It is agreed that there is a huge availability of visual assets and UI kits online which does make designing UI fairly easy. But UI just like UX needs to be thought out. You can’t blindly download any asset and just recreate it to suit your project. Companies, studios and startups look at candidates who can innovatively come up with the design which is eye-catching yet simple and elegant. Not every visual asset or kit is going to perfect for every project that you do. It’s how well you use those assets to create your UI. You need to apply thought, follow a proper visual hierarchy and suitably convert your initial sketches and wireframes to the best possible UI. These templates, assets can prove to be a great inspiration, but not to be blindly made into UI.
Another way to look at this is UI doesn’t necessarily have to be done using these templates. Well designed and popular apps can be a good source of inspiration. Different domains and verticals require different ways of making the UI and in such cases, keeping yourself updated with the latest trends and apps can help you provide a good design. UI is not blindly copying someone else’s design or a template; it’s all about how smartly your design to provide the best experience to the user. Also, with future technology like AR, VR and MR making its presence felt, it’s not only good UX that matters, it’s even the UI that does. Visual clues to what needs to be done will be the trump card.
So the answer to your question is No. A career in UI design will still hold great value and will be on par with UX design. UX is defining and making the experience seamless for the user. That UX will be translated to great looking UI and that’s the need of the hour. Companies, studios and startups are looking for UI designers who are smart, innovative and come up with out of the box UI solutions to support the UX.