The tech world has so many roles and positions that all have a big impact on how we interact with the internet and our devices, especially as we become more and more dependent on them. For example, UX/UI designers create all the websites and applications that you interact with and cybersecurity ensures the safety of your data across the internet.
Both are vital in providing an experience that is engaging, interactive, and, most importantly, safe for users; however, what do these two disciplines truly contribute to the tech world, how do they interact with one another on the internet, and how do the professionals in both positions collaborate? Let’s find out.
What is UX/UI Design?
Reading the word design, you may think that it includes simply providing the visual elements that are seen on a website or application, but it is so much more than just that. UX/UI design entails creating all aesthetic elements, in addition to the format and interface, combining everything to provide an optimal user experience. Nevertheless, UX/UI design is broken up into two separate, yet equally important jobs with their own set of responsibilities in the creative process.
The visual elements that are found on websites and applications fall under UI, or user interface, design and they include so many parts of these pages that you can see and interact with such as:
Those who choose to become UI designers are experts at making people visually and emotionally connect with the page so that users think wow, what a beautiful page!
Although creating an aesthetically pleasing page is an extremely important part of UX/UI design, ensuring that the design is intuitive and engaging and makes users want to return is equally as essential and that’s where UX, or user experience, designers become involved.
They help create the page from the ground up, designing layouts of the interface and then gathering data about the page from users to improve their interaction. They are generally concerned with:
Creating user personas, empathy maps, and surveys for guidance
Collecting and analyzing feedback and research
Designing how the application flows and moves
Building the wireframes, prototypes, and framework
Conducting usability tests
All of these tasks make a page that is as attuned to the user’s needs as possible and creates a pleasant experience for them.
Thanks to a wide variety of tools, programs, and services, UX/UI designers are more efficient and quick at creating, designing, and completing their webpage and application than ever before. They are essential for them to provide the best possible product for their clients and some of them include:
Graphic design software: Sketch, Figma, Adobe XD
Prototyping tools: Invision, Marvel, Axure RP
Wireframing tools: Balsamiq, Wireframe.cc
User research and testing tools: UserTesting, Optimal Workshop
Collaboration and communication tools: Slack, Framer
As the tech world grows and innovates, these tools and programs will shift and improve alongside them into the future of UX/UI design.
What is Cybersecurity?
As you browse, interact with, and input information into lots of websites and applications, there are a slew of cybersecurity professionals hard at work protecting you and your data from the cyber threats that lurk around you. Many hackers are trying to gain access to your sensitive information like identity numbers, bank account information, and personal details, which is why cybersecurity is more than necessary: it’s crucial. Cybersecurity focuses on protection, detection, and eradication.
The most important part of the job is protection and defense since the goal for cybersecurity professionals is to prevent hackers from reaching the users and their data, or a data breach. Beefing up their protection and innovating new and creative defenses, cybersecurity professionals are very dedicated to preventing potential cyber attacks, although sometimes hackers do break through, requiring the use of further measures.
When hackers bypass defensive programs and tools with malware and viruses, cybersecurity professionals need to be made aware of it. In addition to their protective measures, they have threat detection programs that inform them when destructive programs are present.
Unfortunately, data breaches do happen once in a while and it’s likely that they will reach users’ sensitive information; hackers become more and more creative in how they are reaching data and cybersecurity teams must be prepared for both detecting and then eradicating them.
When cybersecurity professionals become aware of a data breach, what do they do? They have to initiate their incident response plan that they have practiced and simulated several times. A successful incident response plan consists of the following steps:
Preparation: prior to the data breach, teams need to practice and make their incident response plan as efficient as possible for when it really does happen.
Identification: detection measures need to be taken to know if a data breach does happen.
Contain: when they have identified that a data breach has occurred, cybersecurity professionals need to ensure that the data is safe once again, disconnecting systems from internet access and using saved backup data.
Eradication: it’s time for malware to be analyzed and promptly eliminated.
Recover: cybersecurity professionals reconnect their systems to the internet and help their businesses to run normally again.
Review: there is a lot to learn from the whole experience and meeting with the whole team is beneficial to prevent future cyber threats and make the incident response plan more efficient, quick, and effective.
Just as UX/UI design teams use a variety of tools and programs, cybersecurity teams also employ a wide variety of tools to ensure the protection of their systems. Some of these include:
Firewalls: Cisco ASA, Palo Alto Networks, pfSense
Security Information and Event Management (SIEM): Splunk, LogRhythm, IBM QRadar
Network Security Tools: Wireshark, Snort, Nmap
Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (IDS/IPS): Cisco IDS/IPS, Suricata, Snort
Antivirus and anti-malware software: McAfee, Symantec, Bitdefender
Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) solutions: Crowdstrike, Carbon Black, SentinelOne
These and even more tools provide a greatly needed support to the toolbelt of an expert cybersecurity professional.
What are the Responsibilities of a UX/UI Designer?
As we saw above, UX and UI design are normally separate disciplines and have different responsibilities in their roles. There are some designers that take on both roles sometimes; however, the majority focus on one or the other.
UI design responsibilities
Design the visual elements of the page
Adapt pages for all screen sizes
Create interactive elements and animations
Use imagery, color palette, and other visual elements to establish brand identities
Collaborate with the UX design team
UX design responsibilities
Gather and collect data and research from users
Analyze and leverage research to enhance the user experience
Create wireframes, user personas, surveys, and other research methods
Build the flow of the pages
Coordinate alongside the UI design team
How do UX/UI Design and Cybersecurity Differ?
UI UX design vs cybersecurity is quite the normal comparison. Although both intend on making the user experience an enjoyable one, UX/UI design is dynamic in that it focuses on creating pages and applications, interacting with users, and connecting them with the product. Cybersecurity is concerned with constantly protecting and monitoring the status of users’ data.
This makes the two related but very different in their relationship with users. UX/UI design is more present and users have limited interaction much with cybersecurity in general.
How do UX/UI Designers and Cybersecurity Professionals Work Together?
Sharing the goal of ensuring a pleasant and safe experience for their users, UX/UI designers and cybersecurity professionals do in fact coordinate when creating a new webpage or application and cybersecurity UX design is an essential intersection of work. The design process is where these two collaborate most often in the following ways:
At the beginning of the design process, it’s important for them to determine how they are going to ensure their clients’ safety, keeping usability in mind as well. Coming to agreements on how the page should be, UX/UI designers and cybersecurity teams need to strike a balance that both protects and engages users.
There are many tools and systems that cybersecurity professionals will put in place for security purposes that protect users’ data. Many of us are already very familiar with authentication processes since they are present on many websites we already such as:
Username and passwords
Social media login
SMS and email verification
Authentication is an extremely important barrier that protects users’ data extremely well, especially when it is more than one step.
Maintenance, testing, and updates
The design process must go through many iterations to enhance safety capabilities, provide a more engaging and intuitive user experience, and manage a balance between usability and security. It’s crucial for both UX/UI designers and cybersecurity professionals to test and monitor their pages constantly, which falls under cybersecurity professionals’ responsibilities. They also need to provide updates for their pages when they find any errors or vulnerabilities in the software.
Both of these positions are essential in the tech world because they are the designers and protectors of the internet: not only do they create the interfaces that we interact with daily, but they are also building and strengthening barriers between users and threatening hackers. When they collaborate, they are creating a safe space for all of us to explore the world confidently and fearlessly.
There are many UX design/cybersecurity jobs available to people with the skills to manage them and if either of these positions interest you, check out our course page where our bootcamps can have you working as a UX/UI designer or cybersecurity professional in no time at all.