Together with UI design, UX design is considered a crucial factor in determining whether a digital product has good growth potential.
That’s why the industry always welcomes talented UX designers who can make some breakthroughs.
So, how to become a UX designer? What are the career opportunities for this occupation in the coming years?
This article will provide you with a detailed overview of UX designers so that you can better understand the field. Let’s see!
What Is A UX Designer?
A UX designer is responsible for making a digital product or service accessible, usable, and enjoyable. In short, the job is all about looking for ways to update and improve the user’s experience.
Though many businesses design user experience, UX is mainly related to digital design for apps and websites.
The specific process may vary from company to company and product to product, yet the core design concept remains unchanged.
What Does A UX Designer Do?
As a UX designer, your task and duties will include:
1. Get to know the target user and the brand: Consider the problem you’re attempting to solve for the users and how it sticks with brand goals.
2. Research demand of consumers: Determine the needs, intentions, behaviors, and pain points of the user. Surveys, focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and A/B testing are some examples of effective user research tools.
3. Analyze data: Based on your study, you’ll create user personas to determine the most crucial product or service aspects. Then, you can sketch out how the user flow will work.
4. Design: You’ll build site maps, wireframes, or prototypes as you flesh out the design. Your team will have a more precise concept of what the final result will look like. A UI designer will add visual or interface elements at this stage.
5. Run user testing: Track how the users interact with your product or service to validate its design. Then identify any design flaws and come up with fixes.
6. Showcase your work: Provide your client or corporation with the design solution.
How To Become a UX Designer
Now that you understand the duties of a UX designer, it’s time to explore how to gain a position in this field.
1. Learn UX Design Fundamentals
Like other occupations, this occupation requires you to learn and develop many technical skills needed for daily tasks.
They may include user research and strategy, wireframing and prototyping, responsive web design, user interface design, etc.
You also need to enhance your soft skills, such as collaboration, project management, and communication skills.
Over the last few years, UX design courses and boot camps are becoming more popular as an effective method to develop these skills and jumpstart a career in the field.
Many companies prioritize demonstrated skills and experience over academic credentials, so it’s no surprise that demand for UX design boot camps – which focus on hands-on, immersive learning – has increased.
Generally, the boot camps include all UX design fundamentals like design research and strategy, user interface design, prototyping, usability testing, and responsive design.
You may spend about 40 hours per week in class and another 20 to 25 hours per week finishing the projects. Once you complete the program, you’ll gain a new skill set and an excellent portfolio ready for the job market.
2. Learn How to Use Key Design Tools
To design user experiences, UX designers must learn and master a variety of digital tools.
They include many wireframing tools. The most commonly used is Sketch. Other tools like Illustrator, Adobe XD, InVision Studio, Figma, Axure, and Marvel are also popular.
Regarding interface design, UX designers must get familiar with Photoshop – a widely used tool in the field.
When it comes to prototyping, InVision is the most popular prototype platform, followed by Sketch. Principle, Framer, Flinto, and ProtoPie are some tools available for advanced prototyping, including testable models with micro-interactions.
3. Develop Your Skills
At the theoretical level, UX design projects are not too hard to execute. Yet, theory and practice are opposite.
Working on your UX projects helps you hone your skills and acquire experience when facing difficulties while producing work that you can show in your UX design portfolio.
Leading your UX projects also allows you to apply your skills to each step of the design process, including market and user research, persona development, prototyping, wireframing, and user testing.
You can ultimately use the data gained after each step to determine how you execute the following steps with subsequent projects.
It’s necessary to practice building many project types to improve your UX design skills in many fields.
Let’s focus on the projects that will allow you to apply your knowledge of UX design basics and the user research, design thinking process, and design research methodologies. It’s also an excellent chance to practice producing UI design elements and responsive designs during these projects.
As you progress, you’ll improve the essential soft skills of a good UX Designer, such as project management, project stakeholders, collaboration with colleagues, communication, and empathy.
4. Develop a Portfolio to Showcase Your UX Design Work
At this stage, you will need to develop your portfolio – the final step before applying for UX design jobs.
It may seem more complicated than you think. More variety isn’t always better.
Conversely, you should be better off performing some background study on the company or organization you’re applying to, focusing on your portfolio’s aims, and selecting about five items that directly mention the company’s accomplishments and the part you’ll play in them.
Your portfolio should be a true reflection of who you are. So be personal, professional, and authentic. It should not only be in your bio and photo but also in the way you present your work.
