what you want to do next.

Working closely with teams and developers

Designing the UI for a digital platform is only half the story. Once a UI designer has tinkered with the visuals, the prototypes are usually passed onto a UX designer or developer to bring the design to life. By the same token, a UX designer or developer can approach a UI designer with a map of the framework, that the UI designer can then take to design the visuals and interactivity for.

In essence, the below image gives you a brief outline as to what a UI designers role is and ultimately what I do

I started my UI design journey in 2020, having researched and learnt new UI design skills during the various lockdowns caused by the pandemic. Early in 2021 I began offering my design skills to clients and have consulted with a number of them on the look or feel of their platform and have designed the UI for some too, along with producing concepts for a variety of environments and platforms.

If you’re looking to refresh your user interface or are starting from scratch, get in touch to see how I can help. Equally, if you’re looking for a UI designer to join your team on a project, I’d be happy to help.