Career Pathway: UX/UI Design

Pathway Overview

Why UX/UI Design?

  • Creative impact
  • Meaningful work
  • Job security
  • Desirable pay

The need for creative minds in UX/UI is growing with the use of web and mobile devices. Visuals grab attention while user experience increases retention. UX/UI combines design, human psychology, problem-solving, and business all in one. UX designers use research to create personalization along with user feedback. UI designers focus on how a product functions and feels. Anyone with the passion can be successful. Not only is there longevity, but an option to freelance while earning a desirable salary. Lastly, you have a chance to make a lasting impact in more than one way.

Please note: UX and UI may be listed separately or combined in job postings. Some postings may use the term ‘web designer.’ Refer to specific postings for differentiation between UX and UI skills needed.

Pathway Certifications

*Notes: Since experience is the primary requirement for UX/UI roles, there are no required certifications. Some certifications/courses may be free of charge. 

CertificationDefinition/PurposeAssociated Roles
AdobeAdobe Education Exchange: Adobe XD, Web UI UX Design. For design roles or tasks.
ACEAdobe Certified Expert: Adobe Creative Suite / Cloud (Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign)For design roles or tasks.
CSMCertified ScrumMasterFor roles associated with product management tasks.
PMI-ACPPMP Agile Certified PractitionerFor roles associated with product management tasks.
SketchSketch MasterFor design roles or tasks.
UXUser Experience CertificateOffered by various providers for UX roles or tasks.
UIUser Interface Certificate.Offered by various providers for UI roles or tasks.

In-Demand Skills

Ultimately, your ability to land a specific role will come down to your experience and proficiency in the skills below as well as your willingness to continue learning. 

This list encompasses the UX/UI design field as a whole.

UX/UI Design Skills

  • Agile methodologies and processes
  • Basic marketing concepts
  • Product management
  • User-centric design research
  • Visual prototyping and wireframing
    • Adobe, Keynote, Storyboarding, etc.
  • User interface deployment
  • Web prototyping and development
    • HTML, CSS, GitHub, Bootstrap, JavaScript, jQuery

Transferable Skills

  • Adaptable
  • Creative
  • Curious
  • Passionate
  • Empathetic
  • Humble
  • Organized
  • Strong communication
  • Strong business acumen
  • Detail-oriented
  • Patient
  • Research driven
  • Strong presenter
  • Strong collaborator
  • Strong storyteller

Job Descriptions

*Note: Below is a basic guide to kick-start your exploration of UX/UI Design roles, not a complete list of all options and paths within each level.


UX Designer

With a passion for user advocacy, influence the product direction via user journeys, interaction flow, wireframes, prototypes, and pain-point problem solving. Collaborate with product management and user research. Launch new products while enhancing existing ones. Tags: UX/UI Developer, Learning Experience Designer. See Product Designer.

Relevant Certifications: ACE/Adobe, Sketch

Previous Roles: Freelance, Graphic Design, Project Management

Future Roles: UX/UI Designer, Researcher, Writer, Design Consultant

UX Researcher

Drive impact through various research tools and approaches to create actionable and measurable goals to ensure accountability throughout the development lifecycle. Effectively communicate findings to leadership and stakeholders to suggest, document, and implement new and improved approaches and methods. UX researchers may oversee research and/or partner with other researchers. Tags: User Experience.

Relevant Certifications: ACE/Adobe, Sketch

Previous Roles: Sociology/Psychology/Social Sciences, Product Research

Future Roles: Content Developer, Product Designer, Design Consultant/Freelance

UX Writer

Collaborate with designers, engineers, product managers, legal teams, etc. Responsible for writing web and mobile products. Features may consist of error messages, UI notifications, tool tips, empty states, translation issues, etc. Advanced writing, editing, and project management skills for a broad audience. Tags: Senior UX Writer, Technical Writer, UX Content Strategist, UX Writer II.

Relevant Certifications: ACE/Adobe, Agile/Scrum

Previous Roles: English/Journalism, Freelance Writer

Future Roles: Product or Web Designer, Senior Writer

Web Designer

Design and plan web and landing pages using the most up-to-date tools and resources. Collect, analyze, and summarize data and trends. Test and verify interface functions. Work with other teams to ensure smooth product changes, secure systems, and updated web platforms. Tags: Digital/Staff Designer, Jr. Web Designer.

