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User Interface Design

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Hi all, First time posting. I'm interesting in pursuing a career in user interface design, as I have extensive experience creating interfaces for online applications, as well as wireframes. However, what are some the requirements/credentials for exploring this line? Do you usually need to have a very strong artistic/illustrative portfolio?

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I think few games companies are going to employ someone to just work on the interface. Typically there's not enough work for it to be a full time job, and it's so tied in with the underlying functionality that whoever implements that functionality will be best placed to implement it.

There's definitely scope for user interface design as part of an artist's portfolio, however. I just don't think you would get hired if that was your main skill.

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If you're like me and just find it interesting to study and work on devices to "intuitinalize" (make intuitive) controls or interfaces for computers, consider a career in R&D - Apple is always looking for interesting ways to enhance human interfaces to their devices.

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Most big companies I worked for (hard and software industry, no games) have a small team that do interfaces. These people work for tonnes of projects and only draw up the interfaces or improve existing ones designed by programmers. As Kylotan mentions there is not enough work to keep you busy with that for one single project.

These companies and the work these people did were: Oce (designing printer interfaces and printer driver interfaces), ASML (giving interface feedback to programmers, who made an initial interface), and Philips R&D (also giving interface feedback to developers, and drawing up entire new interfaces).
I do not know what these people's educations were, but I'd guess it would be something in art or something called "Industial Design and Production" (producability, as in how easilly can we produce something if we design it like this) because most people I met did not know anything about making software.

I think indeed an R&D facility would the most interesting because you can try new things.

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Thanks for the responses.

For R&D, I would assume that you would need a degree or specialization in Industrial Design, as it is more tactile than multimedia/graphic design.

I did see a few game companies offering job opportunities for interface designers, with demands ranging from illustrative ability to actionscript pro (I assume, in order to build a prototype). However, some of them wanted 3+ year minimum experience, which is very difficult to attain when job positions of this nature are hard to find.

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Quote:
Original post by jaemsHowever, some of them wanted 3+ year minimum experience, which is very difficult to attain when job positions of this nature are hard to find.


The more reason to just give it a try. If you have problems finding jobs like those, others will have the same problem. Thus they won't have the required 3 year experience either.
Plus, you DO have experience, you have "extensive experience creating interfaces for online applications".

A Dutch saying goes like "niet geschoten is altijd mis", which means if you don't try, even how slim your chances are, you won't have a chance at all. So you just have to give it a shot. Nothing will be lost. Hell, they might even tell you exactly what you are lacking and then you can improve yourself in that area!

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Two of my friends have recently been employed at Codemasters as junior UI guys on a particular IP. They seem to be modeling their UI system on flash/action script so that artists can make something nice. The usual programmer requirements are needed - good C++ knowledge and the standard 3d stuff vectors, matrices etc.

In this case familiarity with flash would also have been a boon.

On the artist side I don't really know if there's a specialist position.

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