What skills does a UX designer need to have?
- UX designers need to have strong research skills to examine the market and the intentions of the user.
- They will need strong interpersonal skills and an ability to collaborate effectively on projects, communicating findings, listening to feedback, and actively contributing to solutions.
- They will need to be able to use wireframing tools competently and to great effect.
- They will also need to be able to get the best out of prototyping software to create effective demonstrations of the UX in action.
- Copywriting skills may also be required as the user will need to be guided and inspired by text and verbal communication at different stages of the experience.
- Graphic design skills and visual communication are necessary to support the UX and to connect the product with the brand.
The designer will need a solid grounding in empathy and psychology to be able to put themselves in the position of the user on the way to crafting the best experience.
- UI skills are necessary. We have discussed how UX and UI are not interchangeable terms, but there are significant crossovers between both disciplines, and UX designers will certainly need to be able to design a pleasing interface.
- To craft the best UX, sophisticated coding is required. While organisations will probably employ coding specialists, it is still helpful for the UX designer to have a good understanding of coding.
- All that testing and appraisal require data, and this data comes from analytics. UX designers will need to be able to gather and interpret data from analytics platforms and then put this insight into action in their designs.
What qualifications does a UX designer need?
Most UX designers will need to be educated to bachelor's degree level to qualify for a position. This bachelor's degree will most likely be in visual design, information technology, or computer science, but degrees in psychology and communications may also be useful.
Some organisations may take on UX designers without this bachelor's degree, provided that they have enough experience in a relevant field. This experience may have been gained in the form of apprenticeship or from freelance UX design projects in some cases. More experienced and better-qualified candidates will have an advantage when applying for roles, and will receive higher salaries as a result.
Master's degrees may not be required for entry-level positions but may make it easier for UX designers to achieve higher salaries. A master's degree may also give the designer the opportunity to achieve a more senior role as long as they also have the requisite experience on the job.
What is the career path for a UX designer?
Junior UX designer
UX design assistant
Customer psychology researcher
UX design apprentice
UX design manager
UX design team leader
UX design project manager
Senior UX design manager
Who does a UX designer report to?
The management structure for a UX designer depends largely on the size of the organisation. In smaller organisations, the UX designer may report directly to upper management or to senior project managers handling the development of new products and services.
In larger organisations, the structure is likely to be more complex, with junior UX designers reporting to line managers and senior UX designers. These senior UX designers may report to upper management, or there may be other intermediary strata that they must report to.
All UX designers will need to work side by side with different teams to ensure a harmonious approach to design. This means reporting to different groups within the organisation and collaborating on a project-specific basis.
Common UX design terms
User centred design
User journey maps
How much does a UX designer earn?
A UX designer earns around $101,850 on average each year.
This is greatly dependent on experience and qualification, with entry-level UX designers earning around $46,000 and more experienced professionals commanding a salary of $179,000.