UX Designer

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

The goal of a UX designer is to make digital products as user-friendly as possible. They apply UX research and user-centered design principles to ensure products are intuitive to navigate and use with minimal friction for target users. Here’s what to know about a UX designer’s salary, needed skills and how to become one.

 

What Is a UX Designer?

UX designers are responsible for designing user-friendly products and services. By conducting user research and product testing, UX designers are able to create the most viable product for users that helps them solve problems.

 

What Do UX Designers Do?

UX designers perform a variety of tasks to ensure their organization’s website or mobile app is easy and enjoyable to use.

UX Designer Responsibilities

  • Develop user personas. 
  • Conduct user, market and product research. 
  • Create wireframes and prototypes. 
  • Conduct user testing. 
  • Establish the information architecture of a digital product. 
  • Design user flows.
  • Present designs to leadership and stakeholders. 

 Day-to-Day Responsibilities of UX Designers

  • Plan user research projects. 
  • Recruit research participants. 
  • Create wireframes. 
  • Run user testing sessions. 
  • Meet with UX researchers and product managers to map out projects.

Types of UX Designers

UX designers may also be known by titles such as interaction designer, product designer or service designer, but these roles all have similar responsibilities. UX designers that develop a speciality in a particular industry of field of study are UX subject matter experts. 

UX Designers Within a Company

UX designers typically work within product development or design teams. If a company has a department dedicated to UX research, they may be placed there too. UX designers collaborate closely with UX researchers, engineers and other product team members.

Importance of UX Designers 

UX designers advocate for users by applying their user research findings to the design of various digital products. Without an empathic and thorough UX designer, companies will not be able to provide their users with products that meet their needs and wants. 

What Does A UX Designer Actually Do? Video: CareerFoundry

 

What Skills Are Needed to Be a UX Designer?

Qualifications to Be a UX Designer

  • Strong understanding of information architecture. 
  • Ability to analyze findings from user research. 
  • Firm grasp on web design principles. 
  • Ability to manage multiple projects under deadlines. 
  • Familiarity with basic coding.
  • Understanding of human psychology. 

UX Designer Prerequisites

  • Most UX design positions require a bachelor’s degree in computer science, graphic design, art, human-computer interaction or a related field. 
  • A strong portfolio of previous UX research experience as well as UX design projects. 

UX Designer Hard Skills

  • UX research skills. 
  • Analytical skills. 
  • UX design skills. 
  • Prototyping.
  • Graphic design.

UX Designer Soft Skills

  • Communication and presentation skills. 
  • Empathy. 
  • Critical thinking. 
  • Collaboration and teamwork skills. 

Tools and Programs UX Designer Use

  • Figma
  • Adobe XD
  • Sketch
  • Axure
  • InVision
  • Photoshop
  • Framer X
  • Oragami Studio
  • Proto.io

 

 How to Become a UX Designer

UX Designer Education and Experience

There isn’t one prescribed way to become a UX designer, although many UX designers hold bachelor’s degrees in graphic design, software engineering, human-computer interaction or a related field. 

Building a portfolio of work that focuses on user research and UX design is essential to breaking into a UX designer role. Utilizing opportunities like internships and volunteering to run projects for college groups, small businesses and non-profit organizations is a great way to start building a portfolio of work. 

UX Designer Certificates and Courses

UX Designer Career Path

It’s common for UX designers to have come from graphic design and UX research backgrounds before beginning their journey as a designer. Many UX designers go on to become subject matter experts, product managers or director of user experience. 

 

UX Designer Salary and Job Outlook

UX designers and related careers are expected to be in demand over the next several years. The U.S. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that digital designers — a role similar to UX design — will have a 23 percent growth rate through 2031. 

The full compensation package for a 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 UX designer salary.

 

How do you become a UX designer?

Besides a four-year bachelor’s degree, aspiring UX designers must demonstrate essential skills by taking on projects and entry-level roles.

In most cases, UX designers begin their careers by earning a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as graphic design, marketing, computer science or analytics. However, many UX designers will have earned a degree in psychology, English or another humanities field to develop their researching abilities before further honing their skills through a UX design bootcamp or course from the likes of Udemy and Udacity.

When entering into the UX field, professionals should expect to begin by applying for roles as a junior UX designer to gain one or two years of experience that will be necessary for taking on more detailed UX projects down the line and mastering basic design principles. Once designers prove themselves to be reliable workers, they can look forward to shedding the ‘junior’ label and earning more responsibilities as seasoned UX designers.

What is the salary of a UX designer?

The field of UX design continues to grow, so UX designers in the U.S. can expect an average base salary of $91,654.

Due to the increasing value of UX design, Built In’s salary tool lists the average base salary of UX designers in the U.S. as $91,654. However, with an average of $6,186 in additional cash compensation, the average total compensation for U.S.-based UX designers grows to $97,840. Some junior-level UX designers may start out in the field earning $45K, but as experience grows, UX designers at the highest level can earn as much as $300K. Built In collects salary figures from responses submitted by anonymous UX designers in the United States, with salary data updated in real-time.

What skills does a UX designer need?

UX designers must master many technical concepts and a suite of digital tools that support UX activities to craft exceptional user experiences.

To design intuitive products, UX designers must know how to navigate various stages of the production process. Conducting user and target audience research, creating wireframes and prototypes, and understanding UI design are all critical skills. Most importantly, however, UX designers must ensure that the user’s objectives and needs remain top-of-mind at every production step. These abilities give UX designers the knowledge to develop intuitive products that continue to grow in importance in a distracted world.

