UX design is an integral part of any company’s digital marketing strategy. Yet it’s also one of the least understood parts of that strategy, especially for those who don’t work in the field every day.
So today we’re going to take a closer look at what UX design is and how you can get started with it.
What does “UX” stand for? It stands for User Experience Design, which means designing products from the perspective of how they will be used by customers or other users. In this post, we’ll cover some basic definitions and job responsibilities as well as common misconceptions about UX design before diving into our ultimate goal: designing your first app! Let’s dive in!
What is a UX designer?
A UX designer’s job description is broad and can vary from company to company. If you ask 10 different professionals what a UX designer does, you’ll probably get 10 different answers!
In general, though, most companies view the job as having three major components: conducting research, creating wireframes and prototypes, and coordinating with other designers, developers, and clients. When a UX designer is first hired by a company, their main responsibility will probably be conducting extensive research into how users currently interact with the company’s existing products or services.
Remember that this person is not designing the product from scratch – instead, they’re figuring out what works and what doesn’t work with the product as it currently exists, rewriting its rules according to what users actually want.
Once this research is complete, a UX designer will take their findings and create wireframes or prototypes that demonstrate how they believe the product should work. These wireframes are much less detailed than the final design but help clients visualize how the finished product will function. After creating the wireframes, a UX designer will then work with other designers and developers to implement them into the finished product.
What are some popular job titles that fall under the UX umbrella?
Many different job titles fall under the UX design umbrella, but here are some of the most common ones you’ll run into UX Designer Digital Product Manager UI/UX Designer Project Manager User Researcher Content Strategist Graphic Designer
As you can see, there is a wide range of job titles that fall under the umbrella of UX. This is partly because the responsibilities themselves vary widely from company to company and partially because different companies may all use different names for their various roles.
For example, in some companies, the UX designer will also serve as the project manager responsible for coordinating with developers and clients while in other companies they will have a separate person who takes on this role (this is especially common if their company is large enough to employ several designers).
The point is that the job titles may vary slightly but the responsibilities are largely the same.
What are some common misconceptions about UX design?
One of the most common misconceptions about UX design is that it only applies to more complex products like websites or mobile apps. While this can certainly be true, it’s not necessary – you can still do excellent UX work with simpler products like books!
Another misconception is that a user interface designer has similar if not identical job duties as a UX designer. While these roles are often interchangeable within companies, UI designers usually focus on purely visual aspects of a product while UX designers consider how things will look but also think about how they will function. This means that there may be some overlap between what each role does but they have different focuses.
Finally, a third common misconception is that UX design revolves around making products as fun as possible for users. While it’s certainly true that you want to create a product that users enjoy using, the goal of UX design isn’t to have them have fun – instead, you’re focusing on creating a product that makes their lives easier and helps them accomplish whatever goals they may have!
What are some of the most important principles of a great user experience?
Four main principles form the foundation of good user experiences: Make everything easily discoverable Keep things consistent Make everything visually clear Give users control over their environment So what do these mean exactly? Let’s go through each principle one by one so you can understand how they work!
First, everything should be easy to discover. This means that your product should be intuitive enough that users can find what they’re looking for without needing to hunt around too much. It also means that an experienced user will know where to look for new features so there’s always something new to discover even after using it for a long time.
Next, all the elements of your product should work together consistently so there’s no confusion about how different features or tools work. For example, if you have two buttons on the same page but one is blue and the other is green, this could cause some confusion (and lead them to believe they do entirely different things).
Finally, everything should be as clear as possible. If something is hidden or unclear, it should be easy to find and fix. There shouldn’t be any surprises for users and everything should work as expected!
Lastly, give your users the ability to control their environment whenever possible (for example by allowing them to organize their options into different folders or groups). This may seem like a minor thing but it makes a huge difference in how much they enjoy using your product because they’ll always know where things are and what you can do!
What does “delight” mean when talking about user experience design?
Sometimes people use the term “delight” when referring to user experience design but this isn’t generally the best way of thinking about UX work. Instead of focusing on creating a product that just provides a positive experience, you should generally be focusing on creating products that are easy to use and have clear instructions.
Of course, it’s helpful if your product also provides an additional benefit, but one of the best ways to think about this is by considering what “delight” literally means – the Latin term “delectare” loosely translates to “to charm or enchant”. This is something users will expect from any great user experience so by doing these things your product will delight them!
What kinds of tools does a UX designer use?
