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UI/UX designer

UI and UX designers help make our increasingly digital experiences seamless and rewarding. They are in great demand by companies, organisations and government bodies.

What are UI/UX designers?

UI is an acronym meaning User Interface so UI designers are people who combine their graphic design skills with some knowledge about how devices are coded for a greater user experience. UI designers are particularly aware of the look and feel of a website or an app for example.

UX is an acronym meaning User Experience so UX designers a skilled at optimising the user's experience of a device such as an app. For example, imagine you created a digital dictionary app which becomes really slow the moment two or more people are using that same app. That would be an example in which the UX design is poor. It hasn't been optimised for many users. The look and feel of the device would depend on the UI Design.

Both job titles are often used together because they are both concerned with improving the experience of a user as they use digital devices.

What are the similarities and difference between traditional website designers and UI/UX designers?

Over the last 20 years, there has been a renewed in the importance of research around Human Computer Interaction (HCI). According to the international society for human-technology and human-computer interaction, HCI is a "discipline concerned with the design, evaluation and implementation of interactive computing systems for human use and with the study of major phenomena surrounding them."

As our world is becoming infused with digital systems, HCI professionals have been thinking deeply about the role of design. Donald Norman is often credited with inventing the term UX because it is stated in his 1999 book 'The Invisible Computer'. Prior to the first decade of the 21st Century, web designers where seen to be professionals who were creating technical things to enable people to interact with a complex technical machine called a computer. In this design, the computer was the main focus and the people had to change themselves and their experience in order to use the computer.

Learn more at HCI Bibliography : Human-Computer Interaction Resources .

When did the job come into existence?

In their current usage, experts generally agree that these terms UI/UX became popular in different parts of the world by 2005 and by 2016, UX/UI can be found frequently in job advertisements in Australia.

Why is there a growing demand for UI/UX designers?

As we move towards 2030, more people shop online and as more organisations want to attract people's attention, the whole user experience has become important. The colours and graphics of apps and how a website landing page looks and functions matters more as companies seek to influence people's purchasing decisions. Companies, organisations and governments have realised that people with a variety needs all want a positive digital experience regardless of whether they are using computers, smartphones, virtual reality systems or voice activated systems. Many more UI/UX designers are set to be required as a greater number of innovators seek to give all people a rewarding experience with digital technology.

Find out more information about this job from the Australian Computer Society's Careers Foundation website.