What Does a UX Designer Do? Duties, Skills, Salary and FAQs

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 13 September 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Working in user experience (UX) design may be appealing if you're interested in combining your technical and artistic talents in your career. UX designers are directly responsible for how people interact with software and digital platforms. UX designers analyse who uses the product, why they use it and how they use it and use this knowledge to develop, test, write and sell the product or service. In this article, we discuss what does a UX designer do, what are the requirements for the role, how to become one and answer some of the most commonly asked questions relating to the role.

What does a UX designer do?

A user experience designer is a computer design expert who analyses the user experience of digital goods, finds areas for development and improves digital offerings to guarantee user-friendliness. As a UX designer, you can expect to work on projects that would require you to work both independently and collaboratively. Discussed below are some common responsibilities outlining what does a UX designer do:

  • Designing the user experience: A UX designer addresses end-user digital demands by creating usage scenarios, detecting problems in existing designs and suggesting changes to digital goods. You may create design solution prototypes and ensure that their goods are cross-platform and cross-browser compatible.

  • Testing for usability: A UX designer is responsible for conducting usability testing on each URL of a website or mobile app to discover flaws in digital products.

  • Analysing and devising strategy: A UX designer in charge of studying the target market, producing research-based insights on user experience, assisting in the establishment of a content development plan and connecting their design solutions to brand standards to acquire a complete grasp of rival offers and consumer demands.

  • Working closely with other departments: A UX designer works with others to create and complete product design changes. Coordination with development and design teams to produce product page designs is one example of potential cooperation.

What are the requirements to become a UX designer?

Outlined below are the requirements expected of these professionals:

Education

Most UX designers have at least a bachelor's degree or above. Certain individuals with similar work experience in the computer design or computer development industries and certificates demonstrating their expertise in the industry may be able to get this position. It's essential for candidates for this post to have a degree in computer design, development or a similar discipline. Most companies favour these disciplines because they prepare students for the rigours of working in the UX design profession.

Training

Most organisations require UX designers to have studied computer design and development with an emphasis on user experience. Other aspects of the work, such as delivering reports and generating customer assessments, can be learned on the job. You may undergo training from online UX design courses.

Certifications

As a UX designer, you may acquire various certifications to enhance your job prospects and earning potential. You may consider pursuing these certifications:

  • User Experience Design Essentials — Adobe XD UI UX Design: This certification is suitable for persons with a background in computer development as a fundamental design certification. This course can equip you with the foundations of web design, how to develop design prototypes, test web pages and how to organise your workflow.

  • UX/UI Design Specialisation: With this certification, you can study design-centric approaches for improving user experiences. Topics covered include the components of user interface designs, UX design concepts, web design information architecture and the wireframe and prototype development process.

  • Human-Computer Interaction Professional Certificate: This UX/UI certification can equip you on how to improve user interfaces through human-computer interaction. This course focuses on the ideas and practices that enable good user experiences in designs.

Skills

Many businesses seek UX design candidates who have certain skills, such as the following:

  • HTML: Because HTML is the foundational language of web development, having a solid grasp of HTML is required to succeed as a UX designer.

  • JavaScript: Most UX designers can grasp JavaScript, since it allows you to build dynamic websites and increase web developer output.

  • Creativity: As a designer, you may use strong creative talents to help you build appealing, intuitive products that people may like.

  • Research and analysis: Because you may be responsible for giving insights to improve a product's design and development, it's essential that you possess established research and analysis abilities.

  • Self-directed work: When doing research, creating ideas and executing design solutions, it's essential that you're able to work alone and without much supervision.

  • Teamwork: It's important that you're comfortable cooperating and collaborating with diverse teams while fixing difficulties and improving the user experience.

Related: Common Examples of Skills and Steps To Identify Them

How to become a UX designer

You can take the following steps toward becoming a UX designer:

1. Get a bachelor's degree or equivalent work experience

Consider getting a degree in a relevant field like graphic design, software development or computer programming. This phase may also assist you in locating an internship, which can allow you to expand your professional network and learn more about this field. If you don't have a degree, you may be able to get work as a UX designer if you have past expertise in a similar industry.

2. Get certified

There are several certifications available that are tailored to your business or degree of expertise. While certification is usually optional, it can greatly increase your chances of earning a job. This is because the certification can demonstrate and validate your competence and expertise.

3. Apply for jobs

You may begin the application process by updating your resume, searching for job opportunities, compiling a list of organisations that are recruiting and tailoring your cover letter. In your resume, emphasise your education, experience and certifications. Ensure that your qualifications and credentials match the job requirements.

4. Prepare for interviews

Consider which of your professional successes you can mention to your future employer before your interview. You might, for instance, discuss a usability test you ran to determine why website users weren't clicking on one of your company's product pages. Emphasise the actions you took to discover the problem and how you remedied it.

Related: How To Prepare for an Interview

Frequently asked questions about becoming a UX designer

Outlined below are the most commonly asked questions regarding a UX designer career path:

What are the three most important skills of a UX designer?

While UX designers are required to possess an extensive range of technical skills, the following soft skills are equally important to succeed in the role:

  • Creativity: UX designers benefit immensely from an aesthetic eye. A UX designer's ability to select visually attractive colour schemes, geometric forms or other design aspects can increase your success in the industry.

  • Communication: As you may constantly interact with your superiors, coworkers and clients, it's essential that you're able to effectively and confidently convey your thoughts and intentions in a range of contexts. UX designers may be expected to present their designs to higher management or the rest of their team frequently, thus public speaking abilities are advantageous.

  • Interpersonal skills: Understanding how people think is a crucial aspect of becoming a UX designer. UX designers who are sympathetic, emotionally knowledgeable and attentive are better able to figure out what the consumer wants.

Related: 15 Ways on How To Communicate Effectively at the Workplace

What is the work environment of a UX designer?

A typical workspace for a UX designer may include the following elements:

  • Working independently when assessing digital goods, finding faults and proposing changes

  • Interacting with design and programming specialists to enhance digital product usability

  • Sitting at a desk for lengthy periods of time

  • Spending the majority of the workday at a computer

  • Communicating with teams frequently

  • Facilitating communication between design and development teams

What is the average salary of a UX designer?

The majority of UX designers work full-time, although some may work part-time or as independent contractors. Salaries for this profession might vary depending on work experience, education and certifications, geographical region, firm size and other company-specific considerations. The national average salary for a UX designer is $71,649 per year.

How does being a UX designer differ from being a UI designer?

The distinction between User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) is that UX is concerned with the user's experience with a product or service, whereas UI refers to the visual aspects through which people interact with a product. UX design is concerned with discovering and resolving user issues, whereas UI design is concerned with developing intuitive, visually attractive interactive interfaces. UX may refer to any type of product, service or experience, whereas UI is limited to digital products and experiences.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed. Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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