User interface (UI) developers are in high demand. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employment of web developers and digital designers is projected to grow 13% during this decade, faster than the average for all occupations.
As more companies invest in developing apps, exploring the metaverse, and creating unique online experiences for their companies, UI developers will find themselves in a great position to pick and choose the projects on which they wish to work.
Despite this command of the job market, UI developers will still be competing with other UI experts for open positions. The screening process for a UI developer likely involves a technical challenge, such as a coding test, and a few rounds of interviews — including technical questions and behavioral interview questions. The interviews are really where a UI developer has the chance to stand out. Many UI skills can be taught, but others come with years of experience and practice.
As you consider preparing for your next interview, here are some examples of UI developers’ interview questions that you are likely to be asked.
What are some ways to reduce page load time?
This question is likely to be asked of a beginner UI developer. It’s one of the core skills that every UI developer should know. Your role is to optimize interfaces to maximize a user's interaction with a product or page. As a result, you should be prepared to reduce page load time, which can lead to disengagement and high bounce rates.
There are many ways to increase page load speed. Some answers you might choose from include: Reduce image sizes; remove unnecessary widgets; compress HTTP; put CSS at the top and script references at the bottom or in external files; minimize redirects; or implement caching.
What is the role of a UI developer?
Again, this is a good question for beginner UI developers. A hiring manager or team lead might want to make sure you understand how your role fits into the bigger team operation. Can you share how you would collaborate with other developers while still taking accountability for your role on the team?
One way to answer this is to start with the definition of a user interface. UI refers to any detail that a user can interact or control across different devices. Your role is to create the best, most convenient interface that serves the user’s needs: from ease of use and accessibility to creating an engaging and aesthetically pleasing experience.
Contrast this with other roles you may find on the developer team: A UX developer would be in charge of creating and improving the quality of a user’s interaction with both the company and its product. There’s some overlap with your role, but UX is primarily concerned with making sure the product works well — your goal is to make sure the product looks nice.
What is the difference between absolute, relative, static, and fixed positions?
This question may be considered slightly more intermediate. Start by explaining briefly that every single element on a web page is a block. You can set up positioning to get the blocks of pixels exactly where you want them to go on the page.
Static is the default position. It doesn’t mean anything beyond the fact that the element will flow into the page as it normally would. Absolute allows you to place the parent element exactly where you want it, relative to the next parent element with relative or absolution positioning. Relative moves an element concerning its current position; what it really means is “relative to itself”. And, fixed will place the relative element to the browser window or viewport. This means that when someone scrolls, the viewport doesn’t change — the position is fixed for the element.
What does web accessibility mean?
Another question for intermediate UI front-end developers, this question is as much about understanding the needs of the user as it is about your process.
To answer, speak to both the broad and technical definitions of web accessibility. The technical “official” definition: Web accessibility is the need for websites to be developed in ways that enable a person with disabilities to understand, navigate, and interact with a website. Broadly speaking, web accessibility is a vital element of the user experience. While specific disabilities must be considered, all websites should be clear, easy to use, and engaging to all audiences.
As you craft your answer, speak to how you would address web accessibility throughout the design and development processes. Web accessibility should be baked into every new site and page, not added as an afterthought.
Describe your normal UI design process.
This commonly asked question gives interviewers some insight into how you work and lead others. If you’re applying for a managerial position, the hiring team will want to understand how you communicate with clients. They also want to understand how adaptable you are to joining an established web development team.
When you answer this question, talk about how you think through problems. Speak to ways your design process is unique, but also share how you can quickly adapt systems, tools, and ways of doing things that help standardize work across the team.
How do you deal with negative feedback?
The work you do as a UI front-end developer can sometimes invite negative feedback. Whether it comes from another internal team, someone on your own web development team, or from a client, you need to know when to handle that feedback gracefully and when to push back.
When you answer this question, discuss one experience you had with negative feedback and what you did to improve the situation. You can talk about how you found a compromise, workaround solution, or picked your battles wisely to make sure the client got the outcome they asked for. Ultimately, you want to show you can accept feedback and work collaboratively, but also believe in and care about the work you produce.