The internet is an ever-growing technology, and the professionals that keep it running are highly sought after. With millions of websites and pages on the internet, keeping users on a website and making it easy for them to navigate is more important than ever. There's a reason why certain websites on the internet look sleek, vibrant, and modern, and that's because of the work of UI developers.
This article explores a UI developer’s role, the essential skills needed to become one, and what they can expect to earn. Whether pursuing this profession or searching for the perfect candidate to join your development team, here’s what you need to know about UI developers.
What Is a UI Developer?
User interfaces, or UIs, are the visual components of a website that users interact with and are today's most important piece of the web development puzzle. UI developers work on a website's user interface and design, making it easier for users to find what they want while providing an enjoyable experience. They act as the bridge between the user and their interaction with a website or application, focusing on the design intent of a website or application.
What Does a UI Developer Do?
Generally, a UI developer is responsible for crafting the look and feel of digital products, such as websites, apps, and software. This includes designing the user interface, coding webpages, and ensuring the design is functional. However, responsibilities may vary depending on the company and the specific project you’re working on. Some of the more common tasks a UI developer is responsible for include the following:
- Designing the visual elements of websites and applications, including colors, typography, and other design elements
- Working with UX designers to improve user experience and make the website or application more efficient
- Developing interactive elements, such as forms and dynamic content
- Testing the design to ensure it's bug-free and meets the company’s standards
- Modifying existing designs to make them more efficient or to fix bugs
- Debugging UI issues and making sure everything works as intended
- Collaborating with other developers, designers, and product owners
UI Developer Skills
UI developers, just like any other profession, must possess certain skills to succeed. A combination of soft, technical, and hard skills is essential, as UI developers must work with design and code. Below are some of the most critical soft, hard, and technical skills for a UI developer to possess.
Soft skills are the interpersonal skills UI developers need to work in a team and communicate with stakeholders. They include:
- Excellent communication and organization skills
- Ability to take direction and feedback from stakeholders
- Strong problem-solving skills with the ability to think critically
- Attention to detail and the ability to stay focused on the task at hand
- Ability to multitask, prioritize tasks, and meet deadlines
- Strong work ethic and the ability to collaborate with other team members
Hard skills are the skills that UI developers can only achieve after they’ve gained practice, experience, and mastery of the field. Though closely and sometimes interchangeably related to technical skills, hard skills focus more on problem-solving and require strong fundamentals. Here are some essential hard skills for UI developers:
- Graphic design: UI developers must have an eye for design and be knowledgeable in various graphic design tools, such as Adobe Creative Suite.
- Animation: UI developers should understand motion graphics, transitions, and animation to make websites and apps look more engaging.
These are the coding, design, and development skills that UI developers need to create attractive and functional user interfaces. They include:
- Proficiency with HTML5 and CSS3
- Proficiency with Adobe Creative Suite, such as Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator
- Experience with debugging tools for HTML and CSS
- Experience with WordPress and other content management systems
- Proficiency in various web development frameworks, such as React or Angular
- Experience with version control systems such as Git
Types of UI Developers
UI developers can specialize in different areas depending on the project and the end product. Below are some of the most common types of UI developers.
Web UI Developer
Mobile UI Developer
As the name suggests, mobile UI developers create mobile application interfaces. They use a variety of programming languages, such as Swift, Java, and HTML5, to build user-friendly apps optimized for use on mobile devices. Mobile UI developers must be familiar with mobile device hardware coding and design principles that can optimize the user experience. They must also understand the mobile device ecosystem and how users interact with apps on their devices.
Desktop UI Developer
Desktop UI developers are responsible for designing, developing, and implementing user interfaces for desktop applications. They must understand the intricacies of desktop computer design, including optimizing for different screen sizes and resolutions. Desktop UI developers must also be familiar with various software development tools and programming languages like C++, Java, and Visual Basic.
Game UI Developer
These UI developers specialize in developing the user interface for video games. They are familiar with gaming consoles, platforms, and devices, as well as design principles that can create the best user experience for gamers. Game UI developers must be highly creative and able to think outside the box to create engaging experiences for players. They use various tools like Unity, Unreal Engine, and HTML5 to create aesthetically-pleasing game interfaces.
UI Developer Salary
Knowing how much a UI developer makes is important if you’re considering a career in this field or are hiring a UI developer. Salaries can vary significantly depending on experience, location, and employer. Here's a breakdown of the average salaries for UI developers in the U.S. based on years of experience.
According to Glassdoor, a junior or entry-level UI developer with zero to three years of experience in the U.S. can earn an annual average salary of up to $89,516. Junior UI developers typically work under the supervision of a more experienced UI developer and handle simple tasks such as creating mock-up designs, coding for simple user interfaces, and testing the interface.
A mid-level UI developer with four to six years of experience earns an average salary of $97,308 annually in the U.S. These developers have more responsibilities at this level, such as managing the front-end development team and working on complex user interface projects.
The average salary of a senior UI developer with seven to nine years of experience is $107,829 in the U.S. Senior-level developers must have excellent project management and leadership skills as they usually lead teams and take on more complex tasks. They may also be involved in developing new strategies for user interface projects.
While UI developers in Latin American countries are equally skilled, the lower cost of living means they usually earn 30% to 50% less than their U.S. counterparts, with salaries varying based on location and experience. Revelo provides a cost-effective solution while offering highly qualified, pre-vetted Latin American developers.
Hire a UI Developer With Revelo
Finding the perfect UI developer for your project with the necessary skills and experience requires a thorough understanding of the job and the necessary qualifications. Hiring for this role can be difficult and time-consuming, especially if you don’t have the time or resources.
At Revelo, we make it easy for companies to hire the best remote software engineers in Latin America. We have a vast network of talented engineers who are highly qualified and can help you scale your engineering team quickly. With our comprehensive, pre-vetted talent pool, you can be confident that the UI developers you hire through Revelo will have all the essential skills and experience to bring your project to life. Plus, we handle onboarding, payroll and benefits administration, taxes, and local compliance so you can focus on growing your business.
Contact us today to learn how we can help you build a winning engineering team.