What is UI Design?
Every time you browse a website, use an app, check-out online, or ask Siri a question, you’re interacting with what’s known as a ‘User Interface’ (UI). It’s the part of the user journey where technology bumps into people.
UI Design is the process that digital designers use to make intuitive, easy-to-follow applications. Usually these are graphical displays, like an app menu or website, but voice-controlled, natural language interfaces are becoming increasingly important, too.
The difference between UI Design and graphic design is useability. UI Design is always concerned with how an interface works, not just how it looks. The best UI Designs are technically invisible: they’re so easy to use, so natural and effortless, that consumers don’t even notice them. And when it’s done correctly, UI Design can have a huge impact on overall digital performance.
Why work in UI Design?
UI Design is one of the few fields that combines visual creativity with hard-core prototyping. UI Designers need to have the soul of an artist, the heart of a psychologist, and the mind of an engineer. It also tends to pay quite well: UI Designers in Australia earn (on average) about $95,000 per annum, with plenty of scope for further growth. UI Designers can go freelance, start their own design agencies, or work in-house across almost any industry. It’s a global skillset with unlimited potential.
Here are some careers that draw on UI Design:
- UI Designer
- UX Designer
- User Researcher
- Interaction Designer
- Wireframe Expert
- UI Developer
5 reasons to learn UI Design
It’s in demand
In January 2020 there were 1.94 billion websites on the internet, and 4 million mobile apps available for download. All of them need skilled UI Designers to be successful. It’s no surprise that ‘UI Design’ was ranked one of the most in-demand digital skills in 2019.
It pays well
While Junior UI Designers might enter the jobs market at $71,000 per annum, Senior UI Designers can expect to earn upwards of $122,000 per annum in Australia. There’s also scope to broaden your career and jump into UX Design, web development, or software engineering.
UI Design offers plenty of different career trajectories. You can work freelance, work remotely, establish your own design agency, or work in-house. UI Designers are needed across almost every industry, from banking and travel to healthcare and e-commerce.
It opens doors
Apps and websites are really just the tip of the UI iceberg. UI Design is at the cutting edge of emerging technologies such as voice search, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). The boundaries of the profession haven’t yet been established.
It’s business critical
UI Design has a commercial edge over graphic design, because its impact can be easily measured. As a UI Designer, you’ll be driving the digital success of the entire business: optimising user journeys, collaborating with departments, and embracing new technologies.
UI Design careers
According to SEEK, UI Design careers are set to grow 13% over the next five years. But UI Design also overlaps with several related fields: user experience design (UX), web development, graphic design, information architecture, useability analysis, data science, and interaction design (IxD). This means you have options. You can specialise in UI Design, or explore dozens of branching career paths.
Here are just a few UI-related careers you might consider:
- UI Designer | $122,000
- UX Designer | $102,000
- Front End Developer | $111,000
- Mobile App Developer | $93,000
- User Experience Researcher | $90,000
- Data Analyst | $92,000
How to learn UI Design for beginners
RMIT Online’s curriculum is purpose-built for online study, and you don’t need any special skills to get started. Each unit combines interactive webinars, 1-on-1 tutorials, group work and practical tasks. We built these courses alongside some of the best UI Designers in Australia.
Here’s an idea of what you’ll need.
- Commitment. Our course is divided into bite-sized chunks and designed to fit around your schedule. We recommend studying a few hours every day to stay committed and on-track.
- Notes. Your RMIT Online mentors will encourage you to take lots of notes. It’s a good way to flag any potential problems.
- Collaboration. As part of your course, you’ll be working with qualified UI Designers. You’ll also have access to an online peer community.
- Knowledge. UI best-practice changes over time. We’ll help you stay up-to-date with the latest methodologies.
- Resources. RMIT Online will provide plenty of UI Design resources. These tools can be used during the course, or even after completion.
Learn about UI Design
Ready to learn UI Design? This is the best place to start. Read as much as you can. Ask questions. Contact one of our RMIT Online course counsellors. You can find all our UI Design news and coverage below.
UI Design blogs
Interested in reading more about UI and the broader discipline of UX? Check out the RMIT Online Blog articles below.
RMIT Online UI Design courses
RMIT Online is one of Australia’s top UI Design training providers. We offer a range of UI Design courses and credentials, depending on your career goals and experience. You can learn UI Design online, at your own pace, with plenty of support from expert mentors.
Topics and courses similar to UI Design
Want to broaden your CV? RMIT Online offers a range of courses similar to UI Design. If you’d like to learn more about software development, data analysis or UX design, check out our related courses below.