Friday, March 16, 2012

How to become an UI / UX Expert?

"#1: Focus on the user and all else will follow" - Google

Audience: Focused on web based UI / UX; HTML Developers; People who are interested in UI Component development like calendars, popups, screens; Web Designers who work with HTML, JS, CSS; Any fresh mind to enter UI / UX field of interest

What else is in this article?

In addition to the above question, I’ve answered the following questions in this post:
  1. What does UI / UX means?
  2. What is the role of an UI / UX expert or a front end developer?
  3. What is the job description (JD) for a UI / UX developer or front end developer?
  4. What should one learn and master to become a UI/UX expert?
UI/UX Designer / Developer

There are many ways to describe an UI Expert. But never to misunderstand with Web Designers and other Photoshop experts who are called artists or creative designers.

UI stands for User Interface and UX stands for User Experience. UI / UX designers are also called as Front End Developers.

UI / UX expertise is beyond creating PSD layouts with Adobe Photoshop or with any wireframe/mock design tool. It is about giving a meaningful and effective life to the application. UI/UX experts need to understand the usage patterns, align with end-user requirements and focus on usability and accessibility (We will learn about accessibility in a different article. I’ll link it here once I complete the article.). The UI/UX designer need to coordinate with layout designers, backend developers, and other stake holders (especially the customer) and has comply with industry standards  to bring long-life to the application which is of most useful. UI is an art, engineering, and area of specialization.

You need years of experience to acquire extensive knowledge in UI. Since UI is about learning user behaviours and usage patterns, of course standards and best practices are available to make it easier to learn and adopt. But the length depends on your interest and length of your day spent on technologies. 

What you need to learn?
  • Wireframe Tools
    • Pencil
    • MockFlow
    • Cacoo
    • Mockingbird (Paid)
    • Creately (Paid)
    • Justinmind (Paid)
    • OmniGraffle (Paid)
  • Flow Diagram Tools
    • yEd
  • Markup Languages
    • Understanding a Markup Language
    • Understanding SGML Standard
    • HTML
    • XHTML
    • HTML5
    • XML (For XML Developers)
  • DOM 
    • Understanding DOM Structure
    • Understanding Objects
    • Understanding Parsers
    • Understanding APIs
    • DOM Elements
    • Manupulating DOM using JavaScript DOM API
  • JavaScript
    • Scripting
    • OOP Concepts
    • Understanding Memory, Scope and Namespace
    • Mastering OOP based JS Programming
    • Understanding Script Engines
    • Understanding ECMA Standard
    • Understanding Cross-Browser Chanllenges
  • StyleSheets
    • XLST (For XML Developers)
    • CSS2
    • CSS3
  • Framework (Good to master at least 1 of the below frameworks)
    • JavaScript (Common for any language / web)
      • Yahoo UI (YUI)
      • JQuery
      • Dojo
      • Ext JS
      • Prototype
      • MooTools
      • Sencha Touch
    • Java
      • GWT (Google Web Toolkit / Java)
      • XUI (Java)
      • Swing (Java)
      • OpenXava (Java)
    • Phython
      • Django (Python)
      • Cheetah (Python)
      • PyQT (Python)
      • PyJamas (Python)
  • Framework (Commercial Licenses – Good to master at least 1)
    • .NET
      • Telerik
      • ComponentArt
      • Infragistics
      • DevExpress
    • JAVA
      • Vaadin
      • SmartClient
  • AJAX (using PHP / .NET / Java)
  • Essentials Knowledge
    • Web Typography
    • Browser Communication
    • Page LifeCyce
    • HTTP Protocol
    • Client-Server Communication Basics
    • Internet Protocol
    • Networks
    • Security Basics
    • UI Best Practices & Design Patterns
    • Cross Browser Compatibility Techniques
    • RIA Concepts
    • Web2.0 Concepts
    • Accessibility Concepts (WCAG, Section 508, etc)
    • Data API (Web Service, SQL, XML, etc)
    • MVC Concepts
    • Web Service Concepts
    • WF/WCF Concepts (.NET)
    • SOA Concepts
    • REST Services
    • SDLC (preferably Agile/Scrum)
    • Testing Procedures (Unit, UAT)
    • Documentation Procedures
  • Nice to have knowledge but not mandatory for all companies
    • Adobe Photoshop
    • Adobe Flash
    • Adobe Flash Action Script
    • Adobe Flex is a plus
  • Plus Points
    • Certificate in Technologies
    • A degree in Computer or related field

Tags: User Interface, UI Developer, UI Designer, Front End Developer

Cloud: HTML, JavaScript, CSS, XHTML, HTML5, AJAX, Flash, Flex, RIA, GWT, JQuery, Prototype, Django

Who require UI / UX developers?
Any product owner require UI / UX developer starting from any small applications till Google search engines are depend on UI for reaching mass audience and gain popularity. UI gives meaning of life to any application.


  1. Hello, how is the future of UX developers and what about their pay package?
    I am a .NET guy with considerable web experience, about 6 yrs exp. Thinking about moving to Web UX coz .NET just sucks, mind suggesting?

  2. Hi Joy.. sorry for delayed reply. UX industry is growing and will never loose its dynamism. Pay scale is very decent. UX could be limited to designing with HTML, CSS and JS but in real world .NET applications UX includes .NET code as well! All the best.

  3. hi this is suresh. i am a graphic design knws web as well as planng to change my career jst suggest me is web desiging field had the good feature or ui desiging n i am so much interested in ux n ui desiging. please suggest some websites to get a best ui designer.....
    bcoz graphic sucks alot

    1. Hi Suresh

      If you find graphic boring. UI wouldn't be of any difference. To become a successful UI Expert, you need to be an artist and should have a lot of passion for graphic and design.

      UX is not exactly the design but the approach or design principles to offer the user experience. Of course it requires creative and artistic sense to become successful.

      I am not sure if you are think UI in the perspective of HTML, XAML or any sort of UI development. If it is so, I would still suggest to keep your passion for graphic and design up to be more successful.

      UI is pleasure for eyes and UX is comfort for mind. You need to learn how to club them both to become successful in your UI/UX career. All the best.

  4. how to be come a ui designer expert suggest some websites or courses n how abt the feature of it ?

    1. You could become a UI designer with a lot of passion for creativity, design and imagination, few learnings - Illustrator/Photoshop, HTML/CSS, C#/Java/FlashAS and/or other wireframe tools and good participation in communities and contests.

      Practice makes a man perfect. You need to practice a lot. Deliver your imaginations to the world. Get critics and suggestions. Reiterate until you feel you are an expert!

      The most important thing is you need to get inspired. Learn from others work. Many agencies steal the inspiration, recolor and sell it to its customers. Never steal though!! Inspirations are for inspirations and learning techniques and the way of thinking creative. Search google for inspirations. You will get good list of inspiration websites.

      The future is always there for everything special. I wish you to become somebody special! All the best.


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