The measure of success for any business today is the number of customers it draws in and retains. No matter how large and powerful a company is, it will inevitably collapse and fail if it loses its customers. So, businesses need to keep the users of their products and services happy, which includes giving them a smooth, easy, and appealing experience. This fact is why UI/UX designers are so important.
This article explores the fundamentals of the UI/UX designer salary, including how much they get paid based on experience and skills, locale, industry sector, and business. We will also touch on the differences between UI and UX, whether UI/UX designers are in demand, and how to negotiate the optimal UX/UI salary.
There’s even a difference between a UX designer’s salary and a UI designer’s salary, and we’ll also devote a little time to that. However, we’re focusing primarily on the topic of UI/UX.
We’ll conclude by showing you the best way to start a UI/UX career of your own.
So let’s get underway by defining a UI/UX designer.
What is a UI/UX Designer, Anyway?
UI/UX designers are responsible for designing and implementing a user’s complete experiences when interacting with digital tools, like websites, for example. The UI/UX designer collaborates with the organization’s marketing team and designers. As a result, they guarantee a seamless web and mobile design and then successfully implement UI/UX best practices and principles across every digital platform.
UI/UX designers are typically responsible for collecting, investigating, researching, and evaluating all user requirements. They deliver an outstanding user experience through an exceptional and intuitive application design.
Here’s a list of typical UI/UX responsibilities:
- Communicate with clients to get familiar with their business needs and goals
- Optimize any existing user interface (UI) designs
- Plan and implement new designs
- Conduct testing for user experience and intuitiveness
- Develop business and technical requirements and deliver intuitive, user-centered solutions
- Develop prototypes for new product ideas
- Test new ideas before implementation
- Conduct user research to see how new designs work and what may be needed next
What’s the Difference Between UI and UX?
But what’s the difference between UI and UX? UI is short for user interface, and UX stands for user experience. Although the terms are frequently used interchangeably, they are pretty different.
User interface transfers a product or service’s development, design, research, content, and layout into an eye-catching, helpful, and responsive experience for the users. UI is a purely digital discipline involving buttons, color schemes, icons, responsive design, spacing, and typography.
User experience, on the other hand, covers all the aspects of end-user interaction, digital and non-digital, with the company and the goods and services it provides. So UX could include things like cars, lightbulbs, and product design.
Let’s use a self-checkout station at a supermarket as an example. The UX side of the design would include things like the signage showing whether the aisle is open or not, the area where the grocery bags are stored, the checkout scanner, and the slot where you submit coupons. The UI would be the display you use to conduct the actual checkout, which buttons you press, etc.
Here’s a small handy chart that shows the UI and UX differences at a glance.
|Applies to the physical and digital components and products.||Applies only to digital products and components.|
|Focuses on the user’s total experience from start to finish.||Focuses on the visual touchpoints that let the user interact with the product.|
|Creates a structural design solution that eliminates obstacles that could inhibit the customer’s positive experience at any stage in their journey.||Creates a pleasant and functional combination of buttons, colors, fonts, animations, and imagery for the customer’s benefit.|
Bear in mind the UI is part of the overall UX, and the two concepts work together, and yes, there can be overlap. For example, if you’ve ever downloaded an app that was totally gorgeous to look at but hard to use, that’s a case of UI over UX. On the other hand, if you’ve used an app that’s conceptually perfect for your needs, but the buttons are too close together, and the display font is too tiny to read, that’s good UX hampered by lousy UI.
Now that we have that sorted out let’s look at the UI/UX designer salary picture.
What is a UI/UX Designer’s Starting Salary?
When it comes to a career, we all must start somewhere, and that’s typically at the bottom of the ladder. But you can still make a decent wage. For example, Ziprecruiter.com reports that entry-level UI/UX designers earn $93,692 annually. Additionally, a UX designer salary for someone just starting out runs at an average of $64,754 per year in the United States, as reported by Glassdoor.com.
What is a UI/UX Designer’s Average Salary?
Glassdoor.com also reports that the average UI/UX designer in the United States earns $80,182 annually.
Additionally, the average UI designer salary for a professional in the United States makes an annual average of $86,788, according to Indeed.com.
Meanwhile, the average UX designer salary in the United States runs at $99,770, according to Indeed.com.
