Top skills for UI UX designers in 2021

SOURCE: Josh Edelson / AFP
A good user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) can help elevate a product, as in the case of Apple.

By U2B Staff 

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A good user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) is essential in elevating a product, making it more appealing to the end-user and resulting in improved sales. UI UX designers both play an important role in product design and development.

UX design is a growing field and the need for UX professionals is steadily rising.  A career in UX is rewarding, as reports show that the average salary across 107 countries is $52,683.

This number is higher in wealthier regions, such as in the US, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Australia, and Western Europe. The average salary for a career in UX is reportedly the highest in Switzerland at $100,890.

In the US alone, there are currently about 24,000 UX designers. The job growth projection for UX designers is expected to grow by 22% in the next 10 years.


According to a report published by global professional services recruitment consultancy Morgan McKinley, the number of UX jobs in the market has increased by 320% in the last five years.

UX design is focused on anything that affects the user’s journey to solve that problem, positive or negative, both on-screen and off. On the other hand, UI is focused on how the product’s surfaces look and function.

Developing skills in user interface design is also a great way to get your foot in the door if you are looking to start a new side hustle that could even lead to a whole new career.

According to CNBC Make It, “Graphic designers who focus on UI, or user interface (which basically means designing the way users interact with a product like an app or website via the buttons they click or the text entry fields that use, etc.), can earn $185 to $6,300 on app projects.”

UI and UX designers have a lot of skills and experience. According to Burning Glass, 89% of professionals in these fields already have a bachelor’s degree.


The report analysed job postings to outline the important skills in these fields to identify key skills that act as barriers to entry-level and advanced roles.

It reports that the necessary skills for entry-level roles for UI and UX designers include mastery in the following areas:

  • Design Thinking
  • Typesetting
  •  Syntactically Awesome Style Sheets (SASS)
  • Balsamiq
  • Cross-browser
  • Interface Design
  • Data Visualisation
  • Omnigraffle
  • Sketching
  • User Interface

In order to advance further in a UI or UX designer career, professionals will need to master user research, prototyping, and the fundamentals of good design skills. The report identifies that mastery and training in these skills will differentiate candidates applying for various roles in UI and UX design:

  • Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Process Design
  • Web App Development
  • Software Development
  • Product Management
  • Java
  • Scrum

The report also outlined the following skills to be important for professionals in these fields to execute their day to day tasks effectively. These skills are:

  • JavaScript
  • UX Wireframes
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • UI Design
  • Prototyping
  • User Research
  • Visual Design
  • Interaction Design
  • HTML5
  • Web Site Design

If you are planning to expand your knowledge on employment opportunities in this field, DesignerHire has put together a guide to some of the top websites companies refer to when hiring UI UX professionals.

The guide outlines freelance marketplaces like Toptal or Upwork, and social networks or portfolio sites such as Dribbble and Behance. The guide includes the pros and cons of each of these options in detail, for easy reference.