A UX designer is someone with experience in user experience design. UX stands for user experience. When you go into this type of career, you will be in a career as a web designer.
UX designers are specialized web designers that focus on the user experience. The entire job of this type of designer is focused on a user-friendly experience for those using the applications or websites.
If you become a UX designer, you will focus on the interactive features, visual elements, information architecture, usability, and the interface between the computer or digital platform and the people.
Before you decide to go into a career as a UX designer, it’s important to understand the job. Let’s look at the job duties and how to become a UX designer.
Job Duties of a UX Designer
Since your job will revolve around the user experience, your job duties will have to do with designing websites and applications for the user. Some of the processes you will use as a UX designer include:
- Graphic design
- Usability analysis
- Technical coding
It’s common to spend time planning new projects and doing research for new projects as a UX designer. You will also spend time making websites easier to navigate.
When you go into this career, your job duties will likely include the following:
- Evaluating the existing system, website, or application of the client
- Using A-B testing to look at two systems or versions of a system against each other to find out which is working better
- Conducting user surveys to gather information about the preferences of the users
- Wireframing, which includes sketching the website or applications pages to see a visual version before creating it
- Using analytics to sketching create a more user-friendly website or application
As a UX designer, you may also use prototyping, design patterns, develop personals, and even create an inventory of the content.
How to Become a UX Designer in 3 Steps
Step #1 – Get the Right Education
Getting a degree isn’t necessarily a requirement to become a UX designer. However, it can be very helpful. Many employers will require a bachelor’s degree, but some may not.
You can get a degree from a university, college, or tech school. Some are completely self-taught, but some will go through college to gain the necessary knowledge.
A degree in technology, communications, or graphic art can be rather helpful for this career. It can also help to get a degree in web programming, computer science, or information technology. UX design bootcamps can also be used to increase your resume.
Step #2 – Gain Experience
Since there really isn’t a clear-cut path to becoming a UX designer, you should gain some experience. This may come in the form of online courses, working as an intern, or even working as a freelancer.
Computer coding courses can be a good choice. You can also take courses through a local community college. Many will teach themselves the skills necessary to work as a UX designer through online research.
Step #3 – Get Certifications
It can be very helpful to get specific certifications if you want to become a UX designer. These certifications can help to provide credibility on your resume. Some of the online options for your certifications include:
- Interaction Design Foundation
- Adobe Education Exchange
- And more!
You can find a complete list of certification choices through Indeed.com here.
Common Skills Needed to Become a UX Designer
You will likely need specific skills to become a UX designer. The most common skills you will need include:
- Teamwork– You will likely work with other designers and team members when working on troubleshooting. Being able to work with a team is very important.
- HTML– Another common type of language used in web development; HTML is a common skill to learn.
- Ability to Work on Your Own– You will likely work independently often. It’s important to be able to work on your own.
- Analysis and Research– A large part of the job will include analyzing data and doing research.
- Creativity– As a UX designer, you will need to be a very creative person.
- Communication skills– You will likely need to be a good communicator. Working with a team and for supervisors will require you to be able to clearly communicate with each person.
These skills are rather important if you want to become a UX designer.
The Disciplines of UX Design
When you become a UX designer, you will likely become familiar with the four disciplines of UX. These disciplines are:
- Information Architecture (IA)– This is the organization of content and information. Usually, this is handled by an information architect.
- Experience Strategy (ExS)– A tactic of planning and executing the plan based on the goals and needs of the company.
- User Research (UR)– When doing user research, you will be looking for problems from the side of the user. This might include gaining feedback from actual users.
- Interaction Design (IxD)– When you work in this discipline, you will be concerned with the interactive elements of the product.
These are the four disciplines you will find in UX design.
Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a UX Designer
How much can I earn as a UX designer?
According to Indeed.com, you can earn around $91K per year as a UX designer. It’s also common to earn about a $5,000 bonus every year in this type of position. Your salary can exceed $100K per year if you gain three to five years of experience in this career.
Some top employers will pay significantly more for UX designers. You can earn more than $140K per year with the top employers for this career.
Your location will also make a difference. San Francisco is the highest-paying area, while Charlotte, Chicago, Redmond, and New York City all pay higher than average salaries.
If you have specific skills, you may also earn a higher salary as a UX Designer. Skills in journalism are helpful, along with XML and project management. All three of these can help you earn a higher salary.
What type of benefits will I get as a UX designer?
It’s common, in this career, to get a benefits package with paid time off and health insurance. A 401(k) with matching is also common, along with the ability to work from home. You may also get a gym membership or access to an on-site gym. Some employers may also provide commuter assistance and stock options.
How many hours per week do UX designers work?
It’s rather common to work a typically 40-hour workweek as a UX designer. You will likely have a schedule similar to 9-to-5, Monday through Friday. In some cases, overtime might be necessary when a deadline is approaching.
What are the most common industries for UX designers to work in?
UX designers work in many different industries. Companies with mobile applications or websites may hire this type of designer, which is nearly all companies today. The most common industry for this type of career is the technology industry.
It’s very common to work for multimillion-dollar tech companies, tech startups, and even small businesses. Some UX designers will work freelance and serve multiple industries.
Is this career in high demand?
The career of a UX designer is expected to grow as mobile applications and websites continue to be necessary. It’s a growing career with a positive job outlook.
What will my work environment be like as a UX designer?
It’s very common for UX designers to work from home. You will likely sit at a desk for many hours a day. Spending most of your workday in front of a computer is common. Many UX designers will have a set up with more than one computer monitor, as well.
Throughout your workday, you will likely interact with team members through online team collaboration programs. You may also need to sit in on meetings virtually.
What type of advancement opportunities are there for UX designers?
UX designers work with a team and can easily work their way up from junior-level positions to senior-level positions. You might work as a web designer or graphic designer before becoming a UX designer. From here, you might become a creative director or an art director.
Becoming a UX designer is a very rewarding career path. It pays a nice salary and offers many benefits. If you’re creative and you want to help companies with their websites and applications, this is a good career for you.
As a UX designer, you will work with a team of designers. You and the team you work with will create a better website or application for the users. If you’re looking for a unique career in the technology and design sectors, this might be the right option for you to consider.