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The emergence of electronic commerce or e-commerce has brought about several major changes, disrupting the codes of traditional commerce and contributing to the emergence of new professions. The UI designer is part of this new activity, being in charge of bringing his expertise to improve the graphics and the customer experience on the user interface of a website or an application. Here is everything you need to know about this profession.
What is a UI designer?
The UI designer is the specialist who designs the interface of websites and application solutions. It ensures the quality of the content and the clarity of the navigation for all users. Working in collaboration with the UX designer, this expert brings his contribution to a creation project in order to offer the target audience an interface that is intuitive, functional and fulfills its promises.
It should be noted that an interface is what bridges the gap between the machine and the human. The UI designer or user interface manager focuses on the rendering and visual aspect of a website or mobile application to improve this relationship. It must be able to work on all the terminals of the dedicated platform. This ranges from connected TVs to smartphones, interactive kiosks, tablets and other connected objects.
Each of these media has its own characteristics and parameters. The UI designer must then master the various technologies that ensure their operation. He can work in startups, large companies, design agencies, communication agencies or web agencies.
What are the missions of the UI designer?
The UI designer organizes the textual and graphic elements of a website or an application in accordance with various technical standards (graphic charter and specifications). Its intervention will facilitate and optimize the users’ journey. This entire process is carried out with respect to the image and identity of the brand or company.
Every element of the interface will be worked on, from the images to the size of the fonts, including icons, colors and fonts.
However, the daily life of a UI designer is punctuated by many more specific missions, namely :
- listening to the customer to define his expectations and needs;
- highlight the main issues of the website or application;
- Conduct regular surveys of platform users and targets to determine areas for improvement;
- imagine the typical profile of the Internet user likely to navigate on the platform;
- Create, with the help of the UX designer, a narrative or storytelling based on the image to be conveyed for the brand;
- to carry out a study of the design of the platform by referring to the requests of the customer and the problematic of the project before the realization of the first lines of this last;
- create the interface mock-ups after validation of the first drafts and the project orientations for a refinement of the graphic choices;
- manage A/B testing (statistical comparison method) in order to control the relevance of the newly created interface;
- implement the necessary modifications and adjustments after testing.
These different missions generally require the use of different software. These will help him create mock-ups (user interface prototypes) of functionality, an organized and comprehensive design system (library of references and guides), and application prototypes.
Why become a UI designer?
The profession of UI designer is a recent evolution of the Web designer. It is a kind of specialization that may interest creative people who are passionate about design. This profession also provides access to other professions, such as UX designer, graphic designer, web art director, web project manager and information architect.
In addition, the User Interface Designer is a programmer, a technician and a creator. He/she must continuously learn different areas, both operational and strategic, in order to carry out his/her duties.
How much does a UI designer earn?
The gross annual salary of a UI designer is between 35,000 and 60,000 euros. It is around 35,000 to 40,000 euros gross per year for a salaried service provider at the beginning of his or her career. With experience, it is possible to reach 55,000 euros annually. However, salaries can go up to 60,000 euros gross per year for a web design expert or a UI designer working as a freelancer.
What are the requirements to become a UI designer?
Updated 8 June 2023
To become a UI designer, no specific degree is required. Nevertheless, it is advisable to opt for higher generalist training in computer science, multimedia, computer graphics, digital art and/or graphic design. You will also need to have at least a Bac+3. In particular, you can turn to the courses offered by an advertising school such as Sup de Pub. An SP3 Visual & Digital Creation, an SP4 Communication & Graphic Design or an SP5 UI & Digital Design can help you get started as a UI designer.