User Experience Designers (UX Designers) are an integral part of the development of products such as websites and apps. UX Design roles are highly sought after due to their potential for creativity, engagement, and job satisfaction. The primary responsibility of a UX Designer is to ensure that the product or service is easy to use and understand. This position is perfect for those wishing to enter the technology industry without a background in coding, programming, or engineering.
Forbes has identified UX Design as “one of the best career opportunities for achieving an optimal work-life balance”. There are also other benefits associated with this profession, including the opportunity to collaborate with professionals from different disciplines to develop cutting-edge designs as part of cross-functional initiatives.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has suggested that companies have been overlooking user experience (UX) design for some time. It is often said that most businesses have been focusing on their own interests instead of customer satisfaction. However, this trend is now shifting, with a growing number of firms recognising the need to expand their online presence. Subsequently, companies are investing heavily in UX, with the demand for UX interviews rising by 289% according to Hired.com’s ‘Mind the Gap’ study.
The late Apple CEO and co-founder, Steve Jobs, held a high regard for UX design; he believed that designers were responsible for the success of a product, beyond its aesthetic appeal. Design is more than just its appearance; creating a practical design is key to achieving a successful outcome.
Beginning User Experience Design
Having a formal education is advantageous for securing a role as a UX Designer, although not essential. Those with a background in a related field, such as digital media or computer science, may find it easier to find work in this field due to UX design incorporating elements of technology, psychology, and visual design. As new technologies have been developed, more educational opportunities for user experience design (UXD) have become available. Works’ Learning Community provides courses that are pertinent to the profession. Joining the ALC is a great way to make connections with other professionals in the same field, take advantage of mentorship programmes, and discover new educational possibilities.
Many UX designers gain experience in the field through on-the-job training. Those looking to get into the field may benefit from utilising free online courses, such as those found on YouTube. Essential reading for user experience design includes Don Norman’s ‘The Design of Everyday Things’ and Russ Unger and Carolyn Chandler’s ‘A Project Guide to UX Design: For User Experience Designers in the Field or in the Making‘. To gain further insight into the industry and advice on how to begin your own journey, one may find it beneficial to listen to podcasts and read online blogs by successful UX designers.
UX Designers require a wide range of resources to effectively carry out their role. Software such as Sketch and Adobe Creative Cloud (including Cloud, XD, Photoshop, and Illustrator) are particularly important for UX Designers. There are also free, easily accessible online courses teaching how to use Figma, which combines UI design, UX design, graphic design, and wireframing, as well as InVision, which is used to create mockups and interactive prototypes. To stay up to date with the latest design trends and to be aware of what employers are looking for, UX Designers should keep an eye on design blogs and magazines, as well as exploring new software and tools to advance their craft.
Having strong interpersonal skills is essential if you want to excel in a career as a UX Designer. Refining your communication and collaboration abilities can help you to achieve the success you desire and to make the most of your time and resources. Working with remote teams presents its own set of challenges, such as managing different work hours, geographical locations and cultures. When you’re just starting out in UX it’s important to remember to hone the following key people skills:
- The Art of Managing Time
- Having the ability to work together effectively
- A keen sense for specifics
- Abilities in visual design
- Conserving energy and not tiring yourself out
- Expertise in writing at a high level
- Competence in Public Speaking and Speechmaking
- Having the option to work away from the office
- Constant education
- Analytical pondering
As a new UX Designer, mentorship from an experienced designer can be invaluable. They can provide advice, guide you to avoid common mistakes, and provide constructive feedback on your work. It could be someone in your workplace, or a UX Designer you admire from afar. Having a mentor can make a significant difference in your career, particularly if you lack a deep understanding of UX.
Collaborate with others
Getting involved in open source projects and teams is a great way to hone your skills. Connecting with other IT professionals who have similar interests and ambitions can be beneficial for your professional and personal development. Various design-related communities and blogs can be found on Reddit and LinkedIn. Here at Works, we offer the opportunity to join our Talent Network Community, providing a platform to socialise, exchange ideas and collaborate on projects.
What a User Experience Designer Does All Day
As a UX Designer, I have experience working with a range of programmes and platforms to create innovative visuals for clients. My duties include collaborating with a team, creating prototypes, presenting to customers, and developing visual concepts. My typical responsibilities involve:
- Making plans for and carrying out brand-new layouts
- Enhancing existing interface designs
- Making preliminary versions of proposed designs
- Working in tandem with them on topics like website layout, navigation, and related details
- Study of consumer data and analysis of competing sites or apps
- Creation of mockups, prototypes, and wireframes from conceptual ideas.
- Helping to develop an approach to content
- Making sure everything is perfect before putting it into action
- Coordinating efforts with user experience (UX) researchers and front-end designers
- Solutions that are user-focused and easy to use
- Making prototypes of ideas for their design team
- Talking to customers
- Strategic choice making
Advancement in one’s profession
Opportunities for UX Designers may be found in many fields. Some examples of possible parts include:
Advisor on User Experience
A User Experience (UX) Consultant is a specialist who assists businesses and organizations with their design and strategy. This involves offering advice and implementing strategies based on the user’s viewpoint. This may include conducting consumer research and analysis, creating prototypes of websites and applications, and teaching clients on UX best practices. The goal of a UX Consultant is to assist their customers in optimizing their user experience and adopting a user-oriented design attitude in their corporate activities. Those with experience in project management from the ground up will have an advantage. To further improve their skills, it is recommended that UX Consultants work on a broad range of projects and designs.
Regardless of the area of specialism you have in mind, from UX Engineering to UX Research, having an area of expertise is essential. If your skills lie in developing websites and applications, User Experience Engineering (UXE) could be the ideal option for you. Alternatively, UX Research might be the right choice if you are passionate about understanding user behaviour. In-house opportunities provide ample scope for experimentation. If you feel like you are not contributing enough to a project, or if you want to learn more about the tasks of a team member, ask if you can shadow them or your manager. Over time, any new knowledge you acquire will be of great benefit.
The Chief Designer of User Experience
Achieving a more senior position within the UX Design field is a goal which many strive for. Senior UX Designers have the advantage of taking a more active role in their design processes, as well as the responsibility of managing their teams and communicating effectively with their team members. Additionally, they must be able to write and give professional presentations. Generally, a minimum of 5-8 years of UX Design experience is necessary to reach the senior level.
More specifically, the Senior UX Designer is responsible for*
- User research is conducted to learn how consumers are presently using the product or service and to discover any issues that may arise.
- It is common practise to first create wireframes and prototypes for testing the design before beginning the actual development process.
- Collaborating with other programmers and team members to realise the team’s conceptual ideas
- Using user testing to figure out where the design fell short and how to fix it
- Coloring, typefaces, and graphics are all part of the user interface design process.
- Taking part in project management team meetings to review goals, timelines, and other pertinent project information
- Making adjustments to existing designs in response to customer feedback or market shifts
- User testing is a means of refining designs to better serve the intended audience.
- Providing clients with results and proposed designs.
Hopefully, this article about the career path of a UX Designer has provided some insight into the available job opportunities. To gain further understanding into what it is like to work as a UX professional in a team setting, we recommend reading the latest blog post from our in-house UX Researcher, Carlos Tay.
Do you want to become a member of the Works Community? Submit your hiring request with us at https://www.works.so/hire-talent