A UX designer can generally choose whatever tools they’re most comfortable with when designing their product because, as long as the result looks good, doesn’t matter how much time it takes to create. There are a few common tools that most designers use though, including:
Sketch – a graphics editor similar to Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator
InVision – a tool for creating prototypes and sharing them with others
Adobe Creative Cloud – an integrated set of programs that includes the listed applications plus more (such as Premiere Pro and After Effects)
User Interface – the look and feel of the product including color schemes, fonts, and logos
User Experience Design – how easy it is to use, how clear it is, etc. So what does a UX designer actually do? In general terms, a UX designer will create wireframes or mockups which outline their vision for how the final product should work. They’ll also talk with other team members to make sure everyone understands what needs to be done so they can be on the same page when creating and evaluating designs in more detail (which involves using tools like Sketch and Adobe Creative Cloud). At this stage, they’ll also create ‘paper sketches’ or screen captures that illustrate how someone could use the product and (if necessary) share these with their team.
What about UX vs UI vs IA?
As mentioned above, there’s a difference between what you do as a designer compared to either user interface (UI) design or information architecture (IA). These terms can each be defined as follows:
User Interface (UI) – the look and feel of the product including color schemes, fonts, and logos
Information Architecture (IA) – the structure of the product and how it works behind-the-scenes So if you’re creating wireframes for an app you’d probably just refer to yourself as doing “UX design”. However, if you had to add another label then it would be better to say that you’re doing “UI design” or “IA”.
What does a UX designer do?
A UX designer is responsible for user experience design which means they’ll create wireframes and mockups which illustrate their vision for how the final product should work. They also have to talk with other team members to make sure everyone understands what needs to be done so they can be on the same page when creating the app in more detail.
When planning out their designs, they often create paper sketches or screen captures that are used to illustrate how someone might use the app. For this reason, it’s helpful if you have at least some basic understanding of either Adobe Creative Cloud or Sketch before getting started. Once the design is complete, they’ll conduct user tests to see if their ideas are actually helpful or necessary. By doing this, they can make sure their product is as easy to use as possible and make changes accordingly.
How do you become a UX designer?
While there are no set rules for how to become a UX designer, it’s generally best if you have some kind of formal education in this area plus years of industry experience. This doesn’t mean that you can’t get your foot in the door with an impressive portfolio instead but most companies expect at least a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) these days. At the very least, you should focus on landing internships that give you real-world experience before being hired. You’ll also have to learn how to use tools like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and Sketch as well as prototyping tools like InVision or UXPin if you don’t already know what they are.
Where can you work as a UX designer?
Most companies hire UX designers because they need to create an app or website that will help users solve problems. However, there are many different types of companies that might hire you including:
Software and Web Development Firms (Google, IBM, and Apple) – these sorts of companies often require years of industry experience before hiring someone as a UX designer. You’ll also need at least a bachelor’s degree to get hired full-time here.
Startups (Uber and Netflix) – startups don’t always offer such high salaries but this could be offset by equity (or ownership in the company). They’re usually looking for people who have 35 years of industry experience yet don’t require specific degrees or certifications.
UX Design & Advertising Agencies (Wunderman and BBDO) – these types of agencies are usually looking for experienced designers who also know how to do UX research, evaluation, and testing.
Design Firms (Northwestern Mutual, IDEO, and NUA) – design firms typically want people with at least 10 years of experience before hiring them full-time. They’re also often looking for someone with a master’s degree in either Human Factors or User Experience Design.
You can find jobs via the following websites: AngelList, Awwwards Jobs List, Behance Jobs List, Career Dean, Coroflot Jobs List, Creative Bloq Careers Page, Dribbble Jobs List, Envato Studio, Facebook – Open Positions, F6S Jobs List, Graphic Design USA Jobs Page, IconFinder Career Page, LinkedIn’s Job Board, Monster.com and Simply Hired.
What is the average salary for a UX designer?
According to Payscale, the median yearly salary for a UX designer in 2017 was $92k-$100k with 10% of people making less than $60k per year and another 10% earning over $160k annually. However, it also depends on which types of companies you work for as well as how many years of experience you have. You can find more details about what the salary might be like at PayScale.
Resources: UX Mastery, Google Careers Page, AngelList & Simply Hired.
UX Design is a crucial part of any company’s digital marketing strategy.
Here, you’ll find out how to get started in the UX design world with a comprehensive guide that covers everything from basic definitions and job responsibilities to designing your first app. There are plenty of articles out there that only cover the basics but this one will give you a more thorough introduction to UX design by outlining what it takes to become a successful designer as well as where they can work and what their average salary might be like.
We hope this article has been helpful for those looking to make the jump into UX design or who want some guidance on getting started down this career path!