What is UX & UI?

UX & UI Design is a rewarding career path that combines creativity with technical skills and customer research, making professionals in this field highly sought after in our increasingly digital world. These skills can be applied across a range of creative and technical fields such as graphic design, front end coding, and marketing.

Key Insights

  • UX & UI Design involves the development of digital applications focusing on visual aesthetics, functionality, and user experience, making it applicable in various technical and creative fields.
  • UX & UI Designers often interact more with the public than with their design teams, making skills in understanding audience needs crucial in fields such as hiring, general management, marketing, campaign strategy, and market research.
  • Common UX & UI design tools include Figma, Adobe XD, and Sketch, with Noble offering a free introductory seminar on these programs.
  • UX & UI Designers can work in a variety of industries, and may grow to become leads in their department, such as UX Manager or Director, or can specialize in different areas of UX & UI design.
  • Learning UX & UI design can be achieved through live classes (both in-person and online), on-demand, asynchronous, or self-paced learning courses, and free options such as seminars, online tutorials, guides, blog posts, or videos.
  • Salaries for UX & UI Designers vary, but the field is lucrative and continues to grow in demand across industries.

UX & UI Design involves the development of digital applications with focuses on visual aesthetic, functionality, and user experience. It is a career path that combines creativity with technical acumen and customer research. In today’s digitally reliant world, UX & UI Designers are in high demand by any industry that uses digital applications to engage and communicate with customers. Individuals who pursue UX & UI design as a skill find it can apply to a variety of creative and technical fields, such as graphic design, front end coding, and marketing. In this overview, you’ll learn more about what UX & UI design is, what it can do, who uses it, and how to learn it so you can determine how to add this skill to your professional toolbox.

What Can You Do with UX & UI Design?

There are many skills gained through studying UX & UI design. UX & UI designers learn how to identify and solve problems. They form hypotheses, conduct research, engage with customers, analyze data, and build prototypes. They know how to build a long term project plan, follow through, and iterate. Even if not pursuing UX & UI design as a career, the skills gained through studying the field are useful for Department Managers, Project Managers, and entrepreneurs. 

UI design specifically focuses on creating text, images, and graphics and combining them into a digital interface that must be both visually appealing and functional. These skills are essential for marketers and entrepreneurs looking to build websites, social media content, and other digital media.

UX Designers work closely with customers through focus groups, user surveys, and interviews. Many UX Designers spend more time interacting with the public than with their team of designers. Building the skills needed to understand your audience is useful in any field that works closely with people such as hiring, general management, marketing, campaign strategy, and market research, among others.

UX & UI Designers are ultimately responsible for crafting the experiences of the digital products we use in our everyday lives. They work to ensure those experiences are accessible and enjoyable. Choosing to pursue a career in UX & UI Designer can be exciting as these designers play a large role in influencing how the world around us works.

How Do You Get UX & UI Design Tools? How Much Does it Cost?

UX & UI Design Certificate: Live & Hands-on, In NYC or Online, 0% Financing, 1-on-1 Mentoring, Free Retake, Job Prep. Named a Top Bootcamp by Forbes, Fortune, & Time Out. Noble Desktop. Learn More.

Figma, Adobe XD, and Sketch are the most common UX & UI design tools. Noble offers a free introductory Figma vs. Sketch vs. Adobe XD seminar detailing the differences between these programs, though all of them are likely to be used in UX & UI design.

Figma is available for free as a full program but only allows users to create up to three project files. For anyone using Figma regularly, a “professional” version of the program is available at $12 a month per person. Sketch offers a timed free trial and afterward costs $9 a month. Both programs are available for free for students and educators. However, you must go through a verification process. Sketch is only available for iOS devices.

Adobe XD also offers a timed free trial. Afterward, it is available for $9.99 a month. However, it can also be purchased as part of a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud, which features many other Adobe products, such as Illustrator and Photoshop, which could be useful for UI design. A subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud is available for $54.99 a month or at a discounted rate for verified students and educators.

