A user interface (UI) developer assumes a technology-centered role that aims to combine programming, human psychology, and creative design to create a digital software that provides smooth and relevant user experience (UX).
He or she is tasked to develop an interface that matches user expectations. For example, a UI developer can make web page navigation simple, user-friendly, and straightforward. The task is more than using the right fonts and colors. UI developers have to make sure that the design they create is relevant to end-users. A UI developer can also choose to specialize in specific platforms, such as mobile or web.
Read More about a UI Developer
To date, there are about 4.42 billion website users and close to 2 billion websites and more than 4 million mobile apps for iOS and Android. When you factor in all these numbers, it is crucial to ensure that sites match user expectations. Who makes that possible? UI developers, of course. As such, the demand for talented UI developers is expected to rise in the coming years. Read on to find out what skills you should have to become a UI developer.
What Do UI Developers Do?
The tasks expected of UI developers include:
- Conducting research and analyzing users’ online behaviors and interactions
- Developing UI and UX strategies, depending on a client’s goals
- Testing completed applications to assess UX
- Maintaining online assets, including wireframes, interface design documentations, interactive mockups, and prototype applications
- Identifying flaws and limitations in existing systems and recommending relevant technical improvements
- Combining interface design ideas with digital design and collaborating with backend web developers and programmers to ensure the usability of applications for end-users
What Skills and Qualifications Should UI Developers Have?
UI developers should have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, mobile computing, web development, software engineering, or any related field. While getting certifications from reputable organizations can help, they don’t increase your chances of getting hired. Often, hiring managers would consider a UI developer’s portfolio instead.
Apart from hard skills, UI developers also need soft skills that include teamwork, leadership, product management, and communication skills. They can also gain an advantage by learning to use Flash, Photoshop, and the other components of the Adobe Creative Suite.
How Much do UI Developers Earn on Average?
A UI developer’s salary depends on his or her experience. According to PayScale, a U.S.-based UI developer can receive at least US$61,000 annually. Those with extensive experience, spanning more than 20 years, can expect to get at least US$112,000 a year. However, the salary would depend on the UI developer’s location. Compensations are often higher in urban areas, particularly in those with a high concentration of tech-focused organizations.
With the booming e-commerce industry, UI developers can expect to enjoy an even much higher demand for their skills and expertise.