What Is a UI Developer and How To Become One in 3 Steps

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 28 November 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

UI developers play an important role in maximising technology products for a seamless user interaction. They are responsible for employing a variety of tactics and collaborating with other development professionals to create intuitive applications for users to enjoy. If you are considering a fulfilling career as a UI developer, it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the role, its average responsibilities and how the position differs from other related roles. In this article, we outline what a UI developer is, what they do, how they differ from a web developer and how you can become a UI developer.

Related: Frontend vs. Backend Development: What Is the Difference?

What is a UI developer?

A user interface (UI) developer is a technological professional that translates creative design concepts into tangible, utilisable materials in the development of software applications. They are primarily responsible for crafting the graphic materials of software for functional implementation. When UI developers perform such work, they often do so with the user and organisational needs in mind. UI developers typically work in the technology industry for companies that specialise in software application, software publishing, finance, computer manufacturing, electronics and company management.

The role of UI developer combines disciplines like programming, consumer psychology and graphic arts to generate software that users can navigate intuitively. While identifying efficient frameworks and tools for product development, UI professionals focus on conforming to the typical behaviour and expectations of consumers. This expertise informs the design of interfaces these developers create. It is important to note that the role of UI developers differs from that of user experience (UX) developers. While UI developers work to design user components, like interactive digital media elements, UX developers focus on building the software coding behind how such user-friendly elements behave.

Related: How To Become a Front-End Developer: A Complete Guide

What does a UI developer do?

A UI developer may be responsible for an array of duties depending on their specific role and what industry they work in. Regardless of situational factors, UI developers are typically in charge of planning, developing and implementing convenient and aesthetically appealing interfaces. In the digital sector, the term interface applies to any detail that a user may interact with. With this, UI developers work toward optimising these interfaces to maximise a user's interaction with a product. Here is an extensive list of the various duties a UI developer may assume in their day-to-day role:

  • Using illustration software to sketch and prepare graphic materials

  • Scaling and adjusting interface concepts for resolution optimisation

  • Analysing needs and behaviour of a product's target user base

  • Identifying necessary design components for a product's operating system

  • Designing functional interfaces with convenient features

  • Prioritising aesthetic qualities of interfaces

  • Facilitating a seamless user interaction

  • Collaborating with UX professionals and front-end developers

  • Performing simulation tests on UI elements

  • Conducting usability tests and collecting data from target users

  • Integrating social activities through social networking APIs

  • Interfacing with business professionals and management

  • Operating content management systems

  • Managing search engine optimisation

  • Staying updated on current UI trends

What are the skills required for a UI developer?

Here are some skills that a UI developer uses regularly:


To understand how the user thinks and uses technology, a UI developer researches their test market and their audience's history of using similar products. Successful UI developers also use their research skills to learn about their own field, so they can provide the best product to their clients. They stay up-to-date on recent developments and trends within UI, which means they continue their research outside of individual clients as well.

Related: Top In Demand Skills To Develop for Career Advancement


Most UI designers work on a team, collaborating with coders, designers and project managers to provide their clients with the full service of creating a website or app. This collaborative environment requires UI developers to have strong teamwork and communication skills. They use these skills to communicate and problem solve with the members of their team and their clients.

Wireframing and prototyping

Wireframing and prototyping are a big part of UI development, so it is important that a developer be familiar with this skill. Wireframing is when a developer designs and maps out the different pathways a user may move from one page or screen to another. A prototype is a visual model of what the final product can look like. Creating these tools is an expectation for UI developers and clients.

Related: Hard Skills: Definition and Examples

User empathy

UI development requires you to imagine how the audience will respond to your product. For example, you can identify how different images or instruction placements will inspire them to act on your website. Having empathy is being able to imagine yourself as the audience, which can give you insight into their behaviours. This is an important skill for a UI developer because the success of the interface relies on the accuracy of the developer's predictions.


Understanding how successful your previous designs were may help you determine how to improve the product or incorporate successful elements into future projects. You can use various analytic tools to help you measure the success of your previous interfaces. Understanding the metrics of analytics can help you create more informed presentations for your team and grow your skill set.

Related: Analytical Skills: Definition, Tips and Examples

Is being a UI developer a good career?

A UI developer can be a good career for someone who enjoys working with computers and elements of design, like typography and colour theory. Most UI developers work in an office or from home, so it may be a good career choice for someone interested in working inside in front of computers. A UI developer can make an average salary of ₹5,95,953 per year. This salary can change depending on where you work and how much experience you have.

Related: Utilise Your Aptitude To Find the Right Career

How is a UI developer different from a web developer?

Web developers and UI developers are in the same field of web and application design, but they are not the same role. A web developer is someone with a broad range of skills they use to create a full website. They usually work with coding and computer programming that may be beyond what a UI developer can do.

A UI developer is a specialised professional who contributes design considerations to the process of web development. Many UI developers can code, but their role is more focused on planning how the website will look instead of being involved with the execution of the backend of the website. UI developers focus on the audience and how they intuitively use websites and products. UI developers use their extensive expertise in design to develop a user experience that is easy and inviting to the audience. Once they create the design, a web developer or coder can help them execute it.

Related: How To Become a Web Developer

How to become a UI developer

You can follow these steps to become a UI developer:

1. Earn a bachelor's degree

Learning technical skills are essential to a career as a UI developer. Most UI developers have a bachelor's degree in computer science, software engineering or graphic design. However, if you can show that you have coding and developing skills, you may get a job without these qualifications. You can also take shorter boot camps to learn computer programming skills you may need, like JavaScript or CSS.

Related: What Is JavaScript?

2. Gain experience

Before you have a job as a UI developer, you can get experience through practice by working on mock projects to add to your portfolio. You can also ask if anyone you know needs help with a personal website or project. Any experience can be a valuable addition to your portfolio. Once you have some work to present, you can show potential employers.

Through practice, you can work on developing your design skills and identifying outcomes from common design choices. You can also continue your education by familiarising yourself with new web trends. This can help you stay on top of developments in your field and motivate you to innovate.

Related: How To Write Work Experience on Your CV

3. Apply to UI design jobs

Once you have the technical knowledge and experience, you can start applying for jobs as a UI developer. Make a list of all open positions so you can keep track of what jobs you have applied to and what positions you can follow up with. Ask if anyone you know is aware of open positions. A referral from a friend can help you find a job sooner. For each position you apply for, write a targeted CV that appeals to that specific position, along with a copy or link to your online portfolio.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries vary depending on the hiring organisation and candidate experience, academic background, and location.

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