top of page

Long live the UI Design Specialist

~ by Alan W

Why is it that today our talented UI (User Interface) design specialist’s are being pressured more than ever to dilute their roles, and often CHANGE their roles, to include the complimentary (but very different) discipline of UX (User Experience)? The mirage of the UI/UX Designer continues to dance in front of our clients and many of our own businesses in the hopes that we can get a good “two for one” deal.

Resist the temptation to push your UI designers into a blended role for a moment and consider this thought: diluting expertise threatens quality and therefore the value of expertise is at stake. There is no premium to pay for mediocre design. When we pull the brakes and allow ourselves to step away from this notion of the so called UX/UI unicorn, and go back to our origins of expertise, we can once again consider a far more premium, sophisticated, and real approach to design that makes design great again.

Let's take a real life scenario. When watching a stage production, the set designers apply their artistic talents to bring performers scenes to life. We do not expect the set designers to actually perform the act, nor do we expect the actors to design the context in which they are expected to perform. But when these two skills come together in true harmony, the show is brought to life, and that is when true impact is felt by the audience. In the same way, why would a UI/UX Designer imply a better performance when we take away each discipline's focus?

As in this example, we do NOT imply or suggest a silo’d and detached way of work. Our focus needs to shift to how a UI Designer can reach new heights when gaining an understanding and appreciation for the UX craft. When UI design is able to bring UX designs to life through an ability to elicit the desired reaction from the user the UX designer has designed for, through harmonious colors, animations and other visual cues, UI design reaches these heights. And when a UI designer thinks and applies User Centered Design (UCD is all about the mentality of designing with and for users where the focus is on the user) when applying their craft, they capture the essence of UX without actually performing the UX function for which the UX specialist is fulfilling.

Deliverables are completely different for the UI and UX Designer, not to mention time constraints and lack of focus in a blended role. Collaboration (not dilution or generalization of roles) is the key to great design - specialist skills should not be diluted but should come together to help transform mediocre design into GREAT design.

Work with Alan W

“Solving niche challenges founders face”.

Illustrator: Lisa Williams (Instagram: @artist_llw)


bottom of page