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What Is a Senior UX Designer? How to Become One, Salary, Skills.

Senior UX designers play a prominent role in seeing a product through the UX design process, ensuring teams follow a user-centric approach. Here’s what to know about a senior UX designer’s needed skills, salary and how to become one.


What Is a Senior UX Designer?

Senior UX designers are higher-ranking UX designers who shape the product development process with a user-centric mentality.


What Do Senior UX Designers Do?

Senior UX designers develop and refine products by conducting user research and collaborating with different personnel to create a unified product strategy.

Senior UX Designer Responsibilities

  • Lead user research and user testing initiatives. 
  • Brainstorm design ideas to inform the product development process. 
  • Work with product managers, engineers and other parties.
  • Create visual elements for websites, mobile apps and other formats. 
  • Manage teams of junior UX designers.

Day-to-Day Responsibilities of a Senior UX Designer

  • Reach out to users to gather feedback through surveys, interviews and other types of user testing. 
  • Analyze data from user research and make decisions on how to improve a product’s design.
  • Develop wireframes and prototypes to weigh the pros and cons of a design. 
  • Meet with product managers, engineers and other personnel to align all parties with a product development strategy. 
  • Meet with junior UX designers to provide advice and training.

Senior UX Designers Within a Company

Senior UX designers reside near the top of the UX hierarchy, but they are not the highest-ranking UX professionals. They oversee teams of UX designers, offering feedback and training to junior UX designers. In many cases, senior UX designers report to lead UX designers, who establish hiring, training and project processes for UX teams to follow.

Importance of Senior UX Designers

Senior UX designers take on more of a leadership role for specific projects, influencing the product development process. Teams who have senior UX designers can more easily unify product and engineering personnel behind a product design that caters to target audiences. This could result in a product that performs well with users, making senior UX designers crucial contributors to customer retention and business success.

A day in my life as a senior UX designer. | Video: Charli Cheung


What Skills Are Needed to Be a Senior UX Designer?

Qualifications to Be a Senior UX Designer

  • Proven success working in a UX or UI design role.
  • Familiarity with the product development process.  
  • Experience mentoring junior UX designers. 
  • Knowledge of how to execute a user-centered design process. 

Senior UX Designer Prerequisites

  • Bachelor’s degree in graphic design, computer science, information technology or a related field. 
  • Master’s in user experience, human-centered design or a related field (not required, but helpful to have). 
  • Five or more years of professional UX experience.

Senior UX Designer Hard Skills

  • Expertise in developing wireframes and prototypes. 
  • Extensive knowledge of user research and user testing methods.  
  • Mastery of design thinking, user-centered design and other principles. 
  • Ability to craft specific visual design elements for products. 
  • Knowledge of programming languages, content management systems and other popular design tools. 
  • Experience overseeing junior UX design team members.

Senior UX Designer Soft Skills

  • Analytical mentality that prioritizes research and data. 
  • Creative thinking and problem-solving skills. 
  • Strong attention to design and visual details.  
  • Awareness of users’ reactions and responses to products. 
  • Strong mentorship and leadership skills.

Tools and Programs Senior UX Designers Use

  • Prototyping tools like Sketch, Figma and Adobe XD. 
  • Content management systems like WordPress, Webflow and Drupal.
  • Graphic design tools like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Affinity Designer.
  • Coding platforms like Cloud9, CodePen and Koding. 
  • UX research tools like Hotjar, Lookback and Maze.


How to Become a Senior UX Designer

Senior UX Designer Education and Experience

Senior UX designers often complete a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, graphic design or a related field. Aspiring senior UX designers must then gain experience in entry-level junior UX designer and mid-level UX designer roles.  

Senior UX Designer Certificates and Courses

Senior UX Designer Career Path

Senior UX designers start out in junior- and mid-level UX designer positions. As they progress in their careers, senior UX designers may take on more responsibilities as lead UX designers.


Senior UX Designer Salary and Job Outlook

The need for digital design professionals hints at potential growth for senior UX design positions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of web developers and digital designers will increase by 23 percent between 2021 and 2031. 

The full compensation package for a senior UX designer depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to the candidate’s experience and geographic location. See below for detailed information on the average senior UX designer salary.


Expand Your Senior UX Designer Career Opportunities

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Senior UX Designer Certifications + Programs

Become a top candidate for higher-level positions by securing online UX and design certifications with Udacity.

You’ll learn how to create a digital user experience that is ready to be handed off for development. You’ll start by building familiarity and fluency with design research fundamentals to identify the user and the solutions they need. You’ll then synthesize your research, and use design sprints to take an idea from concept to low-fidelity prototype. Finally, you’ll learn how to turn your low-fidelity prototype into a high-fidelity design, and improve its performance based on data. Along the way, you’ll complete projects that can be incorporated into a UX portfolio at the end of the program in order to showcase your capabilities to future employers.

3 months
10 hours

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