UI/UX Designer Salary by Experience
Experience is a valuable commodity, and many companies are willing to pay for it. Here is a small sampling of UI/UX designer salary numbers, provided courtesy of Indeed.com.
- 1 to 2 Years: $85,563 per year
- 3 to 5 Years: $119,770 per year
- Over 10 Years: $132,749 per year
UI/UX Designer Salary by Location
Job location can make all the difference. Unfortunately, not every city or region in the United States pays the same. Here is the UI/UX designer salary picture for the top ten states in the United States, as reported by Talent.com. These are rendered in annual averages and are subject to variations such as experience level and company.
- Arkansas. $130,350 per year
- Indiana. $130,000 per year
- California. $126,750 per year
- West Virginia. $117,250 per year
- Maryland. $115,000 per year
- Georgia. $115,000 per year
- Virginia. $112,500 per year
- New York. $112,500 per year
- Massachusetts. $112,450 per year
- Louisiana. $110,816 per year
Which Companies Pay the Best UI/UX Designer Salaries?
So, what company pays the best UI/UX designer salary? Check out this list and start making plans for sending out resumes. Here are the top dozen best-paying companies, as reported by Comparably.com.
- Activision. $99,000 per year
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. $98,198 per year
- Dell. $97,142 per year
- TCS (Tata Consultancy Services). $97,000 per year
- Viacom. $96,750 per year
- AT&T. $96,000 per year
- USAA. $95,999 per year
- Athenahealth. $95,750 per year
- R/GA. $95,300 per year
- Macy’s. $95,244 per year
- Thomson Reuters. $94,167 per year
- Essence Digital. $93,500 per year
What Do UI/UX Designers Make in Comparison to Other Popular Related Tech Positions?
Here are the salaries for some popular tech positions related to UI/UX, as indicated by Glassdoor.com.
- Software Developer UI. $123,394 per year
- UI Designer. $99,718 per year
- UI Developer/UI Designer. $110,850 per year
- UI Web Applications Developer. $115,650 per year
How Do You Negotiate a Fair UI/UX Designer Salary?
Most people find it uncomfortable to talk about money. However, it’s a necessary evil when it comes to your career and getting fair compensation.
When an organization hires you, it tells you it has a problem or a need and sees you as its solution. Therefore, when negotiating a user interface designer salary or something similar like a UX developer salary, you need to show your prospective employer that you have the tools necessary to fill their need. Regarding UI/UX designers, there are the most sought-after skills.
- Adobe Photoshop
- UX wireframes
- User research
- User interface (UI) design
- Visual design
When you apply for a new position and negotiate a user experience designer salary or something similar, ensure your portfolio is kept current and calls out your best work. Additionally, customize your resume, cover letter, and other appropriate materials to your audience, which is the prospective employer.
If you’re already working as a UI/UX developer and are negotiating an increase in your UI/UX designer salary. Bring examples of your work that demonstrate your value, and show how your skills have contributed (and will continue to contribute) to the company’s success.
On a final note, employers prefer candidates with experience and certifications in the appropriate disciplines. Fortunately, we’ll soon show you a great way to get that valuable asset onto your resume or CV.
Are UI/UX Designers in Demand?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for web developers and digital designers, which counts UI/UX designers, is predicted to grow 23 percent from 2021 to 2031, a faster rate than the average of other related job titles. So, if you’re looking for a solid career with a bright future, look no further.
Do You Want a Career as a UI/UX Designer?
Employers want to see certified candidates, and if you’re interested in a UI/UX designer career, you should acquire UI UX certification. Certification opens doors, and it’s a great way to improve the odds in your favor for a successful UI/UX design career.
UMass Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management, in partnership with Simplilearn, presents this five-month bootcamp that helps you become a certified UI/UX expert via a high-engagement learning experience featuring live lectures and hands-on learning.
This bootcamp teaches you valuable UI/UX skills like:
- Clickstream Analysis
- Design Thinking
- Empathy Mapping
- Gestalt Principles
- Information and Interaction Design
- Persona Mapping
- Product Designing
- UI and Visual Design
- Usability Testing
- User-Centered Design
- User Experience Design
Upon completion, you earn your certificate from UMass Amherst and membership in the University of Massachusetts Amherst Alumni Association.
Don’t wait. Sign up for this essential UI/UX bootcamp and make your dreams of an exciting UI/UX design career come true!