By Arkansas Next on Monday, October 25, 2021

Richard Young is a UI/UX designer at First Orion in North Little Rock. His job is to design enjoyable experiences that are appealing to his company's clients.

As far as technology is concerned, Young gets to have a creative role, using software like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator or mock-up programs.

“My job is awesome because I get to use technology to visualize solutions that will improve our customers' satisfaction,” Young says. “At the core of my work, I am really fascinated with understanding people and how I can help make a positive impact. I just do it through a technology-based medium.”

Young helps First Orion combat scam calls by finding ways to improve customers' relationships with their phones. The Branded Calling Experience will present more data to a user when they get a call by allowing businesses to put their name in the caller ID, which will help the consumer know that they won't be greeted by a robot when they answer. There are plans to even put images in the text, such as business logos, so that people know who is calling and why.

Young participated in the Environmental & Spatial Technology (EAST) self-directed learning program in the ninth grade, which taught him to use technology to solve community needs. From that program, he was able to secure admission to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and took advantage of mentorships that helped him along this career path.

If you think this job sounds cool…

You’ll need a bachelor’s degree in: Computer science or software engineering

You could make this kind of money: UX/UI developers make an average annual salary of $82,580* in Arkansas.

You’d might also like these jobs: Web developer, digital interface designer, front-end developer, desktop publisher, graphic designer


Up to Code?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that computer and information technology employment will grow 11% by 2029. Some specific coding fields have an even higher projected growth rate, such as software development, which the BLS projects will grow 22%. No wonder schools are starting to add coding programs.

ASU Offers Three Upskill Coding Programs
Arkansas State University now offers three upskill coding programs that provide concurrent credit to high schoolers who want to develop their coding and programming skills

The courses focus on three different areas of programming: IOS app development, Android app development and game design. The program paths include three courses each.

“I have a really hard time sitting in a lecture hall or reading a textbook; I just want to figure out how to apply something, so that’s how I teach my classes,” says ASU assistant professor Cameron Buckley. “Every week you are making an app. By the end of the class, you’ve made seven apps, then in the next class, you’ve made seven more and it’s just a ‘making’ class. It's all about application and projects. There are no tests and no quizzes.”

Buckley, a world-recognized programmer and digital artist, developed this program. “It’s not necessarily about becoming good at things like robotics or programming...” Buckley said. “It’s really about becoming good at figuring out how to solve the problem. That’s the greatest skill you can have.”

Deciphering Code Words

Do you scratch your head whenever you hear the words blockchain or Java? Ever wonder what the difference is between a software developer and a computer programmer? Us too. IYKYK.

“Blockchain is a digital ledger that records transactions between two parties. It is developed to be difficult or impossible to change, hack or cheat the system.” –
Example: Bitcoin relies heavily on blockchain.

Full Stack
Full-stack developers are software developers or engineers who can develop both client and server software. They apply their expertise on the front (client-facing) and back-end (server) side of software development. This know-how makes them a hot commodity.

IOS & Android
IOS is a mobile operating system created and used exclusively by Apple. Android is another popular mobile operating system. Professionals working in IOS or Android will build, test and fix software/programming for mobile devices.

It's actually JavaScript, and it's a text-based code used by developers to make interactive websites.

Stands for cascading style sheets. It’s code that styles web content. Think fonts and colors.

Gen Z’ers, you probably know this one. HTML is another coding language that helps style websites (like CSS above). Most developers hired for HTML are experienced in CSS too (and likely other codes). You might see a job posting as such: “HTML/CSS Developer” or “Front-end Developer.”

Stands for user interface. UI developers create the look and feel of websites and apps. They’re considered designers more than coders. They are not to be confused with web developers, who can do front- and back-end development, and they’re not UX designers (see below).

Stands for user experience. Very similar to UI developers, UX designers consider how the user will interact and navigate the site. UX designers use psychology to think about the best way to design a website. They work alongside UI developers.

Bottom line... UI creates the visual of websites. UX designs the flow of websites.