Today, there are many designer professions: graphic designers, UI/UX designers, web designers, motion designers, and many more. Understanding how they differ is essential for those who want to build a design career and those considering hiring a creative professional for their project needs.
Two of the most popular professions in the industry are graphic designers and UI/UX designers. Read further to discover the differences between visual design vs. UI design and unveil the latest design trends 2024.
What exactly is graphic design?
Graphic design is creating and combining images, colors, typography, and other visual elements to convey a message or evoke a specific emotion. It’s a trendy profession these days. In 2022, the global graphic designer industry’s market size reached $48.1 billion, and it continues to grow.
Graphic design is versatile and used in various domains, such as:
- Branding: creating logos, color schemes, and design elements that represent a brand, helping it foster recognition and trust among its target audience.
- Marketing: crafting engaging marketing materials such as advertisements, banners, and promotional collateral.
- Social media: creating eye-catching posts, infographics, and other visuals that align with brand aesthetics, effectively communicating messages, and increasing engagement on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
- Packaging: crafting appealing packaging that influences consumer purchasing decisions and helps a product stand out on crowded store shelves.
- Print: creating brochures and flyers, business cards, posters, and other print designs.
FAQ: Is UX and UI related to graphic design?
Yes, UX (User Experience) and UI (User Interface) are closely related to graphic design, but they are different disciplines that focus on various design aspects. While graphic design primarily deals with visual aesthetics and communication, UX and UI emphasize functionality, usability, and a user’s overall journey with digital interfaces.
Designing for user experience: how UI/UX design works
UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience) are two aspects of the design process that focus on improving the interactions between users and digital products (websites, applications, or software).
Although these disciplines seem to require different skill sets and focus, they are deeply interconnected in their goal to create efficient digital products. That’s why it’s common to see UI visual designers with UX skills and vice versa.
UI/UX design is commonly used in the following niches:
- Websites: for designing interfaces that are intuitive, easy to navigate, and aligned with a brand’s aesthetics.
- Mobile apps: for creating interfaces optimized for smaller screens, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable user experience.
- E-commerce stores: to increase user engagement, simplify the purchasing process, and build trust with the help of navigation, appealing visuals, and intuitive interfaces.
- Games: to create immersive, engaging, and user-friendly game interfaces, controls, and menus.
- Software: to build well-designed interfaces that improve productivity and contribute to positive user perceptions.
FAQ: Can I be both a graphic designer and a UX designer?
It is possible to master UX design skills if you are a graphic designer and vice versa. You can be a multidisciplinary designer working with graphics and UX or switch to one of these design branches after working with another.
UI design trends of 2024
Marketing and UX/UI design also go hand-in-hand. Nowadays, it might not be enough to be a successful UI/UX designer; you also need to know what’s trending and how to use these market trends in your projects.
So, here are the main 2024 UI design trends to consider.
1. AI-driven design
In 2024, AI-powered solutions will continue to shape various industries, UI/UX design included. AI can help generate design elements, analyze user preferences, predict trends, and automate workflows.
While human touch and approach are still essential for design and interface creation, most likely, designers will use artificial intelligence to handle all the repetitive tasks.
2. 3D design
3D designs are widely used in the design industry these days. In 2024, they will still remain relevant for complex data visualization, multimedia content, and elevated user experience.
The depth and realism of 3D elements help engage consumers and make designs look more dynamic and visually captivating.
3. Responsive UI
In the first quarter of 2023, mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated 58.33% of global website traffic. These numbers have been growing since 2015, and the tendency is likely to continue.
That’s why it will remain important to invest in responsive UI, creating interfaces that will look good in different screen resolutions and orientations. To achieve this, responsive UI uses flexible grid layouts, scalable images, and fluid design elements.
Sustainability is slowly becoming essential for many businesses and industries, including design. Sustainable UI/UX design practices include optimizing website performance for energy efficiency, reducing unnecessary data transfer, and utilizing green hosting solutions. These things allow designers to create digital experiences with a minimal ecological footprint.
Accessibility is the practice of making content accessible to everyone, which is especially critical in design.
Providing alternative text for images, designing with clear contrast for readability, implementing keyboard navigation, ensuring compatibility with screen readers, and generally following the accessibility guidelines can help UI/UX designers make their products more accessible.
FAQ: Which is more in demand, graphic design or UI/UX design?
Both are valuable, but there has been a growing demand for UI/UX designers in recent years as businesses focus more on creating user-friendly digital experiences.
To sum up
Graphic design focuses on creating print and digital visuals that deliver various key messages to a target audience. UI/UX design, on the other hand, is all about creating user-friendly digital products and experiences, be it a mobile app or a product’s interface.
Both professions are in high demand these days and will remain relevant in the near future. Pick one that appeals to you most and start building the required skills.