UI Designer: Explained

In this article, I present a data-driven analysis of the UI Design career based on job ads from companies such as Peloton, Seat and Ubisoft.

When a company is hiring a designer, what do they look for? What do they expect a designer will do? What skills a designer should have?

Those are exactly the questions I will answer now, based on a data-driven analysis of job advertisements. If you want to know more about the method and what I mean by data-driven analysis, I wrote a separate article explaining it.

Design job titles: Explained
A data-driven approach to understand four design job titles: Product, UX, UI and Visual Designer. by Paulo Dziobczenski. Founder of designcareer.co

In short: Much has been said about what it means to be a Product/UX/UI/Visual designer. Many designers have written wonderful articles before. I am taking a different approach: I look at what companies say in their job advertisements.

Now, back to UI design.

What UI Designers do?

UI Designers are specialists.

UI Designers focus their work in designing visually attractive and functional interfaces.

UI Designers need to understand technical limitations, the user and use cases to be able to deliver their work.

Herd requests for UI Designers

Moving to more specifics, I started counting how many times each request showed up in the data set. Here are the top 5 requests:

Top 5 Outcomes for UI Designers: UI, UX, User Research, Prototyping, Design system

User Interface (UI)

User Interfaces are the main delivery made by UI Designers, which means that they design interfaces, websites and any other digital outcome.

Adhoc and Peloton look for UI work from UI designers

User Experience (UX)

UI Designers also work in building the User Experience, mainly through the deliver of Interfaces.

Cheil and Sumpup look for UX work from UI designers

User Research

UI Designers do not only are involved in design activities and also in conducting and analyzing user research. It is a clear expansion of the role of UI Designers (similar to Visual Designers): from simply designing interfaces to designing interfaces based on knowledge about the user.

Kmart and Scoutbee look for User Research work from UI designers


UI Designers build prototypes to test their initial ideas, before moving to final interface versions.

Nabler and Peloton look for Prototyping work from UI designers

Design System

UI Designers work building design systems. A design system, by definition, is a ‘a collection of reusable components, guided by clear standards, that can be assembled together to build any number of applications’.

Arculus and LTN look for Design Systemwork from UI designers

What a UI Designer needs to know?

UI Designers need to have a varied range of skills to do their jobs. For example, UI Designers need to have ‘communication’ to conduct research.

Think about these skills as some necessary layers (or mindsets) for designers to do their work. As you can see on the Top 5 below, not only design skills:

Top 5 Skills for UI Designers: Communication, Visual Design, Business, User-centered design and Data-driven design


UI Designers rarely work alone. By working in teams, having communication skills are key for doing the job.

Avenuecode and IQVIA look for Communication skills from UI designers

Visual Design

Perhaps the most obvious, as UI Designers are all about how the project will look like. Here companies emphasize how UI Designers need to have ‘an eye for design’, in terms of knowing about color, composition, typography, etc.

Allied and Ubisoft look for Visual Design skills from UI designers


UI Designers need to know about business goals and how their work affects their clients’ businesses.

Koru and Relex look for Business skills from UI designers

User-centered design

UI Designers are advocate for the users. User-centered design is a method/skill to help designers put their users at the center.

MMT and Sumup look for User-centered design skills from UI designers

Data-driven Design

UI Designers utilize data for making decisions in their designs.

Scytalist and Trinny look for Data-driven design skills from UI designers

What else is in the skill set of a UI Designer?

UI Designers also need to carry some other skills in their skill sets, such as Coding, Motion Design, Illustration, and Branding:

Others skills companies look in UI Designers: Coding, Motion Design, Illustration, and Branding:

What software UI Designers use?

UI Designers mainly use Adobe Creative Cloud, while Sketch and InVision are less frequent in the job ads.

Top 3 Software for UI Designers: #1 Adobe CC, #2 Sketch and #3 Invision

Where do these answers come from?

The data for this article comes from 50 job advertisements from 24 countries

I analyzed 50 job advertisements for UI Designers found on LinkedIn. These job ads came from 24 countries in the Americas (North and South, Asia and Europe. Some companies are very well-known (Peloton, Seat, Ubisoft) while some others were new (at least to me). The full list of companies can be found here.


#1 UI Designers build the visual User Experience (UX)

UI Designers shape the User Experience through delivering interfaces: mobile apps, websites, etc.

But 'pixel-perfect' interfaces are just one part of the job. UI Designers get involved in a range of activities to be able to do the job — research, business, coding, etc. For example, understanding requirements and conducting research as a way to design better interfaces.

#2 Every company is different and their recruitment needs are different.

Each company is different. A company hiring their first UI Designer have very different needs than one looking to hire their 100th UI Designer.

In this article, I have mentioned over 10 different skills/activities/software. But do not panic, not all companies will ask you to know it all.

To illustrate how companies might differ in their requirements, here is a comparison between some of the requests made by Peloton, Seat and Ubisoft in a UI Design position.

Peloton, Seat and Ubisoft requests for Visual Designers: sometimes similar, sometimes different.

As you can see, companies might emphasize some skills more than others when hiring. The recommendation here is to spend some time researching the companies you are interested and what they are looking for. Which skills do they look for? Then make sure to build those skills and not all the possible skills :)

Jack Butcher

If you liked this article, I recommend to check the other guides I wrote looking at the Product, UX and Visual Design careers.

Product Designer: Explained

UX Designer: Explained

Visual Designer: Explained

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I'm Paulo Dziobczenski, the founder of Designcareer.co. Let's connect on LinkedIn or Twitter. 😉