what is a UX designer?

As a UX designer, you make a product or service usable and accessible. Whether users are interacting with a digital product, like browsing a website and navigating a mobile app or using a service, user experience is vital. A user experience designer ensures that all aspects of interacting with company products are delightful and effective.

User experience designers specialise in building intuitive and simple interaction experiences by providing fun and aesthetically pleasing formats. To solve user problems and provide a positive experience, you research the needs of end users. For instance, you seek to understand users' motivations, attitudes, desires and expectations. Learning the pain points of the company's customers helps you create a seamless customer experience.

what does a UX designer do?

UX designers create digital products relying on interactive processes rooted in user-centred problem-solving and design thinking. As a UX designer, you work in various companies that depend on digital products. For instance, you could work in technology companies or IT consultancy firms. Some UX designers also work as freelancers assisting companies in diverse business sectors in application or software development. You can work in any company, from retail stores to mining and manufacturing companies.

Would working in IT as a UX designer suit your visual awareness? Then read onto what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a UX designer role. 

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average salary of a UX designer

The average salary of a UX designer is between $90,000 to $150,000 per year. 

what factors affect the salary of a UX designer?

The compensation package of a UX designer depends on experience and educational qualifications. When you are a junior UX designer, your salary may be lower due to the minimum responsibilities associated with your role. When you have intermediate experience in the industry, you may take on complex roles, which warrant a higher salary. Senior UX designers are experts in the field and negotiate a higher salary for their in-depth knowledge of the subject matter. 

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types of UX designers

User experience design is a multidisciplinary role with multiple niche specialisations. Some of the areas UX designers specialise in include:

  • UX visual design: as a visual designer, you rely on visual elements and graphics to solve user experience problems. For instance, you develop wireframes and prototypes for testing products or websites to ensure a better user experience. You also add design elements that maximise a site's usability while adhering to the brand's guidelines.
  • UX research: as a user experience researcher, you use various research methods like conducting focus groups, surveys and usability testing to understand the user experience on a digital product. After studying human behaviours, you assist the design team in making the necessary adjustments to improve the UX design.
  • UX writing: when you specialise in UX writing, you create all the content that users interact with when they use an app, engage in a service or visit a website. You understand the audience and use language that encourages users to interact with the company's products.

working as a UX designer

As a UX designer, you create visually appealing products that provide meaningful experiences to users. Read on for details on the specific tasks, duties and work environments of UX designers.

Male looking at a computer screen sitting at a desk
Male looking at a computer screen sitting at a desk

education and skills

There are no specific requirements to become a user experience designer. However, you usually need a certificate, diploma or degree in one of the following:

  • web/interaction design
  • graphic or media design
  • a computer-related area such as computer science.

You also usually need one or both of the following:

  • a portfolio of your design work
  • examples of projects you have worked on.
  • work experience: you require extensive experience to work on UX design projects. Look for internship opportunities that help you build your portfolio. You can also work entry-level jobs to improve your experience.

skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of a UX designer include:

  • project management skills: as a UX designer, you are part of the product development process. Hence, you require project management skills to oversee the design development. Your project management skills help you stay on budget and on time.
  • research skills: you rely on your research skills to understand user needs. Having research skills helps you collect and analyse qualitative and quantitative data. Learning various research methods also makes you an effective researcher.
  • analytical skills: it is beneficial to have analytical skills to analyse data effectively. Attention to detail and critical thinking skills help you understand your users and the products, improving the design elements.
  • creativity: you require exceptional, innovative skills and creativity to develop products that users can respond to positively. You rely on your creativity to come up with visually appealing designs.

FAQs about working as a UX designer

Here are the most asked questions about working as a UX designer:

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