Free trial options are great for beginners to any of these programs as they begin to learn. Individually, the programs are relatively inexpensive to purchase once the free trials have expired. Whether or not an individual needs to purchase all of these programs will depend on their personal workflow and career goals. If you are a student, teacher, or employee, you may have free access to these programs through your school or company. 

What Are the Benefits of Learning UX & UI Design?

In today’s digital world, a company’s digital presence is paramount for customer outreach. However, possessing a website or mobile app that is unappealing or difficult to use can be worse than having nothing at all. UX & UI Designers are needed across industries to build accessible web applications that create memorable impressions and drive conversions. This makes UX & UI design a lucrative and extremely versatile field for individuals of nearly any interest. Demand for UX & UI Designers continues to grow.

If you’re unsure about pursuing an education in UX & UI, doing so can still aid in honing digital skills applicable to a variety of professions. Graphic and visual design skills learned through UI design are essential for nearly any digital career, such as marketing, digital design, graphic designers, and freelancing. UX design teaches techniques in behavior research, research planning, data analytics, and product testing. These skills are useful for careers in project management, product development, software development, and marketing. Data analysis training in UX design can be a stepping stone to more advanced careers in data science. Learning UI design could lead to a career in more creative graphic design careers. The UX & UI design field is truly versatile and valuable. 

Read more about why you should learn UX & UI design.

UX & UI Design Careers

UX & UI Designers can work in a wide variety of industries. Predominantly, UX & UI design is needed in computer, software, and information technology where designers build websites and mobile and desktop applications. In conjunction, UX & UI Designers can work in any industry where websites or applications are needed. These include finance, education, government and military, healthcare, retail, advertising, telecommunications, business, automotive, and entertainment, among others. 

Within industries, there’s a variety of positions UX & UI Designers can pursue. They can grow to become leads in their department, such as UX Manager or Director, where they oversee the design team. They can also lead products or projects as Product Manager or Lead Designer. Individuals who would rather not pursue lead positions may specialize in different areas of UX & UI design. UX Architects focus on frameworks and functionality rather than the visual design of experiences. UX Researchers work more with customer research than interface development. 

UX & UI Designers can also choose to work for themselves as a Freelancer or Consultant in any industry of interest. UX & UI design is a truly versatile field of study for any creative or technical individual looking to advance their career or skills. 

How to Learn UX & UI Design

There are a number of ways to learn UX & UI design. The most popular option is learning in live classes, which can be in-person or live online. Live classes offer engagement with an instructor who can answer students’ questions in real time. However, in-person class options are often limited to locations nearest a student. Live online courses can be taken from anywhere with an internet connection and replicate the feel of in-person classrooms. They also don’t feature a commute, which can be time-consuming and costly.

A second option includes on-demand, asynchronous, or self-paced learning courses. This type of learning is best for students who prefer to learn at their own pace or have work or family obligations that prevent them from attending regularly scheduled classes. Students have more freedom to learn as they wish, but they lack an instructor, and self-motivation is required to progress through the material. 

Finally, students can choose to learn through free options such as seminars, online tutorials, guides, blog posts, or videos. These options are great for individuals wanting to learn the basics of the Adobe Creative Suite, tools which are commonly used in UI design. However, like other learning options, they don’t feature a proper instructor and will likely not be enough for someone wanting to learn UX & UI design to advance their career. Free tutorials can also be outdated. 

Read the full guide on how to learn UX & UI design.

A Brief History of UX & UI Design

You might be surprised to learn that UX & UI design are not modern concepts. The world around us essentially acts as a human interface, and we have been designing experiences within it for thousands of years. Dating back to 4000 BCE, the concept of Feng Shui proposes that the spatial arrangement of objects in a room has an effect on human well-being. Feng Shui is about the user experience of space as created by the positioning of objects just as UX & UI design has to do with the user experience of an application as created by a digital interface.

