A Guide to Become a UX/ UI Designer in Hong Kong

Surfing the digital wave, UX/ UI designer has become one of the most pursued careers in recent years. Interest in joining the UX/ UI design industry, but uncertain if the demand is really there? Here is an ultimate guide to help you understand whether UX/UI design is really the right career path for you.

What is a UX/ UI Designer?

UX (User Experience) refers to what a user does and feels when interacting with a computing system. To ensure a smooth experience from end to end, the operational process must be logical and intuitive, and this job falls to UX designers.

On the other hand, UI (User Interface) where human-computer interaction and communication happen. Unlike UX designers, UI designers put a heavy focus on the visual elements of an application, including screen layout, transitions, interface animations and every single micro-interaction.

In a nutshell, both UI and UX adopt a human-first approach, one slight difference is that the former emphasises the graphical layout and aesthetic details, whereas the latter encompasses all aspects of the end-users’ interaction.

Reference: Career Foundry

What does a UX/ UI Designer Do?

After clarifying the differences between UX and UI designers, we can dig deep into their duties:

UX Designer Responsibilities:

  • User Research

  • Persona Development

  • Information Architecture

  • Wireframing

  • UX Prototyping

  • Testing and Iterating

  • Collaborating with UI designers and development team

UI Designer Responsibilities:

  • Visual Design

  • Interaction Design

  • Evaluate User Feedback

  • Establish Style Guides and Standards

  • UI Prototyping

  • Front-end Development

  • Coordinating with product management and engineers

UX/ UI Designer Salary in Hong Kong

As of 5 March 2022, the average monthly salary of a UX designer and UI designer are HK$26,500 and HK$14,400 respectively.

Normally speaking, the salary package of a UX/ UI designer consists of two parts:

(1) Base pay: A guaranteed fixed sum paid to the employee every month and;(2) Bonus: A non-guaranteed extra amount of money given on a quarterly or annually basis

More experience results in higher pay, below has summarised the correlation between seniority and payscale:

| Experience in UX/ UI | Monthly Salary | | 0 to 2 years | From HK$20,000 | | 2 to 4 years | From HK$30,000 | | 4 to 9 years | From HK$50,000 | | Has been part of world-renowned project | From HK$80,000 |

Reference: PayScale

What skills does a UX/ UI designer need?

As a matter of fact, the skill sets of UX and UI designers are interchangeable. According to Inside Design, almost 70% of UX designer job postings request UI skills.

No matter if you are interested in becoming a UX, UI designer or both, here are 6 essential skills you need to thrive in your career:

Soft Skills

1. Empathy

To excel in UX/ UI design, it is of utmost importance for you to truly understand the needs and wants of an end-user. That explains why empathy matters since it is the ability to put yourself in someone’s shoes and emotionally sense what others might be thinking or feeling.

2. Curiosity

In today’s ever-changing world, the only constant is the pursuit of excellence. From time to time, people’s aesthetic values and behaviours will be reshaped by the latest trends such as lifestyle, culture and fashion, in other words, UI/UX designers must stay hungry in order to remain ahead of the curve.

3. Communication

One of the biggest challenges you might face as a UX/ UI designer is convincing others. Given that everybody now has an opinion about design, the capability to present, explain and pitch your idea is definitely an icing on the cake.

Hard Techniques

1. Data Analytics

Instead of solely based on intuition, UI/ UX designers also rely on objective market research and industry studies. In order to measure accessibility and usability, several metrics are often used to evaluate a customer’s specific experience, including bounce rate, exit rate, average session duration and more. With so much information coming in, a UI/ UX designer must know how to identify the patterns and business insights behind such a vast dataset.

2. Coding Knowledge

Though it is unnecessary for a UI/ UX designer to excel in coding skills, it is of utmost importance for them to have some basic concepts of programming. For instance, how do HTML, CSS and JS define the structure and layout of a page? Only if you understand the fundamentals of front-end development, will you know how to come up with a feasible design idea and communicate with engineering teams.

3. Design Principles

Needless to say, as a UI/ UX designer, you must be familiar with the core design principles. Design principles are the rules for you to make easy-to-use, pleasurable designs, examples include “10 Principles of Accessibility”, “Simplicity Principle of Design” and “The Seven Principles of Universal Design”. By applying this design advice, you can create design pieces of high quality more effectively.

Reference: Brain Station

How to become a UX/ UI Designer?

Surfing the digital wave, UX/ UI designer has become one of the most pursued careers in recent years. Interest in joining the UX/ UI design industry, but uncertain if the demand is really there? Here is an ultimate guide to help you understand whether UX/UI design is really the right career path for you.

1. Learn UX/ UI Design Fundamentals

To become a UX/ UI Designer, you will need to equip yourself with a number of technical skills relevant to the role. The aforementioned wireframing, prototyping, and A/B testing to persona development are just tips of the iceberg, the list of applied skills needed can go on and on. Fortunately, a lot of UX/ UI design skills can be self-taught, you can enrol in introductory design courses or boot camps to consolidate your knowledge.