Each part of your portfolio should tell a story about the project development and your unique abilities, process, and inventiveness.
5. Look For Job Opportunities
Now that you’ve got a good portfolio, it’s time to search for some job opportunities.
UX design job titles are extremely diverse, mainly because UX designers work in various industries. Below are a few examples of UX design job titles you can come across throughout your job search:
UX Designer, UX Researcher, Experience Designer, Usability Tester. Interaction Designer, Information Architect, UX Developer, UX Architect, UX Strategist, UX Analyst, UX Engineer, UX Product Manager, Visual Designer, Product Designer, and Content Strategist.
Career Opportunities For UX Designers
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a widespread impact on many industries, including UX designers. This section will give you a clear overview of the salary and the demand for this occupation! Let’s see!
Salary must be your biggest concern right now. In fact, how much UX designers can earn depends on many factors, including their location, the kind of companies and industries they work for, and their level of experience.
The average annual salary of UX designers in the US ranges from $69,600 to $114,300, based on location, seniority, experience, and specific skills.
So if you want to check the salary data of your local area, you can visit some sites like Indeed, Glassdoor, and Payscale.
While many industries were hit hard by the global outbreak, the technology field was one of the first to bounce back.
Specifically, there are more than 4,500 job postings on indeed.com and 5,000 job openings on LinkedIn for UX designers (in the US). If you narrow your search to “product designer,” you’ll find over 30,000 vacancies.
Such figures can prove that there is a lot of potentials for anyone to start out in this industry!
There’s no denying that UX design plays a crucial part in the success of all digital products and services. Yet, the pandemic has underlined this even more.
Many businesses are looking for innovative ways to provide value to their customers while remote employment and social distancing methods.
For some people, this issue has meant making the switch to digital. For others, it has meant revisiting and upgrading their user experience to gain an advantage.
UX design is an essential component of every successful business. This is more true than ever as companies attempt to earn and keep customers in the middle of the Covid-19 crisis.
Good UX will never go out of style. So companies will need UX designers to go ahead if they want to provide effective products and services. As a result, the future looks bright for UX designers!
It’s also worth noting that the potential for remote work is also increasing.
Remote work has grown 300 percent since the pre-pandemic, according to a Forrester analysis. So whenever you apply for any position related to UX design, chances are you will face several remote opportunities.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Become a UX Designer With No Experience?
With such a high demand for UX designers, getting your first job can be difficult, especially if you lack experience. But nothing is impossible. As long as you follow our guide above, you will be able to have a position in this field.
Your first position will need a solid foundation of knowledge, essential skillsets, strategic networking, careful attention to your portfolio, and a lot of effort.
Do UX Designers Need To Code?
The answer is no.
The ability to code will not determine whether a UX designer is successful or not. It depends on how well he executes the design thinking process and whether he can use mockup tools to generate solutions to solve the challenges.
It’s also important to note that most businesses don’t expect UX designers to write any coding. The handoff between developers and designers is becoming more fluid thanks to new design and wireframe technologies.
However, having a basic understanding of coding can help you better express your designs and empathize with the development process.
So, consider whether you want to learn codes and benefit from them or you prefer to concentrate on your specific part of the design process.
How Long Does It Take To Learn UX?
If you choose UX Boot camps, it typically takes you 6-10 months to learn UX.
This program can provide you with basic UX concepts and coach you through projects so that you can build a portfolio from scratch. Some programs involve career mentoring and the opportunity to work with real customers.
If you want a more formal learning experience, pursuing a degree could be a good option.
A master’s degree takes roughly 1-3 years to complete. The length will differ depending on the program and whether you are a full-time or part-time student.
Can You Learn UX On Your Own?
Yes, you can. Numerous resources are available on YouTube, Medium articles, and online courses such as Treehouse, Udemy, Lynda, and others.
When it comes to learning about oneself, the goal is to take in as much as possible. There will be a lot of ideas, and many of them will be contradictory.
So it’s best to form your opinions where necessary and concentrate on the main concepts and fundamental skills.
Which Language Is Best For UX Design?
HTML and CSS are the most popular markup languages that UX designers should be familiar with.
This article has walked you through an in-depth guide on how to become a UX designer. We also covered the potential opportunities of this occupation post-pandemic and other relevant facts.
Whether you decide to become a UX designer or not, we believe that you can now have a good insight into this industry and feel confident with our information. Good luck!