The industrial revolution is when UX & UI Design truly began to emerge as an important concept (though it still wasn’t named). Toyota is credited with designing the first truly human-centered production system during the 1940s. By studying how workers interacted with machines, Toyota was able to create the optimal work environment, both in terms of production and worker satisfaction. This optimization is the goal UX & UI Designers strive for with every product. Walt Disney is also credited as being a UX & UI Designer, designing his parks with the human experience in mind down to the very last detail, including the texture of park trails and colors painted on walls. His goal was to improve the lives of the people who visited, another common goal of UX & UI Designers today.

The era of personal computers (beginning in the 1970s) is when the modern concept of UX & UI design began to be defined. The graphic interface of a PC along with the keyboard and mouse were the first designs of user interfaces. The term “user experience design” was first coined in 1995 by Donald Norman who became Apple’s first User Experience Architect. Norman chose the term “user experience” because he wanted to go beyond user interfaces to cover all aspects of an individual’s experience with a system. 

UX & UI design might seem solidly defined today, but the term continues to evolve with technology. As artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and voice technology continue to become a part of our everyday lives, today’s UX & UI Designers must learn new concepts and tools. This makes UX & UI design a truly exciting field for anyone interested in being a part of the technology of tomorrow. 

Comparable Fields

Information architecture is a field similar to UX & UI design. Information Architects build web, mobile, and desktop applications with a focus on helping users find the information they are looking for within a design. Information Architects ask questions that lead their designs such as, what information does the application present to the user? How does that information help the customer make decisions? What is the flow of users through the application?

Like UX & UI design, information architecture is a field that is in demand and which continues to grow in today’s heavily digital world. Both fields perform user research, build prototypes, and create designs with the user in mind. However, information architecture focuses on how users interact with information to drive solutions. UX & UI design is focused on the entire user experience, including how the use of the application makes the user feel, how presented information influences user understanding, and how the functionality of the site meets user needs. In fact, information architecture is considered a part of UX & UI design. 

In the end, both fields make similar salaries (with Information Architects making slightly more) and require similar education and experience. Choosing one over the other larger lies in your work interests. Though both professions perform similar duties, their duties lean more heavily in certain areas. Information Architects work more with data, databases, and systems. UX & UI Designers spend more time on graphic design and customer research.

Learn UX & UI Design with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

If you’re interested in learning UX & UI design, Noble Desktop offers several classes for you to choose from. These classes are available both in-person and live online. Classes are small and are taught by instructors who are experts in their fields. Free retake options are also available. 

In Noble’s UX & UI Design Certificate program, you’ll learn both UX & UI design concepts, build a professional portfolio, and gain one-on-one job preparation assistance. This is the perfect course to jump start a new career. Additionally, you may wish to enroll in the Figma Bootcamp. While Figma is taught in the UX & UI Design Certificate, the bootcamp dives in depth into the program. You’ll thoroughly learn the leading application for interface design from beginner to advanced techniques applicable to both UX & UI design. 

Additional classes can be found through the Visual Design and UX Design categories. The UI Design Certificate teaches graphic and interface design for websites and mobile applications. You’ll also learn essential software used by professionals including Figma, Adobe Photoshop, and Illustrator. The Digital Design Certificate teaches design techniques for web, print, and mobile. You’ll learn Figma for interface design along with Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign for designing digital and print materials. The Visual Design Portfolio Bootcamp teaches interface design through hands-on and multi-project courses. You’ll need to feel comfortable using Figma before enrolling in this course. 

Whether you know you want to start a career in UX & UI design or want to explore how UI design principles can be utilized in more graphically inclined careers, Noble Desktop has the classes you are looking for.

Key Insights

  • UX & UI design is a field of application development with a focus on overall user experience.
  • UX & UI design combines graphic design, information architecture, data analysis, and customer research into a field of study that is varied and exciting.
  • The concepts of UX & UI design have existed for thousands of years but haven’t been defined until the digital age.
  • Information architecture is a field similar to UX & UI Design but they have different goals toward the user. 
  • You can receive comprehensive UX & UI design training through an in-person or live online course with Noble Desktop.

How to Learn UX Design

Master UX & UI design with hands-on training. User experience (UX) design involves making apps or websites that are easy to use, while user interface (UI) design is the process of making them visually appealing through the application of design theory.

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