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UX/UI Art roles in games, questions.

Hello All.

I'm interested in becoming a UX/UI artist. I've looked around this site, but most of the information is slightly dated, and industries move very fast in this day and age. Any information anyone could give would be a massive help.

1) Is it a viable career?
Years back I heard 3D character jobs have a massive pool of eager applicants with few job spaces; employment is possible but difficult to attain. Is this a similar Scenario for UI/UX? (and is it even true to 3d characters)
This is a big one for me as I need to be employable with a realistic chance of getting work.

2) Portfolios?
What skills and abilities would be attractive in a UX/UI portfolio and in an applicant; and what types of pieces are good to show?
I've seen two threads on Polycount since 2012 on this topic and industry expectations may have shifted.

3) Anything else?
Are there any other things about this career path that go overlooked by people outside it, the unknown unknowns. I don't actually know anyone who does this work, so I'm a little in the dark. What's a day in the life of a UI/UX artist like if you know.


I'm a little older at 33, but I'm motivated and always willing to learn. I have a history in 3D character work (3dsmax, zbrush etc) and digi-illustration. Intermediate at best on both, nothing great, but they are skills I have. I just want to know if this is a sensible use of time to aim for.


  • Eric Chadwick
    I'm not a UI or UX guy, but the people I've known who were, had strong skills in graphic design, and motion design. A solid grasp of psychology, for UX in particular.

    Really good UI or UX skills are in demand, and not just in games.

    Why are you interested in these disciplines? They are distinct from one another. 
  • CopyWheelEye
    Chadwick - 
    I'd like to switch over to a field that's more creative and problem solve-y than my current job.
    I graduated in Game Art, and thought it would be good to use my skills again, as my current job is admin. (Where I've found being creative and asking questions seems to be frowned upon.)
    I was playing Horizon - Zero Dawn, and little things about the UI (and Ux i guess) bugged me, but I loved that game a lot.
    Then I watched a few videos on Good and Bad UI, and it really started me thinking about UI. I've created a few things. Gameplay Huds, etc. But haven't taken it too seriously, but last week I decided that maybe I should try to genuinely shoot for it.

    UX and UI are distinct though I've only seen things to do with UX in the context of Games.
    Everytime ive seen UX mentioned, it's along with UI and UI is spoken of like 80% everytime, and when I've looked at a few UI job postings, they sometimes mention UX along with doing the UI.
    Maybe I've incorrectly conflated the two disciplines.
  • Eric Chadwick
    This post describes the differences and interrelationship succinctly.
  • CopyWheelEye
    This post describes the differences and interrelationship succinctly.
    Hey this is cool. Funnily enough this is what I mean. Two distinct disciplines, but this person is doing both jobs.

    At the start I was focused on just UI, but the more I look, the more it seems that people do both. I get that a person does the UX, and then the UI artist builds on that and emphasises on it. But it seems one person handles both.

    For my portfolio, I'm thinking that a focus on UI is best, but I don't know if learning about and adding UX is a blessingor a hindrance. 
  • Eric Chadwick
    UX will inform and improve your UI work. Can't have form without function. 

    But the bigger hurdle I think is going to be graphic design. You'll want to study that first. Your UI art will suck without clear understanding of design. 
  • CopyWheelEye
    Very True. I've done more research though haven't uncovered anything more illuminating.
    As you say really, it's mostly about the graphic design, and that will also be the biggest hurdle.
    I'm just going to put my nose to the grindstone, and make a sketchbook in that area here on Polycount for GD and UI and see how i get along. Maybe I'll look around for a community more GD focused as well. PC caters more to the illustration and 3D crowds. Though I'm certain there's a lot of help I can be given here too.

    Thanks for the responses and the help you've given Eric.
  • Eric Chadwick
    Sure thing. Sounds fun! 
  • beccatherose
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    beccatherose ngon master
    Also keep in mind that UX and UI are different specialities with different lessons to learn. They're often grouped together but aren't the same thing.
  • CopyWheelEye
    Hey. Thanks for that. Both you and Eric are right on this.
    I know they are separate skills, but I guess I figured that I could learn both simultaneously. 
    But maybe it's a waste of time trying to develop my knowledge of UX, and my time would be better spend focusing solely of UI and bringing that up.

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