Relevant Certifications: ACE/Adobe, Sketch

Previous Roles: Art design, Junior Web Designer, Graphic Design

Future Roles: Product Designer, Senior Web Designer, Design Director


Creative Director

Conceptualize small and large-scale campaigns to develop UX/UI design, often for website development teams. Work to create mood and storyboards, develop and direct graphics, and communicate with clients or teams and make changes based on feedback. Knowledge of digital and social platforms and best practices. Strong collaboration and communication skills are a must. Tags: Art Director, Creative Services, Digital Art Director.

Relevant Certifications: ACE/Adobe, Sketch

Previous Roles: Art/Graphic Design, Design Consultant/Freelance, UX/UI Design

Future Roles: Senior Designer, Senior Art Director

Product Designer

The product designers focus on business requirements.They not only advocate for users, but also for the best interests of a company or organization. They ask questions during the design process to align with the goals of a business. Tags: Digital Product Designer, Product Development Specialist. See UX/UI Designer.

Relevant Certifications: ACE/Adobe, Sketch

Previous Roles: Content Developer, Junior Product or Web Designer, Art/Graphic Design, UX/UI Design

Future Roles: Creative Director, Senior Product Designer, Design Director, Design Manager

Senior UX/UI Designer

Oversee the entire user experience and design by facilitating research. Build and conceptualize with design teams and orchestrate the testing of usability. They are innovation-seekers and strong collaborators who can effectively communicate with all. Tags: Senior Designer, Principal Designer.

Relevant Certifications: ACE/Adobe, Agile/Scrum, Sketch

Previous Roles: Creative Director, UX/UI Design, Design Freelance, Product Designer

Future Roles: Design Director, UX/UI Consultant

UX/UI Architect

Architects work with other products, UX/UI, and engineering teams to build a roadmap for updating products and architectural frameworks. Develop and maintain standards and best practices and mentor others. Evaluate and/or recommend tools, technology, and processes. Tags: UI Architect, UX Architect, Digital Architect.  

Relevant Certifications: ACE/Adobe, Sketch

Previous Roles: User Analyst/Research, UX/UI Design

Future Roles: Lead Architect, Senior Architect, Consultant, UX/UI Director, Creative Director

UX/UI Consultant

Lead for user-centered design solutions to deliver high-quality products and standards to clients. In collaboration with others, consultants develop, produce, and integrate wireframes, user flows, information architecture diagrams, and prototypes. Produce and manage design assets and proper implementation. Tags: Technical Solutions Consultant, Sr. UI/UX Developer Consultant, Development Consultant.

Relevant Certifications: ACE/Adobe, Sketch

Previous Roles: Graphic/Information Design, UX/UI Design

Future Roles: Lead Consultant, Senior Manager User Experience, UX/UI Director

Senior Level:

Creative Director and VP 

This role requires a design background, attention to detail, and the ability to lead a design team. Needs passion, drive, and hands-on style to be the driving force behind design plans. The role requires business acumen, and the ability to present to stakeholders and upper leadership, as well as coach project leadership. Tags: Executive Creative Director, Director of Design, Design Director, VP of Design, VP of Product.

Relevant Certifications: ACE/Adobe, Agile/Scrum, Sketch

Previous Roles: Art Director, UX/UI Design, Design Consultant

Future Roles: Senior Creative Director, Head of Design, UX/UI Director

UX/UI Director

As an expert in wireframes, visual flow, and prototypes, collaboration skills need to be top notch. Work with designers, engineers, producers, artists, and other teams to produce high-quality products. Throughout the process, they monitor and provide feedback for desired outcomes for UX design approaches and UI style guides. Tags: Director of UX/UI, Head of Design.

Relevant Certifications: ACE/Adobe, Agile/Scrum, Sketch

Previous Roles: Senior User Analyst/Researcher, UX/UI Design, Design Consultant

Future Roles: VP of Design, Chief Design Officer (CXO), Senior Director

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