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UX/UI Design Career Paths: Everything You Need to Know

June 15, 2022
Last updated on
March 13, 2024

The IT industry's significant growth has resulted in large-scale demand for User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) professionals. This post is a great starting point if you are leaning toward a UI/UX designer career. Here, we'll go over what UI and UX are, how they are distinct, their significance, and their applications in the industry.

What Is the Difference Between UI and UX Design?

There’s a lot of misinformation regarding UI and UX job roles. In reality, the term “user experience (UX)” is an umbrella term for many specialized careers that comprise both user interface and user experience design. However, there is a striking difference between UI and UX regarding roles. Here, we will understand UI/UX design by looking at each of the career roles in brief.

User Interface (UI) Designer

The role of a UI (user interface) designer is often misunderstood. Many professionals confuse the job with UX design. While some overlap exists, they are two distinct roles.
A UX designer is responsible for the overall usability quotient of a product, while a UI designer is solely responsible for the interface. UI designers must ensure that the figurative style they use is appropriate for the type of application they are creating.
For example, an investigation might suggest that end customers prefer highlighted fonts to bold fonts. It is the job of UI designers to choose the right aesthetic based on this research. As such, the typical responsibilities of a UX designer see them screening users for product usability tests, preparing scripts for remote user testing, or incorporating feedback analyzed from a user test.
Through usability testing, UX designers can revise their wireframes and user scripts by locating design flaws that might not have been evident earlier. When they observe how users behave during A/B testing, they discover vital insights into how the product's usability is perceived, which can then be leveraged to make improvements.
The roles and responsibilities of UI Designers include

  • UI prototyping
  • Creating app/site navigation wireframe
  • Comprehending system flow
  • Design the web page elements that users interact withsome text
    • Conduct user research
    • Interview users and perceive their expectations
    • Build prototypes
    • Test products reiteratively to develop them

User Experience (UX) Designer

Any viable product should be refined to its functional limits before it reaches the hands of its end users. This duty falls squarely on UX (user experience) designers.

All of the user engagement is borne from repeated interactions with every application over a lifetime which has cemented expectations of how interfaces are supposed to work. A UX designer investigates these expectations to build an interface engagement experience that is universally logical and adheres to commonly accepted conventions.
A user experience designer comprehends the user's perspective and designs the interface to meet their needs. Their predominant focus is to enhance the experience for users by taking into account a user's attitude toward using a product.
The roles and responsibilities of UX Designers include:

UI & UX: How Do They Work Together

To understand how UI and UX are used, it is necessary to look at them as two parts of a whole, two disciplines that work in harmony to bring a product to life.
A UX designer determines the app's user flow and how the presented interface to interact with the application serves the visual and sensory output the user requires.

In contrast, the UI team decides how these interface elements will appear on the screen. It is a complex and dynamic process, often requiring the frequent collaboration of the two design teams.

Individual research is essential for bringing a product to life, followed by constant cooperation and interaction between both teams to warrant that the final product is as simple to use as possible while also operating intuitively.

What is the most crucial element for UI & UX Design?

Conducting research is essential for both UI and UX designers. This investigation is often cyclic, encompassing user experience sessions in which real people engage with scaled variants of deprecated functions or specific designs that are being examined to assess whether the designers are on the right track. Each iteration incorporates feedback from these usability tests.

Technical Career Progression

If you love operating as a UX designer, you may also want to delve a little further into the field to develop experience and become an expert in the domain. Investing in a full-time User Interface Design Bootcamp can be a great place to begin that can later provide you with a way to progress to a range of different fields, including GUI designer, interaction designer, or graphic artist.

Maybe you're interested in web applications and enjoy experimenting with CSS, HTML, and JavaScript. If this is you, a career in front-end web development could be ideal. If so, an Immersive Full-Stack Web Development Bootcamp can serve you better, giving you the option to learn new languages like Python, Ruby, and PHP to transition into a full-stack developer.

What's the average salary of a UI/UX professional?

The emergence of the IT industry clubbed with the increased penetration of smartphones, has given rise to an unprecedented demand for UI/UX jobs. This was cemented by a recent report by Deloitte, which reinforced how Hong Kong has become a teeming ground for innovation and startups, subsequently driving up the influx of UI/UX design employees in the industry.

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What’s more, the average remuneration for a UI/UX designer in Hong Kong is HKD 315,291 per annum, as per a report by Payscale. This compensation is bound to increase with experience, often rising to HKD 480,000 per annum.
Candidates just starting as UX Designers or having between 0-2 years of experience often get employed as UI/UX Design Associates or Associate Design Engineers. These employees climbing through the ranks from the bottom-up still make handsomely at around HKD13,900 per month.

This remuneration increases with experience. So, if you are a UI/UX Designer that has graduated to the mid-senior level and have between 2-5 years of experience, someone is expected to earn HKD 19,700 per month, a 42% rise for those with less than two years' worth of experience.
Moving forward, a professional that has gained enough experience to climb up to the senior level with an experience level between 5 - 10 years can land wages of HKD 25,800 per month, a 31% increase over someone with between 2 – 5 years’ worth of experience.

How to Break Into the UI/UX Design Industry

To launch your UX career, you’ll need to teach yourself basic skills to become a professional designer. While some people prefer to get a degree, individuals often enroll in tech bootcamps like Xccelerate to gain the experience they need.
As per a recent report, most design professionals that have come up industry ranks lately have preferred to come from bootcamps. Most of them concurred that online courses from bootcamps provided them with the practical learning experience that conventional degrees lacked. This led to online Bootcamp graduates finding full-time employment with average beginner salaries of USD $66,964 per annum , equating to about HKD 522,206 per annum.