UI Developer Job Description
UI (user interface) developers work to make technology easier for people to use. They craft software and applications in ways that consumers find simple to navigate or pleasant to read. Any industry that uses software or maintains a web presence can benefit from the services of a UI developer. Many UI developers work as independent contractors who take on assignments from various clients.
The job is performed sitting down in an office environment in front of a computer. Hours can be long as project deadlines near. Some travel may be required to meet with clients. As so many organizations try to make a place for themselves in an increasingly digital world, the demand for UI developers should be strong in the years ahead.
UI Developer Duties and Responsibilities
As they try to fulfill their objective of creating a great user experience, UI developers perform a variety of tasks. We reviewed job listings, which show the following to be some of the most common things asked of UI developers:
At the heart of a UI developer’s position is technical ability. UI developers are thoroughly versed in web development languages, modern application programming languages, content management systems, and search engine optimization. As technology changes, they need to keep up with the latest developments.
Working with Others
UI developers are part of a team that translates needs into functional products and may talk directly with clients to gain a better understanding of desired outcomes. They work especially close with UI designers, the professionals responsible for visual elements. UI developers translate the rough ideas their colleagues come up with into coding and programming that brings the mock-up to life.
Creating UI Technology
Taking into account the goals trying to be accomplished, UI developers craft the vision using their knowledge of coding and other technology resources. For instance, they may build a website for an online business interested in providing customers with an easy shopping experience. People get frustrated when navigation is difficult, visuals are unappealing, or pages don’t display correctly, so UI developers keep in the forefront of their minds how the ultimate users will view what is being done.
UI developers test their work to make sure their coding and programming does not have any bugs and that everything runs smoothly. They make changes at steps along the way to perfect the product and troubleshoot when unexpected problems arise. Input from target users can be a critical part of evaluation and lead the UI developer to institute changes before the ultimate release. Throughout the journey, they take detailed notes as a record of what has been done.
UI Developer Skills
UI developers possess outstanding computer skills. In addition, they need to have a good grasp of how “regular” people think. Being able to put themselves into the shoes of an average user helps UI developers create products that offer a positive experience. Other attractive qualities for UI developers to display include:
- Interacting well with others since teamwork is common
- Exhibiting a commitment to lifelong learning since technology is always changing
- Thinking outside the box to solve problems creatively
- Communicating effectively so that all involved understand what is being done
UI Developer Tools of the Trade
UI developers use a multitude of specific tools when translating ideas into working interactive experiences. Some of the things likely to be encountered include:
- Frameworks – General software, such as Bootstrap and AnjularJS, used for building websites
- HTTP – Internet connection in which pages are sent to a user’s browser
- HTML – Computer language used to create websites
- CSS – Computer language concerned with how web pages look (color, layout, size, etc.)
- Links – A highlighted word or phrase that sends you to another website when clicked
- Adobe Creative Suite – Software often used for graphic design, video editing, and web development applications
UI Developer Education and Training
UI developers typically hold a bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering, web development, or a related field. Coursework in psychology and human-computer interaction can be useful because they help aspiring UI developers understand more about how people think. Likewise, employers often like to see evidence of training in graphic design.
UI Developer Salary
Recent statistics from Payscale show that UI developers earn a median salary of $70, 927 annually. UI developers in the 90th percentile earn approximately $120,000, while developers in the 10th percentile earn approximately $51,000 annually.
UI Developer Resources
As you embark upon a career in this cutting-edge field, the following can be rich sources of additional information:
Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug – The third edition of this best-seller continues to explore the principles of intuitive navigation and information design. Reviewers hail it as “approachable,” “required reading,” and “the first book I recommend to anyone asking questions about user experience topics.”
HTML and CSS: Visual QuickStart Guide by Elizabeth Castro and Bruce Hyslop – Get a better idea of what is involved in learning computer languages with this step-by-step guide to two of the most commonly used in the field. This book is filled with info on web design best practices.
Becoming a User Interface and User Experience Engineer by Kerry Hinton – While written for young readers, this book gives anyone interested in UI careers an idea of what is involved.
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