What does a UX Designer do?
It’s no secret to anyone that the IT industry is one of the most well-paid, so thousands of students and professionals from other industries every year consider obtaining an IT profession. The industry is quite broad, and there are numerous professions to choose from. In this article, we are going to talk about what is a UX Designer in particular. Here we discuss the professional responsibilities, skills, and of course, salary range.
What is UX Design?
UX is an abbreviation of User Experience. This term is used to define how users interact with a product and how satisfied they are with it. UX Design is a multifaceted concept comprising a variety of elements such as interactive design, information presentation, visual design, ease of use, and overall user enjoyment of the product use. The aim of UX Design is to better the customers’ satisfaction with the product. This is achieved through thorough work based on research on the improvement of usability, functionality, and constant service bettering. Basically, the UX Design process means the creation of useful, easy-to-use, and enjoyable products.
Essential UX Designer skills
- Ability to perform research. The whole UX process is based on the research results. You should not expect that good ideas and solutions will come out of nowhere. They are found based on the customer needs and expectations, information which can be obtained through various research methods.
- Good communication skills. If you are not an expert programmer, to create a successful IT product, you need to work with a team of technical professionals. Thus, good communication skills are crucial.
- Ability to create prototypes. Prototyping apps and other IT products is an important element of the product creation process. It is needed to demonstrate the key functions of the project and attract investments for future development. There are multiple tools for this task, so you have to know how to work with them. For instance, in FlairBuilder, you can create an interactive wireframe with the key design elements. For animation, transitions, and other dynamic effects, you need to use InVision or Marvel.
- Proficiency in working with text. The ability to write clearly and concisely is an underestimated skill that is, in fact, as important as working with layouts. Look at some of the apps on your smartphone, and how the functions, recommendations for work, and hints are presented. In most popular apps, these are short and concise texts. You could have overlooked it because the good text, as well as good visual design, is frequently taken for granted by the users. But it is one of the determining factors for user experience. The perfect examples of work with texts can be found at Apple, Dropbox, and MailChimp.
- Understanding of visual communications. The ability to communicate a message through visuals is an important ability of any designer. People easier perceive visual information more than any other, so you have to thoroughly work on UI, i.e., user interface, and create quality icons, presentations, prototypes, and so on.
- Empathy. We mean the ability to put yourself in another person's shoes. Understanding the customer’s problem and needs is halfway to their solution. If you think only as a designer, you most likely incorrectly define the needs of the final users, and the product won’t be successful.
- Interaction design skills. You can develop an attractive design, but neglect how the users will use it, and the product will fail. To avoid that, you have to hone your skills in interaction design through the creation of multiple versions of website or app layouts, trying various design versions and combinations to find just the right one.
- Programming skills. UX Designer is a profession that requires cross skills from different professions, including technical skills. The line between a designer and developer is blurry, and improving your programming skills to better communicate your ideas to the team of developers and realistically assess their possibilities may be a good idea. Of course, no one says you have to be a proficient Full Stack Developer able to create the product from scratch on your own.
- Analytic skills. Before a product launch into the market, you need to know how well it is working. For this, testing and analytics are used. You need to understand and interpret real data to improve the final product to ensure its success.
- Public speech and presentation skills. These skills are crucial at all stages of product development. First, you have to use them to attract needed investments. Then convey your ideas to your team. And finally, present the product to the users.
UX Designer roles and responsibilities
UX Designer’s main responsibility is to ensure that the user experience is enjoyable, and if it’s not, find the solutions to the existing problems promptly and effectively. The information on the product’s initial features and actions aimed at their subsequent refinement is based on various research methods surveys, testing, and analysis of the obtained data. UX specialists work alongside UI Designers and are accountable for user interface usability. UI professionals define how the interface looks, and UX is accountable for the functionality and work of the interface. If the interface works well and the users have a good experience using it, then the tasks are fulfilled. But if the navigation is complex and counterintuitive, users won’t be satisfied, and it means that the UX Designer failed.
UX Designer tools
- Google. UX Designer is a profession that requires constantly broadening your horizons and acquiring new knowledge. You don’t need to know everything at once after you graduate, but you need to be able to use a search engine effectively to find answers to all of your questions and solutions for new tasks.
- Sketch, Figma, Adobe XD. These are simplified graphic editors for prototype Design. These tools are preferred by professionals in the field because they have just the right functionality and features.
- InVision Studio, Proto.io, Marvel, Origami. It is prototyping software that helps create wireframes, maps, and interfaces for the product prototypes.
- Zeplin. It is a tool that transforms the interface into CSS and offers a perfect solution for transferring the project to a team of developers.
- Google Analytics. You need to use this tool to gather information on how your website works through quantitative data.
- Flowmap, Balsamiq. These are strategic planning tools that help define the strategy before you start working on a project. They help to structure information, create website map, wireframes, etc.
- Bugsee, Appsee, Hotjar. These tools help to conduct quality research, for instance, find bugs and errors in apps, gather analytic information about the website and feedback through tests, questionnaires, etc.
- User Report, Usabilla. These are the tools for user testing that can be incorporated into the product to collect feedback and questionnaires.
Difference between UI and UX Designer
UX Design is accountable for the product functions and emotions that a user has when using the product. The easier to use is the interface, the more satisfaction the users will have. UI Design is accountable for the attractiveness of the visual components of the product, i.e., icons, menu, buttons, fonts, and so on. UX Designer analyses the actions of the users collect feedback, and improves the product respectively, while UI specialist is responsible for the look of the product. In the actual working process, these two professions are closely related, and it can be hard to draw the line between the responsibilities of these positions.
UX Designer Salary
An average salary of a specialist working in UX Design in the USA is $74,000 per year. The entry-level positions are paid $63,000 a year, and experienced professionals with 10+ of expertise can aim for $96,000 a year.
In Canada, the industry offers an average annual pay of C$63,000 or $52,000. Young specialists are paid around C$54,000 or $45,000, and experts with 10+ years of experience earn around C$78,000 or $65,000 a year.
In India, the median salary of a UX professional is ₹663,093, or $9,000 a year. A recent graduate can expect to be paid around ₹408,622 or $5,600 a year, and a professional, with more than ten years of experience ₹1,355,691 or $18,500 per year.
The following salaries offer to the leaders of the IT industry: Microsoft pays UX Designers on average $113,000 a year and ₹1,596,874 or around $21,500 to the specialists working at the Indian offices. Google pays for the same position around $130, 000 a year and around ₹1,751,000 or $24,000 a year for outsourced specialists located in India. Amazon offers UX specialists an average early pay of $116,500 a year and about ₹1,800,000 or $24.500 a year to specialists from India.