2. Learn How to Use Key Design Tools

UX/ UI designers always work hand-in-hand with a range of design tools in order to create accurate hi-fi wireframes, mockups and prototypes. There are many tools available in the UX/UI designer space, catering to a wide range of users from beginners to experts. The most commonly used tools include Figma, Sketch, Adobe XD and Axure.

3. Develop UX/ UI Design Skills

To take your skills to the next level, you should go beyond reading books and articles or watching design tutorials, instead, you need to actually design UX/ UI and start accumulating a solid body of work. If you have no idea where to start, it is recommended to take references from your favourite websites and explore how you could redesign them to look and function even better.

4. Develop a Portfolio

Once you have done your first project, it’s time to build your UX/ UI designer portfolio so you can apply to related jobs. Converting your complex workflow into a visual format can be challenging, be careful not to overcomplicate your presentation. You can learn from others’ best practices and take them into account when creating your own UX/ UI design portfolio.

5. Apply to Relevant UX/ UI Design Jobs

The final step is to start applying to entry-level UX/ UI design jobs. As one of the most promising careers, there are hundreds to thousands of job postings on JobStreet, Indeed, LinkedIn and Glassdoor. If you prefer a part-time role, Upwork, Freehunter and Fiverr also offer great opportunities.

Reference: Brain Station

How to build a UX Design Portfolio?

1. Customise your own design

Design is all about innovation and originality, make sure you do it from start to end.

An ideal portfolio is supposed to leave a lasting impression on the minds of those who see it. Therefore, you must avoid stock photography as well as the clichéd templates, or else you might create a very negative impression on the potential employer. Even if you really have to use a template, consider a very minimal layout that allows a greater scope of modifications.

2. Keep it simple and straightforward

The whole purpose of the portfolio is to create interest, however, lengthy content seldom sells. Remember, showcase work that you want to be hired for, not anything you’ve ever done.

It is suggested to display 3 to 5 projects in your portfolio. Keeping within this range will force you to narrow down and show your best work.

3. Discard works that are far from perfect

Speaking of perfect, you should never include UX/ UI designs that are not up to standards.

Rather than focusing on quantity, you should make sure every single detail is flawless, given that they are the virtual calling cards to help you establish and communicate what makes you unique in the field of UX/ UI design, telling your potential clients and employers why you are the best person for the job.

4. Demonstrate expertise without jargon

With little to no experience in the UX/ UI fields, you might wish to showcase your expertise by polishing your sentences with design buzzwords. However, as reported by Inc, the use of jargon indicates a sign of insecurity instead of intelligence.

Hence, try to speak plainly in everyday language and use technical terms for the right reasons and at the right times.

5. Build credibility with stakeholder testimonials

People tend to pick things with better reviews, and so do employers.

Still, it doesn’t mean to copy and paste every word you have received. When including testimonials on your portfolio, it is recommended to pick out one sentence from the paragraph that really highlights what you’re trying to convey. You can also try using ellipses between sentences to cut out unimportant words or pull out the most impressive phrases in a headline above the paragraph.

Reference: Brain Station

UX/ UI Design Course in Hong Kong

1. Xccelerate - User Experience Design (Fundamentals)

As its name implies, Xccelerate’s course is specifically designed for students with no experience. This course covers the basic concepts of UX Design. Upon completion, students should be able to adopt a human-first approach as well as utilise various design principles and tools.

This part-time course lasts for 6 weeks, students can choose between remote and hybrid study mode, tuition fees are HK$9,750 and HK$12,500 respectively.

2. The Knowledge Academy - UX / UI Design Jumpstart Course

The course is also tailor-made for UX/ UI beginners, the only prerequisite is experienced in working with Windows or iOS systems. The course will guide students through 5 important topics, which are (1) UX development life cycle, (2) UX methods and techniques, (3) Research Techniques and Methods, (4) Planning and conducting user research and (5) Identifying research goals.

The total course duration is 24 hours, normally held from 9:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m on 3 separate dates. Both online and face-to-face study options are offered, the tuition fees are HK$11,495 and HK$49,995 respectively.

3. CUHK - Introduction to UX / UI Design

The course offered by CUHK is slightly more advanced since it is targeted at students with basic mobile programming knowledge. The lecturer will walk students through UX/ UI design concepts and applications, and the importance of UX/UI design and equip them with the foundation of design thinking.

This is a face-to-face course, students must attend class on 3 consecutive Wednesdays, starting from 7:00 p.m to 10:00 p.m. The tuition fee is HK$1,580.


1. Can I become a UX/ UI Designer with no experience?

Of course.

As long as you are passionate about UX/ UI, you can brush up your skills and make a career change. There are several ways you can learn UX/ UI design, including taking classes at a university, applying for a UX/ UI training boot camps or self-taught by studying online resources.

2. Is UX/UI a good career?

UX/ UI has a very promising and coveted scope.

According to InVisions, UI/ UX designers are the most in-demand design job in 2021. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also estimates the demand for relevant talent will surge 3% year on year until 2028.

3. Does UX/UI require coding?

Coding is not a must, but knowing how to code must give you an edge on the competition since it allows you to collaborate with developers seamlessly.

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