Tired of seeing traditional career options? Looking for offbeat career options?
If you have a flair of research, analytical thinking, visual design, the psychology of human-computer interaction along with basic knowledge on technical skills like mobile/website design, then UI/UX design career is the right fit for you. In this article, I have covered basic questions that most of the beginners (students & professionals) would have about UI/UX as a career option – what is UI/UX, career scopes in UI/UX, what do UI/UX designers do, how to become a UI/UX designer, UI/UX jobs & salaries, and top colleges in India & best online courses for UI/UX design.
Table of contents
- Evolution of UI/UX Design
- What is UI/UX Design
- Career Scopes in UI/UX Design
- What do UI/UX Designers do
- Who can get into UI/UX Design
- How to become a UI/UX designer in India
- Skills and Tools required for A Career in UI/UX Design
- Different Job Roles in the UI/UX Vertical
- UI/UX Salaries in India
- Where can you Learn UI/UX Designing (Colleges & Courses)
UI-UX Careers and Jobs
In 1940, Toyota developed its famous human-centered production system. This represents a key step in UX history as it really brought attention to the importance of how humans interact with machines.
In 1955, Henry Dreyfuss, an American industrial engineer who was known for designing and improving the usability of some of the most iconic consumer products like the Hoover vacuum cleaner, the tabletop telephone, and the Royal Typewriter Company’s Quiet DeLuxe model.
During the 1960s Walt Disney was often considered as the key player to play a vital role in UX history. Building Disneyland to provide its users with a great real-world experience is nothing but the true User Experience. Disney is also considered as one among those who introduced UX designing.
So, till 1990 User Experience (UX) was pretty much happening but it didn’t have a label yet.
Donald Norman, a cognitive scientist, (and present Director, Design Lab University of California, San Diego) joined the team at Apple in the early 90s as their User Experience Architect. He is the first person who came up with the term “user experience design” and he is the first person to have UX in his job title.
As he explains, “I invented the term because I thought human interface and usability were too narrow: I wanted to cover all aspects of the person’s experience with a system, including industrial design, graphics, the interface, the physical interaction, and the manual.”
In 1988, Norman published his book The Psychology of Everyday Things (later updated to The Design of Everyday Things) This book is considered as the Bible of UX design by many experts in the industry.
UI/UX design are two different things often used interchangeably. Both are crucial for an IT product/service. But in reality, they are very different from each other. UI (User Interface) design is a part of the User Experience (UX) process. So what’s the difference between UI and UX?
UI stands for “User Interface” in UI Design. The user interface is the graphical layout of a Website or mobile application. It consists of the buttons users click on, the text they read, the images, sliders, text entry fields, and all the rest of the items the user interacts with. This includes screen layout, transitions, interface animations, and every single micro-interaction. Any sort of visual element, interaction, or animation present in web/app layout falls under UI Design.
UX stands for “User Experience” in UX Design. A user’s experience of the Website or Mobile App is determined by how they interact with it. Is the experience smooth and intuitive confusing? Does navigating the website or app feel logical or does it feel arbitrary? Does interacting with the interface give people the sense that they’re efficiently accomplishing the tasks they set out to achieve or does it feel like a struggle? User experience is determined by how easy or difficult it is to interact with the user interface elements that the UI designers have created.
UI Designers are responsible for designing Interfaces using some tools whereas UX Designers are responsible for conducting research and figuring out the methods to overcome the user’s difficulties while interacting with the interface.
When someone asks me “what’s the scope of the UI/UX Design in India?”
My simple answer would be: “MASSIVE”
Before 2013 India was not that aggressive when it comes to the digital presence. But from the last 5 years, we saw things changed drastically. In today’s digital world, a brand that does not exist on the web practically doesn’t exist for the customers. And when on the web, what becomes the face of the brand? Its website or Mobile App. So App or website will practically represent the brand and it’ll build connections between the consumer and the brand, So having a good user experience becomes very crucial. Hence, the scope for UI/UX professionals in this field is immense. In fact, Glassdoor gave the UX industry 6th position among the “Top 25 highest-paying entry-level jobs”.
A career in UX and UI design calls for a lot of creativity, knowledge, and experience in interaction design, graphics, usability, web design, and more.
UX designers conduct research on their target users, to understand their needs and what they want from the product. They also conduct usability tests to see how they interact with the actual product and what changes are needed to improve the interaction. They design the blueprint (wireframe) on which the actual design is built.
UI Designers add in the visual details to the wireframe to make the actual product come alive. This includes defining the color palette, types of buttons, icons, the shape of boxes, notifications, fonts, etc. This design is altered and tweaked until the final product is one that meets the company’s requirements and most importantly, that of the users.
There are two types of answers.
The First one: Students who have studied gradation in subjects like Arts, Humanities, Psychology, BBA, B.Tech in Computer science/IT/Electrical are ideal candidates for this Industry.
Even working professionals from marketing industries like Digital Marketers, Content Writers, Marketing Executives, Branding Consultants, etc. and IT industries like Graphic Designer, Mobile App Developers or Website Developers, Video Editors, Product Managers, etc. can get into this industry easily.
The Second one: Passion is something that drives people to something which they have never done yet. If you are someone who likes to know things in depth, likes to research and analytical mindset, and is curious about nowadays digital technology then irrespective of your field of Study/Working Industry you may be the right person to start/switch career into this Industry. I know people who studied LLB, went into career transition and now working as UX Researchers in Big IT firms. Because later, better than ever they found their true interest and they thought they can put better use of their analytical and problem-solving skills in the UX industry.
