Learn About Being a UX Designer
What does a UX designer do?
A user experience designer is a computer design professional who monitors the user experience of digital products, identifies areas for improvement and boosts digital offerings to ensure they’re user-friendly. As a UX designer, you will complete projects that require you to work both independently and with a team. Some typical responsibilities of this position include:
User experience design
A UX designer addresses the digital needs of end-users, such as developing usage scenarios, identifying flaws in existing designs and proposing improvements to digital products. They may also develop design solution prototypes and ensure cross-platform and cross-browser functionality of their products.
To identify weaknesses in digital products, a UX designer will conduct usability tests on each URL of a website or mobile app.
Analysis and strategy development
To gain a full understanding of competitor offerings and customer needs, a UX designer will research the target market, develop research-based insights on user experience, aid in the creation of a content development strategy and align their design solutions to brand standards.
Collaboration with other departments
A UX designer collaborates with others to develop and finalize design improvements for products. Potential collaborations include coordinating with development and design teams to create product page designs with intuitive routing and navigation features.
Most UX designers work full-time, but some also work as part-time employees or independent contractors. Wages for this position can vary based on work experience, education and certifications as well as geographic location, company size and other company-specific factors. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the salary link.
National average salary: $101,777 per year
Some salaries range from $23,000 to $189,000 per year.
UX designer requirements
Professionals in this position are expected to meet several conditions, including:
Most UX designers will need at least a bachelor’s degree. However, some candidates can obtain this position with equivalent work experience in the computer design or computer development industries, along with certifications that prove their skills in the field.
Candidates for this position can earn degrees in computer design, computer development or a related field. Most employers prefer these disciplines because they prepare individuals for the challenges of working in the UX design industry.
Most employers expect UX designers to have learned the technical aspects of computer design and development with a focus on user experience. People can learn other components of the role, such as sending reports and developing customer analyses on the job.
UX designers can choose to obtain a variety of certifications to improve their job prospects. If you’re pursuing this career, consider the following certifications:
User Experience Design Essentials — Adobe XD UI UX Design
This certification is offered through Udemy and teaches design skills in Adobe XD. It is suitable as a fundamental design certification for individuals with a background in computer development. In this course, you can learn web design fundamentals, create design prototypes, test web pages and learn how to manage your workflow. This certification is available to anyone interested in gaining accreditation as an entry-level UX designer.
UX/UI Design Specialization
Offered by the California Institute of the Arts, this certification can help you learn design-centric methods that improve user experiences. Covered topics include the components of user interface designs, UX design principles, information architecture of web design and the process of wireframe and prototype development. It is available to individuals interested in gaining an advanced certification in UX design.
Human-Computer Interaction Professional Certificate
Offered by Georgia Tech, this UX/UI certification can help you learn how human-computer interaction can improve user interfaces. This course focuses on the principles and techniques that support designs with excellent user experiences. Course topics include the potential of human-computer communication and principles that create compelling user interfaces. It takes approximately six months to complete and is suitable for anyone interested in gaining an advanced UX design certification that specializes in human-computer interaction.
Many employers prefer candidates for this position to possess specific abilities, which can include the following:
HTML: As HTML is the basic language of web development, working knowledge of HTML is essential to succeed as a UX designer.
Creativity: As a designer, you will need strong creative abilities to help you develop attractive, intuitive products that users will positively respond to.
Research and analysis: Because you will be responsible for providing insights to improve the design and development of a product, you should have developed skills in research and analysis.
Self-directed work: You will need the ability to work independently without a great deal of oversight when conducting research, developing insights and implementing design solutions.
Teamwork: You should be comfortable collaborating with different teams when troubleshooting issues and finding ways to make improvements to the user experience.
UX designer work environment
A UX designer’s typical work environment may involve the following characteristics:
Working independently when evaluating digital products, identifying flaws and designing improvements
Interacting with design and programming professionals to improve the usability of digital products
Sitting at a desk for long periods
Spending most of the workday at a computer
Communicating regularly with teams
Facilitating communication between design and development teams
How to become a UX designer
Follow these steps to become a UX designer:
1. Obtain a bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience
Consider earning your degree in a relevant discipline such as graphic design, software development or computer programming. This step may also help you find an internship, which will allow you to grow your professional network and find out what to expect in this career. If you don’t have a degree, you may be able to find a job as a UX designer with enough prior experience in a related field.
2. Earn a certification
You can find many different certifications specific to your industry or experience level. While not typically required, certification can significantly improve your chances of finding a job.
3. Start applying for jobs
You can start the application process by updating your resume, searching for job openings, making a list of companies that are hiring and customizing your cover letter. Highlight your education, experience and certifications in your resume.
4. Prepare for interviews
Before your interview, think about which of your professional accomplishments you can discuss with your potential employer. For example, you could describe a usability test you conducted to find out why website visitors weren’t clicking on one of your company’s product pages. Bring attention to the steps you took to identify the problem and how you resolved it.
Job description example
We are seeking an experienced, detail-oriented and passionate UX designer in our rapidly growing company. The ideal candidate will be enthusiastic about improving our user experience strategy and have a passion for user-centered design. You will be expected to increase innovation and functionality in our product portfolio. In this position, you will work with product owners, designers, developers and other business stakeholders to create digital experiences that improve the insurance industry.
If you are considering a career as a UX designer, you may also be interested in one of these related careers: