Visual Designer: Explained

In this article, I present a data-driven analysis of the Visual Design career based on job ads from companies such as Accenture, Amazon, Frog, Google and Motorola.

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

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 Visual design.

What Visual Designers do?

Visual Designers are specialists.

Visual Designers translate concepts, ideas and businesses into visual outcomes: interfaces, websites, etc.

At the same time, to be able to design the 'pixel-perfect' outcomes, Visual Designers need to have a good understanding about the UX and the User.

Amazon and Frog requests for Visual 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 Visual Designers: UI, UX, User Research, Prototyping, Motion Design.

User Interface (UI)

Visual Designers, nowadays, are mainly Digital Visual Designers, which means that they design interfaces, websites and any other digital outcome.

Pandora and Sophilabs look for UI work from Visual designers

User Experience (UX)

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

Amazon and Home Depot look for UX work from Visual designers

User Research

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

Florida Blue and Sinergy look for User Research work from Visual designers


Visual Designers build early-phase prototypes to test their ideas before moving towards more 'polished' versions.

Amazon and Motorola look for Prototyping work from Visual designers

Motion Design

As an important aspect in digital design and design for screens, Visual Designers also deliver motion design work, such as animations and videos.

KPMG and Sparklin look for Motion Design work from Visual designers

What a Visual Designer needs to know?

Visual Designers need to have a varied range of skills to do their jobs. For example, Visual 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 Visual Designers: Visual Design, Communication, Business, Project Management and User-centered design.

Visual Design

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

Google and Motorola look for Visual Design skills from Visual designers


Visual Designers interact with other professionals and users constantly. By working in teams, having communication skills are key for doing the job.

Avanade and Frog look for Communication skills from Visual designers


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

Florida Blue and Hippo look for Business skills from Visual designers

Project Management

Visual Designers are busy. Being able to manage the workload and timelines is key to the job.

Amazon and McAfee  look for Project Management skills from Visual designers

User-centered Design

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

Google and Maers look for User-centered design skills from Visual designers

What else is in the skillset of a Visual Designer?

Visual Designers also work with illustrations and design systems, while having skills in data-driven design and branding, for example.

Others skills companies look in Visual Designers: Data-driven Design, Design System, Illustration and Branding.

What software Visual Designers use?

Top 3 Software for Visual Designers: #1 Adobe CC, #2 Sketch and #3 Figma

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

Where do these answers come from?

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

I analyzed 50 job advertisements for Visual 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 (Accenture, Amazon, Google, Frog, Motorola) while some others were new (at least to me). The full list of companies can be found here.


#1 Visual Designers are the new Graphic Designers.

Visual Designers are concerned with delivering (mainly) digital outcomes: interfaces, websites, etc. But still, data shows that they still get their hands dirty in 'old-school' activities such as Illustration, Motion Design and Branding.

As with the other design professions, Visual Designers need to see the overall picture. Yes, Visual Designers care about the visual aspect, but functionality and how their work affects the User Experience, the business are becoming more evident.

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

Each company is different. A company hiring their first Visual Designer have very different needs than one looking to hire their 100th Visual 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 Accenture, Amazon, Frog, Google and Motorola in a Visual Design position.

Accenture, Amazon, Frog, Google and Motorola 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, UI and UX Design careers.

Product Designer: Explained

UI Designer: Explained

UX Designer: Explained
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I'm Paulo Dziobczenski, the founder of Let's connect on LinkedIn or Twitter. 😉