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Digital Marketing or UX/UI Design: What’s the Best Path?

career change Jul 20, 2022

If you have found yourself at a fork in the road and may be considering UX/UI design and digital marketing, it’s important to understand each career in depth. In doing so, it’s best to understand the basics, such as the earnings in each career, your responsibilities as well as the expected job growth. After understanding each profession, you can look at the skillsets you possess currently, and the ones you wish to grow in order to then pursue what career is best suited for you. 


What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is the use of online mediums to market a product. This product usually targets a specific group, with rather specific needs. These needs are understood by studying analytics plus trial and error. This aids in understanding what works to get a product in the hands or on the screens of users and what does not. The goal of a digital marketer is not only to make a product desirable but also to find and target the correct audience for the product.


What is UX/UI Design?

On the other hand, UX/UI design aims to make a product have a positive user experience (UX) and an easy-to-navigate user interface (UI). Like digital marketing, this is done using trial and error and user testing. Seeing how a user interacts with a product, and what they find difficult, useful and what isn't, allows UX/UI designers to improve that product. They, too, target a specific audience and try to cater to the users' wants, needs, and expectations.


What are the differences between Digital Marketing and UX/UI Design?: Desirability vs. Function

The main differences between digital marketing and UX/UI design are job growth, salary, education, and duties, although they share many similarities regarding transferable skills.


Digital Marketing

UX/UI Design

Job Growth




$83,814 - $134,000

$105,020 - $160,000


  • Head of marketing campaigns, coming up with ideas for execution.
  • Negotiating advertising contracts 
  • Noticing trends in media and tacking risk/opportunity and using it to promote a product
  • Targeting a specific user group
  • Find solutions to inconsistencies and design flaws
  • User testing
  • Predict what will work best for an audience based on their specific wants and needs

Education Requirements




What skills can I transfer from Digital Marketing to UX/UI Design?

It is important to note that many soft skills acquired through time spent as a digital marketer are easily transferable to UX/UI design. For example, UX/UI designers and digital marketers must be transparent with their work, allowing no room for internal bias. They must also show curiosity and empathy, by considering the user, instead of themselves, again taking themselves out of the equation. 


Skills to learn:

Similar to soft skills, the same can be applied to technical skills. Many things transfer over and mirror the other. Research is vital to both digital marketers and UX/UI designers. Analyzation is also essential and can make or break a project in both fields. Although there may be some additional techniques and skills that are required for a UX/UI designer, these skills are quickly learned. And with one of the soft skills of a digital marketer being eager to learn, this should be no problem to conquer.

User Research

UX research often includes writing surveys, conducting interviews, performing card sorting tests, and more to uncover a user’s perspective. Be prepared to learn at least some of these methods as you transition to UX design.

Wireframing & Prototyping
Wireframing is the process of creating simple grayscale mockups of an app or product to get an early idea of its layout, navigation, and components. Then, prototyping brings wireframes to life with images, color, interactivity, and more. Both wireframing and prototyping are essential tasks for UX/UI designers.


More Formal Information Architecture
Information architecture is the art and science of figuring out the most logical way to organize information within a product. UX designers must determine how websites and apps should be structured so users can easily find what they need without feeling overwhelmed.


Design Tools
From design tools like Figma and Sketch to mind mapping tools like Miro, UX designers use a surprising variety of platforms each day.


Is making the switch to UX/UI design right for you?

As stated previously, when deciding what career works best for you, it is important to not just look at the salary and education required. You must consider the differences between the two careers, and understand what you will be doing and what you will be doing for others. When it comes to digital marketing, the reason behind your work is to promote a product and engage an audience to get them to want to purchase and use a product. As for the UX/UI designer, you aren't necessarily making something to get someone to buy in, but rather, making the product user-centered and giving them a positive and easy experience when using a specific product. This is done by understanding your audience's age, their wants, needs, and the product you are designing for. This could influence whether or not they purchase a product but may also affect if they continue to engage with a product after purchasing. Therefore, the differences between UX/UI design and digital marketing are that a digital marketer's primary goal is to make a product desirable. In contrast, a UX/UI designer makes the product use and function in a way that provides a positive overall user experience. 


For example, have you ever subscribed to an app or website you thought would be helpful but after engaging with the product, it’s problematic or doesn’t provide you exactly what you want? This could be an example of poor UX/UI resulting in you feeling like you wasted your money. Whereas if the UX/UI was specific to your expectations, wants, and needs of a product, it would influence you to continue using it and be pleased with your purchase. 


If you are interested in learning more about UX/UI design and if it is the right choice, schedule a free mentor call today, and we will help guide you!



Trenton Carlson is a journalist, content writer, and aspiring airline pilot. He likes his avocados baked with an egg in the hole where the pit goes.

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