What is a UX Designer?

        A User Experience designer is tasked with understanding human interaction and engagement. This could be through software such as an app on your phone, or a website, but also in understanding the use of physical objects such as video games console controls or the shape and design of a chair.

        UX designers are increasingly required to be able to do some work traditionally handled by UI experts, such as visual design or prototyping. But this is dependent on how the design department is organised in a company.

        What Skills do UX Designers Need?

        UX designers are not only involved in the conceptualisation of a product such as wire framing and product testing, but also take into consideration the product’s entire life cycle, from its acquisition, consumption, ownership and troubleshooting. However, a UX designer also intends to strike a balance between beauty and functionality, as put by Donald Norman (the inventor of the term ‘user experience design’):

        “It’s not enough that we build products that function, that are understandable and usable, we also need to build products that bring joy and excitement, pleasure and fun, and yes, beauty to people’s lives.”

        For this reason, UX designers require an aptitude for both design and the use of a product within a commercial light as well as technical understanding.

        UX Designer Skills

        Degree Level – Usually, UX designer job specifications specify a degree in design, computer science, HCI (human computer interaction), digital marketing, digital design/media or any other digital design related degree. This varies upon industry and the type of UX work you will be engaged in, with alternate paths to entry level positions. Other skills would include:

        • Programming 
        • Wireframing and Design
        • Problem Solving
        • Information Architecture
        • Prototyping
        • Visual Communication
        • Research Skills

        UX Designer Soft Skills

        • Good communication skills – to liaise with internal stakeholders and explain complicated concepts to others.
        • Empathy & teamwork – In order to successfully project manage and understand the use of a product or software, empathy is useful to preserve a user-focused design process and successful teamwork to aid in its execution.
        • Analytical & curious mindset – the field is constantly evolving and changing, being up to-date and constantly learning can ensure your ability to find solutions and opportunities.

        What Industries do UX Designers work in?

        UX designers can work in several industries as their work can be either with physical objects as well as software:

        • Banking and financial services
        • Healthcare
        • Publishing and media
        • IT and technology
        • Consulting firms
        • Retail
        • Telecommunications
        • Digital marketing
        • Manufacturing
        • Software development

        Salary Expectations for UX Designer

        Salaries depend on the industry you work in. If you work in product tech companies (such as Facebook or Google) the salaries are much higher than in other industries.

        • Junior UX designers– £25,000 – £45,000
        • Experienced UX designers– between £45,000 – 60,000
        • Senior UX designers, Experts and Consultants– £60,000 – £100,000 although some companies will pay more

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