Having experience with industry-standard design and research tools is also crucial for carrying out UX processes. UX designers should have a strong working knowledge of software like Sketch, InVision Studio, Adobe XD, Figma, Illustrator and other common technologies. Blending this knowledge with a flexible mindset and other soft skills will allow UX designers to become key contributors in guiding research-backed products to market.

Courses

Expand Your UX Designer Career Opportunities

Become a more well-rounded professional by learning in-demand UX and design skills through Udemy’s online courses.

General Assembly

Are you interested in UX Design, but have no prior experience or an idea of where to start? You’ve come to the right place!

4.5
(462)
Udemy

Topic:

Master UX design: Claim your space in one of the fastest growing industries! (Usability, Beta testing to Prototyping)

 

What you'll learn:

  • Master the art of User…

Udemy

Topic:

Understand User Experience Design ( UX ) to begin designing web and mobile apps to keep your users engaged and happy.

 

What you'll learn:

  • Understand the basics of…

4.5
(2039)
Udemy

Topic:

UX based on real world examples. Gain powerful UX skills you can use to start a UX career or improve your projects.

 

What you'll learn:

  • Gain UX skills you can…

4.5
(1519)
Certifications

UX Designer Certifications + Programs

Take the next major leap in your career by achieving UX and design certifications with Udacity.

Learn the tools and techniques to design products that are equal parts useful, functional, and delightful. Focusing on both theoretical frameworks and practical applications, students in General Assembly’s User Experience Design course will develop a portfolio project of their choosing — receiving expert feedback along the way.

 

What you'll accomplish

This is a beginner-friendly program with no prerequisites, although many students are familiar with digital design concepts. Whether you’re new to the field or you’re looking to formalize your practice, our curriculum helps you gain fluency in end-to-end UX processes, tools and documentation and put them to work for you, your company, and your career. Throughout this expert-designed program, you’ll:

  • Discover how to identify, ideate, articulate, and develop design solutions for UX challenges.
  • Describe how UX designers work with product managers, developers, and visual designers.
  • Explore the current UX design landscape through relevant, real-world examples.
  • Develop and document personas, journey maps, user flows, and annotated wireframes.
  • Utilize industry-standard tools to propose and refine design decisions.
  • Apply what you’ve learned to create a portfolio project: a new or redesigned digital product experience.

 

Why General Assembly

Since 2011, General Assembly has graduated more than 40,000 students worldwide from the full time & part time courses. During the 2020 hiring shutdown, GA's students, instructors, and career coaches never lost focus, and the KPMG-validated numbers in their Outcomes report reflect it. *For students who graduated in 2020 — the peak of the pandemic — 74.4% of those who participated in GA's full-time Career Services program landed jobs within six months of graduation. General Assembly is proud of their grads + teams' relentless dedication and to see those numbers rising. Download the report here.

 

Your next step? Submit an application to talk to the General Assembly Admissions team


 

Note: reviews are referenced from Career Karma - https://careerkarma.com/schools/general-assembly

 

Udacity
Beginner
3 months
10 hours

General Assembly’s User Experience Design Immersive is a transformative course designed for you to get the necessary skills for a UX Design role in three months. 

The User Experience Design bootcamp is led by instructors who are expert practitioners in their field, supported by career coaches that work with you since day one and enhanced by a career services team that is constantly in talks with employers about their UX Design hiring needs.

 

What you'll accomplish

As a graduate, you’ll have a portfolio of projects that show your creative and technical ability to launch the next generation of successful apps, websites and digital experiences. Throughout this program, you will:

  • Identify and implement the most effective methods of user research to gain a deeper understanding of what users want and need.

  • Use interaction and visual design techniques to craft a dynamic digital product that brings delight and function to users.

  • Conduct usability testing to make product experiences more accessible for diverse user populations and environments.

  • Learn best practices for working within a product team, employing product management techniques and evaluating technical constraints to better collaborate with developers.

  • Produce polished design documentation, including wireframes and prototypes, to articulate design decisions to clients and stakeholders.

  • Prepare for the world of work, compiling a professional-grade portfolio of solo, group, and client projects.

 

Prerequisites

This is a beginner-friendly program with no prerequisites, although many students are familiar with common tools for graphic and web designers and some may have had exposure to UX concepts in the past. The General Assembly curriculum helps you gain fluency in end-to-end UX processes, tools, and documentation and put them to work on the path to a new career as a User Experience Designer.

 

Why General Assembly

Since 2011, General Assembly has graduated more than 40,000 students worldwide from the full time & part time courses. During the 2020 hiring shutdown, GA's students, instructors, and career coaches never lost focus, and the KPMG-validated numbers in their Outcomes report reflect it. *For students who graduated in 2020 — the peak of the pandemic — 74.4% of those who participated in GA's full-time Career Services program landed jobs within six months of graduation.  General Assembly is proud of their grads + teams' relentless dedication and to see those numbers rising. Download the report here.

 

Your next step? Submit an application to talk to the General Assembly Admissions team


 

Note: reviews are referenced from Career Karma - https://careerkarma.com/schools/general-assembly

Udacity
Beginner
3 months
10 hours

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.

Udacity
Beginner
3 months
10 hours
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