User Experience, abbreviated as UX, refers to how the user feels while interacting with a website, web application, or desktop software. If you visit a site and get frustrated because you can’t find the information you need, or find yourself tapping one app more than others simply because it’s fun to use, it’s all thanks to the UX design.
UX designers make aesthetic decisions about digital products, but they’re also involved with other aspects like branding, utility, efficiency, and functionality.
Although UX is a relatively new field, it’s gaining popularity because the market has increasingly become customer-oriented, which is why the demand for UX designers is growing rapidly. But there are so many reasons designers love what they do, beyond the growing job market. Here's your introduction to everything a typical UX designer does in a day, and how to get into the field.
Roles And Responsibilities of A UX Designer
Before planning and strategizing your career in this field, you need to understand what a UX designer does day-to-day. Although duties and responsibilities vary depending on the company, work environment, and team structure, here are some general responsibilities that come with the UX designer position:
- Conduct user research through interviews and other research methods
- Analyze and identify user problems and pain points
- Use ideation techniques like brainstorming
- Create wireframes and prototypes based on design ideas
- Provide critiques and feedback on designs
- Solve UX problems
- Work with other team members to implement and execute designs
- Conduct usability tests
- Maintain and improve the designs
These roles and responsibilities might seem similar to those of a User Interface (UI) designer, but if you look closely, there are many differences between the two roles.
UX Designer Vs UI Designer. Many people use these two terms interchangeably without realizing how different they are. So, let’s break down how they’re different.
UI focuses on the aesthetic and UX focuses on problem-solving. The job of a UX designer involves paying close attention to the needs and expectations of users. That’s why a UX designer has to locate problems and look for their solutions. However, a UI designer focuses on how the product or service should look and feel on the surface. They do design based on the user, but they’re solely focused on design.
UI is related to product snapshots and UX takes care of user journey. The whole point of user research, testing, and experimentation is to provide a meaningful experience to the users. UX designers often work on all of those steps to determine how to create a great user experience. UI designers, on the other hand, focus on layout, color scheme, and everything else that makes the website or web application look pleasing to the eye of the users. They will also take into consideration the research of the UX designers.
UX and UI require different skills. These two roles require different skillsets to carry out day-to-day responsibilities. A UX designer needs skills like knowledge of wireframes, prototypes, UX research, visual communication, and empathy. A UI designer needs communication skills, business skills, familiarity with agile and lean software development, user advocacy, and participatory design.
UX designers usually earn more than UI designers. Although both of these roles are relatively new, they’re in high demand these days. But due to their skills and specialization, UX designers seem to be more in demand. The average salary for a UX designer is around $107,880 per year, and UI designers earn around $86,883 per year.
Why Should You Choose A Career in UX Design?
Most companies are expanding their businesses online to appeal to a wider audience. This has given rise to cutthroat competition in the market. To have an edge in this complicated environment, every company needs to impress their users. This is where UX designers come into play. With a rise in demand, there are growing opportunities in this field. But that’s not the only appealing feature of a career in user experience. Here are some reasons why you should choose a career in UX design:
A rise in design-centric companies - Since users are attracted to a good design, many organizations have switched to a design-centric approach. This is one of the reasons that it’s becoming easier for budding UX designer to find good positions, and it’ll only keep growing from here.
Scope of creativity - This is the perfect field for innovative and creative people. Not only will you get a chance to showcase your talent, but your creativity will also be appreciated. You can put forth your out-of-the-box ideas and there is plenty of room for experimentation as well. Creativity has become a necessary skill for becoming a UX designer, so if that’s you then this can be a super fulfilling career.
Great salaries - With a wide array of opportunities, you can find jobs with very attractive compensation packages. Even the entry-level compensation can reach up to $80,000. As you gain experience and improve your skills, you’ll get even better positions and the paychecks that come with them.
How to Become A UX Designer
There’s no doubt that there are plenty of job opportunities for UX designers, but the competition for the best openings is increasing too. If you want to launch a career in this field, then it’s a good idea to take the right steps to get there.
First and foremost, read as many books, blogs, articles, and other materials as you can to decide whether this field is for you or not. You need to familiarize yourself with what a UX designer does day to day, and how much you can make by becoming a UX designer. Reading will give you the answers to all of these questions and more, so that you’ll be able to plan your next step.
Get an Education
Getting a degree isn’tnecessary if you want to become a UX designer. The most efficient way to get into the industry is by taking a bootcamp. We have a UX/UI Design Bootcamp that’s made to get you a job within 6 months of graduation because it teaches you all of the necessary skills and more, quickly. You can check out our outcomes for a better understanding of the jobs our students land after our bootcamp.
Develop Your Hard and Soft Skills
You’re going to need both technical and soft skills to be a successful UX designer. UX research, wireframing, prototyping, visual communication, UX writing, information architecture, collaboration, empathy, and analytical skills are some of the skills that you must have to become a good UX designer.
Learn the Tools of the Trade
Knowing how to use the tools of the trade is extremely important. These will help you in your daily routine as a UX designer. Some of the tools that are a must for this profession are: ReFramer, Sketch, Figma, InVision, Adobe XD, Lunacy, Hotjar, Usabilla, and UsabilityHub. If you have a good understanding of these tools, your chances of landing a good UX position will increase.
A certification course is a good way to specialize in a particular skill or area. It helps the recruiters know that you’re good at certain skills and areas of the field. Also, you can work on a particular skill that you lack by pursuing a certification course in that area. Tons of websites and institutions offer both online and offline certification courses. Most of these courses have a flexible schedule and duration. You can even enroll in a part-time course if you’re already working somewhere and you don’t have much time.
Practice with Real-World UX Design Work
Most of the companies prefer candidates who have some hands-on experience, even for entry-level jobs. That’s why you should do some work on your own to be considered a strong candidate for the job. Internships are one of the best ways to get this experience. Apart from that, you can do freelance projects and add them to your resume, which you can build on websites like LinkedIn. Our bootcamps include practical work for 50% of the curriculum. This is great because you’ll gain practical experience while you’re learning that you can use in your portfolio.
Build Your Portfolio
Your portfolio is your most valuable asset. Having your own website is an impressive way of showcasing your talent, achievements, and projects. This will give recruiters a glimpse of your skills, hard work, and passion. With these steps, along with your own dedication to learning a few new skills, you can make it big in the field of UX design. There’s lots to learn, but once you get a good understanding of the field, you’ll be able to let your creativity shine. If you want to learn more about the field of UX design, you may find our UI/UX Design YouTube video helpful.
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