The Mobile app design field isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution; different aspects of the project may require different job titles.
You can’t just search for an “app designer” and expect to find the right one – you have to conceptually understand the specific skills you need. Knowing how to talk about these skills enables efficient communication with your designer.
When you start searching job boards for designers, you’ll quickly find that the label “designer” has evolved to include a lot of different job titles. UI Designer, UX Designer, Web Developer, and Front End Designer all commonly fall under the umbrella title of “designer.”
– The Front End Designer does coding and light graphic editing. The Front End Designer can code most websites, but can’t code full-scale web apps (which is what Web Developers do).
– The Web Developer is the coding-heaviest job title shown here – little to no photoshop is necessary for this job. Web developers go beyond web sites, and usually focus on apps or programs embedded into websites, such as Google Docs, Facebook, Pandora, or Mint. Web Developers create huge amounts of freely available assets, widgets, and plug-ins, which your designer should be utilizing to build your website.
– Graphic / Visual Designer works out of Photoshop, and focuses on style, color, and overall presentation. Pure visual designers don’t do coding – this is a task for the front end-designer or web developer.
– The User Experience Designer (or UX Designer) is there to make sure things are intuitive, well-structured, and easy to navigate for the end-users of the site or mobile app. Financially, this becomes an extremely important job if you’re looking for a website with an online store, because it takes skill to design a short, slippery slope between eye-catching, viral content, and your shopping cart’s “Checkout” button.
– The User Interface Designer (or UI Designer) is the one who designs the interface for an application – this includes the buttons and dashboards that give users controls and ability to interact. UI and UX designers are very closely related but not 100% math. UI designers also focus heavily on the final graphic production so they can spend a lot of time in Photoshop while UX designers tend to focus more on the structure and information design.
Each job title focuses on different aspects of the web design process. Once you have an understanding of the qualifications associated with the different job titles, you can identify what type of designer you need for your project.
Whether you need a team, or you just need one amazing designer who can get it all done, this should help you understand the value you’re buying when you pay for a design.
Now that you can better picture the person you’ll be utilizing, you can start search for the right person and portfolio.