Step-by-Step Guide on Starting As a UI & UX Designer

We’ve all been part of discussions concerning the poor UI of an app or the efficient UX of products. Individuals who use the app and web design software often use the terms UI and UX interchangeably. And while many experts have tried to explain how these two design concepts differ, pinning down a conclusive answer has proved difficult.

That is because everyone interprets this question of UI vs UX differently. Today, we’re going to discuss UI, UX, their difference, the role of a UI & UX designer, and much more. Read on to know.  

What is UI? 

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The place where countless interactions between humans and machines occur is known as UI or User Interface. It allows the users to achieve a specific goal or operate a machine to finish a task. In fact, you’re using UI as of now while reading this article. So, the presentation and interactivity, along with the look and feel of a product, is the UI.

User Interfaces are composed of output hardware and input hardware. The former is the devices providing information to users like printers or monitors. On the contrary, the latter are the devices that control the machine from the human end. These include joysticks, a mouse, and a keyboard. 

What is UX?

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UX or User Experience is the experience an individual has when they interact with the product. Don Norman, a cognitive scientist, coined this term in the late 1990s. According to him, UX encompasses all aspects of the end-users interaction with the company’s services and products.

At its core, UX applies to everything that can be experienced. The job of a good UX designer is to think about how the experience makes the user feel. 

How Are They Different? 

It’s vital to understand that UI and UX go hand in hand. One cannot survive without the other. That said, you don’t need UI skills to be a UX designer and vice versa. The primary difference between them is that UI is about how the product’s interfaces function and look.

On the other hand, UX is about the overall feel of the experience. So while UI focuses on visual interface elements like menu bars, colours, and typography, UX targets the user and their journey through the product. 

Now that we know about UI, UX, and their difference, let’s understand the skills you require as a UI & UX designer. 


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Key Skill and Career Paths of UI & UX designers Website creator concept illustration Free Vector

In the last few years, many organisations realised that good design is a competitive advantage. That is why they’re willing to invest more resources in creating a considerable user experience. Naturally, there has been significant growth in the demand for UI & UX designers. The job description of UI & UX designers varies exponentially.

Many UI & UX designers come from unrelated fields, bringing transferable skills like digital marketing or software development along with them. Moreover, their educational backgrounds are different.

A degree in web design or graphic design can always be a boon in this field. UI & UX designers require a range of technical skills. Some of the are as follows: 

  • UX Research 
  • Interaction design 
  • Information Architecture 
  • Visual Communication 
  • Wireframing and Prototyping 

Being a UI & UX designer is a people-focused job. That is why many HR Managers differentiate candidates massively on their soft skills as opposed to their credentials. If you’re an aspiring UI & UX designer, you must emphasise your soft skills.

These skills are what make a mediocre designer extraordinary. As a UI & UX designer, it’s essential to show that you’re a good communicator, flexible, curious, and empathetic to the user. 

The field of UI/UX design is a multidisciplinary one. There are many flourishing range specialisations, making it all the more exciting. Some of these niches include visual design, UX writing, usability testing, and interaction design. Most UI & UX design job profiles are an amalgamation of these roles. Let’s understand them in detail. 


1. UI/UX Design:

This role includes creating the user interface using user research insights. In order to achieve this, a UI & UX designer uses wireframing and prototyping along with usability testing. It is one of the most comprehensive roles in the field. In most organisations, UI/UX functions are mingled under one job title. 

2. Research and Usability:

Gathering input from users is the main focus of UI/UX researchers. They do so by conducting user interviews, hosting design surveys, and observing users. They must be skilled data analysts as the role requires converting qualitative and quantitive data into usable insights.  

3. UI/UX Writing:

This one is a niche speciality. In order to create a good user experience, a microcopy is a powerful tool. These are the words we hear or read while using a digital product. Moreover, they are a chief element of website navigability. 

4. Visual Design:

The role of visual designers is to look and feel a digital or physical product. From packaging to web design, this role can include everything. Their goal is to create a user experience that is user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing. They do so by working closely with UI/UX writers and interaction designers. 

5. Coding:

This role requires individuals to take a design and bring it to life with the help of a code. The arsenal of a UX engineer includes computer language like HTML, CSS, JS, and more. 


Essentials of a Good UI 

As a UI & UX designer, you might design many UIs. No matter what UI you design, these are some essential characteristics you should not forget.

  • Clarity: Users shouldn’t feel the need to decode the meaning of a particular element. All elements of UI should be entirely clear to them. 
  • Consistency: A good UI must be consistent across the product. It allows the user to recognise usage patterns. 
  • Efficiency: A superior UI allows users to achieve the desired output with minimal input. Additionally, it provides shortcuts for experienced users. 
  • Forgiveness: A good UI forgives the users of any mistakes that they commit. 
  • Familiarity: It must allow users to use their prior experience when interacting with your product. 

Essentials of a Good UX 

Here are some of the essentials of a good UX that an aspiring UI & UX designer must know if they are looking to prosper in this field. 

  • Useful: A good UX must be purposeful for the audience. Your product, app, or product must have a purpose for your target audience. 
  • Learnable: It should be easy to understand and learn, else there’s no point in a UX. 
  • Memorable: Users must be able to re-establish proficiency after returning to the design after some time. 
  • Well-Researched: A good UX is a result of power-packed research. As a new UI & UX designer, it can be tricky to know what the users prefer and their mindset. But it’s crucial to ensure that the final design is what the users need. 


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Tools and Platforms For UI & UX Designers To Find Work        

If you’re starting out as a UI & UX designer, here are some tools and platforms you can use to find projects and jobs. 

1. Upwork The Work Marketplace: Our Promise To Help You Achieve More | Upwork

You can register on Upwork as a freelance UI & UX designer. The platform allows freelancers to connect with organisations and brands that need a designer. 


2. LinkedIn

Mind-Blowing LinkedIn Statistics and Facts (2021)

LinkedIn has numerous UI & UX designer job postings that range from full-time, part-time to freelancing. You can apply for the same and get selected within a few days. 


3. Freelancer

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An effective platform for UI & UX designers seeking work is Freelancer. That is because it’s a growing marketplace loaded with opportunities.


4. Gmail How Google Improved Email Tracking in Gmail | Mailtrack

Cold emailing is a practice that never goes out of fashion. And the perfect tool for that is Gmail. All you have to do is find the email addresses of Managers or CEOs of the company’s you want to work with at the moment. Make sure to include a cover letter, resume, and work samples in that mail. 



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Hailed as the number one job portal by many, this one is another site you can explore. You can filter your options on salary, location, experience, and job type. 


6. Fiverr

Fiverr - Freelance Services Marketplace for Businesses

The goal of this platform is to change how the world works together. It connects organisations and brands with freelancers offering digital services in over 250+ categories. As a beginner, you can start by applying as a freelance UI & UX designer on this platform. 


7. Monster

Find Jobs Near You and Build a Career | Monster

Beginners can find numerous full-time jobs and gigs as a UI & UX designer using Monster. This platform stays up to date with job postings. So you get access to the latest job postings in the market. 


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While UI and UX go hand in hand, both of them vary extensively. UI is more focused on the visuals and if the product or app is ethically pleasing. UX, on the contrary, is slightly more analytical. It is rooted in cognitive behaviour. As a beginner, we recommend trying yourself in both areas.

The modern-day UI & UX designer roles combine both UX design and UI design and offer neverending opportunities and growth. We hope this guide on starting as a UI & UX designer proved to be helpful for you. All the platforms and tools mentioned above are super effective.

So use them to land yourself a full-time job or freelancing gigs. Real-world practical experience will make you understand which role suits your personality better. 


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