So before you make a decision, Know the fundamentals of UI/UX. Read some books (The design of everyday things by Donald Norman, Don’t make me think by Steve Krug) and read blogs on UI/UX from UXplanet, UxGorilla, UsabilityGeek, etc. Attend some free online classes on YouTube, Connect, and ask your queries from professionals on LinkedIn then make a choice.
As of now, there is no defined path to become a UI/UX designer.
However, a bachelor’s degree in Design (B.Des), especially with a specialization in UI/UX or Interaction Design will give you a thorough grounding in the design principles and UI/UX basics needed to step into this field.
Alternatively, you could pursue an undergraduate degree in Computer Science (with a specialization in Human-Computer Interaction), Media Science (with a specialization in Interactive Media) or Liberal Arts (Major in Psychology with Minor/Electives such Visual Arts, Design or Marketing).
In addition to the degree, you will need to gain proficiency in design software such as Adobe Photoshop, Corel Draw, InDesign, etc. The understanding of your work and the years of your experience help you get the spotlight and make career advancement. Additional knowledge of web programming languages like HTML, XML, CSS, Java will also be helpful too.
As mentioned earlier, UI and UX designers have clearly different roles. They both need information from each other to complete their tasks. For example, For example, the UI designer needs customer data and prototypes from the UX designer. On the other hand, the UX designer needs to understand the design limitations of the UI designer before creating those prototypes.
Key Responsibilities of UX Designer:
- Customer and competitor analysis
- User research
- Information architect
- Prototyping and wireframing
- Testing and iterating
- Coordinating with developers and UI designers
Key Responsibilities of UI Designer:
- Visual design
- Color, typography, and layouts
- Design research
- Interactivity and animation
- UI prototyping
- Implementation with developers
Before you make a move into the UI/UX Industry you should use the tools used by the industry experts to accomplish the tasks. Your Knowledge and proficiency in these tools will help you to get your high paying jobs. Although there are many tools available in the market. But here I listed down the top according to the usability and popularity in the industry.
These are the top 10 tools which are widely used in UI/UX Industry:
You don’t need to learn all these. Good knowledge of any few of the above tools would be sufficient. You’ll know more about these once you enroll for any course.
All UX-related designers work on the same sorts of things, but different jobs focus on different areas. You have to figure out which one is best for you.
Top Job Roles in the UX Industry:
- User Researcher
- Wireframe Expert
- Content Strategist
- Information Architecture (UX Designer)
- Usability Tester
- Interaction Designer
- Visual Designer (UI Designer)
- Product Designer
UX is one of the most in-demand jobs across the globe, and especially in India. However, the biggest concerns for those who want to get into this are which city in India offers most UX jobs, which companies are paying more, what tools/skills employers are looking for and more. Here we’ll discuss a few of these.
UxGorilla Conducted a research study and below are the results based on more than 90 companies and data gathered from about 200+ job postings:
The average salary from the entire dataset is INR 15.5 LPA. Below are stats of Job posting and salary range:
The maximum salary was listed by Google at INR 33 – 37 LPA. Other high paying companies are:
List of tools and respective percentage of Job descriptions mentioning them:
As of now Gurgaon, Bengaluru, and Pune are the top cites generating proper UI/UX Jobs. Keeping in mind the growth of the Indian IT Industry, in the future, more states would join this list as well.
Percentage break of UX Job locations in India:
Freshers would get good opportunities in terms of the job roles and salaries at the beginning of their career but working professionals with avg. 3-6 years of work experience would get more preferred by employers from UI/UX Industry.
Share of numbers of experience required in UX Jobs:
In India the companies with employees size between 1001-5000 have the maximum job postings:
You can learn UI/UX through offline. There are many universities offering full-fledged curriculum in their undergraduate/Post grade program. These are suitable for students who are currently studying in high school or graduation.
There are even some private educational institutes, which are providing UI/UX courses along with Internships and Job Assistance. The duration of these courses varies from Institute to Institute. These programs are suitable for working professionals who want to switch their professional and UG/PG students.
Top Colleges/Universities providing degrees in UI/UX in India:
- NID (National Institute of Design), Ahmedabad
- IDC, IIT Bombay
- Pearl Academy, (Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur)
- NIFT, Delhi
- MAEER’S MIT Institute of Design, Pune
- Srishti School of Art Design and Technology, (Bengaluru, Pune, Trivandrum)
- Indian School of Design and Innovation, (Mumbai)
- GD Goenka School of Fashion & Design, (Mumbai)
- Sir J J Institute of Applied Art, (Mumbai)
- Delhi College of Art, Delhi
- DOD(Department of Design), IIT Guwahati
- DJ Academy of Design, Tamil Nadu
- Amity School of Fine Arts, Noida
- Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
- Shri Venkateshwara College of Fine Arts, Hyderabad
All thanks to modern technology now students can learn new skills through eLearning. Online course providers like Coursera, Udemy, EdX, Lynda offer industry-standard online courses, some of which are offered by world-renowned universities and Tech giants.
Over the period we observed that students/working professionals prefer to sign up for these courses because they are affordable and one can learn according to their time preference. And once signed up for any particular course we can get access for the lifetime.
Curated List of Best Online Courses in UI/UX:
UX as a field has grown exponentially in the last 10 years and it continues to grow as one of the high Job generating industries in the coming years. Study more, gather more knowledge and be sure whether you’re the right fit for this industry or not.
Thanks for reading!