Each time we engage with a digital screen, we’re also responding to the work of user interface designers. Every page and section is carefully designed to make your experience as smooth and intuitive as possible. A UI professional is responsible for representing a brand online in a way that is aligns with the brand’s purpose. That in itself is a huge task.
On any day, the role is meant to ensure that work of the production and design teams is optimized to the highest level. It must meet the expectations of the client while staying within the confines of budget, commercial feasibility, and other obstacles.
Besides having a good design sense, there are a few soft skills that are vital to a UI professional. The most important among them is communication. A UI professional is often expected to solve highly complex problems with simple UI solutions. How would you do that if you couldn’t find out what the real problem is? In order to solve a problem you must extract insightful information, ask the right questions, and guide the conversation towards a solution.
Similarly, communicating with the project team (developers/designers) is equally important. You must be able to facilitate discussions and describe animations and interactions. These are the little details that build up a coherent visual language.
And most importantly, at the end of the designing and development process, you must be able to justify the ‘why’ behind each one of your decisions to the stakeholders. All in all, it is safe to say that communication is as important as visual skills for a UI professional to do their job well.
There are a few other qualities that will come in handy on a day-to-day basis for this role. These include the ability to multi-task, be both a team player and a solo contributor, have an eye for detail, and have the thirst to stay on top of all digital and technological trends/advancements.
Everyday Life of a UI Professional
Whether you’re working at an agency (with multiple clients) or for an in-house product team, you will find that your days are a mix of:
- Creative and Collaborative
As a UI designer, you will be developing a lot of new concepts. To do so, you will need to think together as a team, derive insights from user research reports, and find solutions that are practical and aligned towards both business and customer needs.
With most businesses gone global, it is impossible to have the entire product team in-house. You’ll be required to collaborate with people located in different regions and simultaneously manage product restraints and client expectations. Sometimes, your clients might have difficulty explaining why they don’t like your ideas. A good UI professional simply comes up with alternatives until all challenges are perfectly resolved.
Deadlines are always part of a client’s expectations. It sometimes might get frustrating to adhere to deadlines, especially since creative processes can be vague and consuming. But since you’ve been trusted with the responsibility of communicating and delivering, that is a challenge you’ll adjust to.
If you’re drawn to the challenges and responsibilities of working in UI, take a look at our Product Design microcourses to learn more about working as a UI designer.