5 Must-Have UI Design Skills

First up, as part of our “5 must-have skills series”, we’d like to share with you the top 5 User Interface design skills. The below is based on our internal data such as job briefs taken, job specs as well as our many conversations with clients and candidates alike.

From our perspective, the top 5 most sought-after UI design skills (not ranked in order) are as follows:

Atomic design and design systems

For any product team looking to simplify and streamline their design processes creating a ‘design system’ is a popular approach. UI designers with an understanding of atomic design principles and experience of creating design systems are attractive candidates. Creating pattern libraries and UI toolkits is great but providing the system and context for how they’re used creates something truly scalable and that is implemented effectively more frequently.

Native App experience

Responsive design is by now the industry standard for web projects but those that have delivered native Android and IOS apps continue to be attractive candidates.

Experience within cross-functional product teams

Businesses are more commonly adopting cross-functional product design so those with experience in working this way are valued. Cross-functional teams encourage collaboration and help those involved develop a deeper understanding of the business areas involved in a project, their customers and how they can work more effectively. Designers with this experience slot well into this structure and can bring interesting insight to those adopting it.


Experience within the Adobe Creative Suite (in particular Photoshop & Illustrator) is still a must-have for any UI designer but programs like Sketch continue to rise in popularity across the industry. New features like ‘Sketch for teams’ (in Beta currently) further support collaboration and cloud-based working.

Wireframing and prototyping

Within a test-driven product team UI designers will often be expected to wireframe and prototype their own designs. How involved they are in the testing and feedback will depend on the environment, the team around them and the kind of product being delivered.

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