As technology is evolving, it is creating new job titles that did not exist a few decades ago. The changes in a marketing approach that have become more user-centric also contributed to the creation of new roles and responsibilities in product design and development that led to the creation of an entirely new job title like UX designer. Today, a career in UX design is highly lucrative and rewarding, which is why UX jobs NYC tops the list of the most sought-after jobs. As the role of UX designer is still growing, it is difficult to assign a specific meaning to the job title that encompasses many different things that make different companies looking at it in different ways to find its meaning.
UX designers must have varied qualities consisting of an assortment of skills in technical, social, and creative domains. They must be as comfortable to work with Sketch and Adobe as they should be when interacting with various groups of people who are actual users and analyze their interactions with the help of prototypes, mockups, and wireframes. The job is not easy at all, but if you are passionate about fusing your humane and creative traits with technology, then you would love to take up the challenge that can provide a very attractive career.
What is the work of a UX designer?
No matter how good a product or service might be, how users feel when interacting with it determines its acceptability. Even the best product might fail to win the hearts of users if they do not have comfortable interaction with it during the various stages of their purchasing journey. Although named UX design, it does not pertain to the product design per se but instead focuses on the different elements that influence the experience of users when they interact with the product right from the time they envisage it until the time they complete a purchase.
UX designers are responsible for creating a favorable user experience during user interaction with the product so that it culminates in a positive experience that brings them closer to the product, appreciate its goodness and finally turn loyal to the brand. UX designers create storyboards, mockups, wireframes, and sitemaps with the help of programs such as Sketch, Adobe, and Illustrator and then finish their product for testing by users.
For example, how much pleasurable you feel when driving a car depends on the hard work of UX designers. They must ensure that right from the time you see the car to sitting inside to driving and parking it; the whole experience must be intuitive, logical, enjoyable, and beautiful.
Traits of a good UX designer
To know if you are a good candidate to become a UX designer, you must possess the following traits.
Passionate – To succeed as a UX designer, you must be passionate about the job and not treat it just as a means of earning or making a career. Firstly, you must love what you are doing, and thoughts should flow automatically from within. You must take real interest to study and understand how users interact with products and how things work.
Empathetic – to understand user experience, you must empathize with them by stepping into their shoes. It will help you to realize how they feel about the product, what they deem good about it, or what pains them or make them feel frustrated. It will provide insights into why certain things are working while others do not.
Self-starting – UX designers are members of a bigger team of product development, but they must have a high level of self-motivation to keep going by themselves while working to achieve the team goals. You must have a vision of your own so that you can think creatively and apply your skills and knowledge for improving the quality of the deliverables.
Love for technology – It is not enough to take an interest in technology. You must love it and have good social skills with understanding human psychology to comprehend how humans interact with technology.
Humble – You must be a team man and put personal ego aside to create a comprehensive user experience. It would help if you collaborated with your team members as well as other cross-functional teams and departments, including programmers, UI designers, C-level executives, users, and stakeholders. You must be open to feedback and use it constructively for product betterment.
To become a UX designer, you must prepare in the following way.
Read a lot
Getting a job at the entry-level is quite difficult unless you have a grasp about the subject for which you must gather knowledge that prepares you for the professional work. Among hundreds of books on UX design, you must choose a selected few like Smashing UX Design, The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman, and Don’t Make Think, Don’t Make me Think by Steve Krug. Besides, you can go through blogs, articles, and podcasts that are plentiful on the web.
Look for a Mentor
As part of the self-learning process, you must have a mentor on whom you can fall back upon for guidance and seeking answers to queries and concerns that crowd your mind. The mentor must be a knowledgeable and experienced person in the field. Begin by getting close to a UX community that can lead you to your mentor.
Take up a course in UX design
Self-learning has its limitations, and you cannot expect your mentor to become your teacher by devoting exclusive time for you. To get a feel about how the real world is and make it easier to enter the job market, you must take up a course in UX design. It will prepare you for the UX design concepts, resources and tools give the scope of practicing it.
Do some practical work
Having learned about UX design, you must hone your skills in implementing the knowledge. Take up some assignments that allow practical work and exposes you to teamwork, help to learn problem-solving techniques, and how to handle deadlines besides working with budgets.
Having gone through the process and covering all steps, you are ready to hit the job market.