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Learn more about the key roles, responsibilities, and skills of a UI/UX designer and find out what employers look for in potential UI/UX candidates in this comprehensive guide.
Need to know more about the essentials of UI/UX design? Visit our comprehensive guide on how to become a UI/UX designer here.
User experience (UX) designers are responsible for creating an optimal experience for the user when they interact with a digital or physical product, such as a website or a coffee machine. Some focus on service design, such as designing the overall experience of using public transportation or visiting a doctor.
Their main concern is studying users, understanding their behavior, and architecting a user journey that enables the user to achieve their desired tasks with minimal effort.
The day-to-day activities of a UX designer vary widely between companies or even between projects within the same company, but some general job functions include:
Interested to see what a UX designer's portfolio looks like? Check out some Springboard graduate portfolios here!
User interaction (UI) designers are primarily concerned with how a user navigates through a digital product. User interaction design is considered a UX function, so you will often see UI/UX used interchangeably in job titles and job descriptions, or it may fall under the responsibility of a product designer.
The day-to-day activities of a UI designer may include:
UX designers earn an average salary of $85,277 per year, according to Glassdoor. Entry-level UX designers can expect $64,622 (includes salary, bonuses, and overtime pay) according to Payscale.
UI designers earn slightly less at $83,837, while entry-level positions pay $49,995.
A typical UI/UX designer job description incorporates a mix of key responsibilities and qualifications. Potential candidates will be expected to:
What does it take to be a UX designer at Google? Find out in the video below!
The job description of UI/UX designers varies widely. Many professional UI/UX designers originate from unrelated fields and bring transferable skills such as visual design, software development, or digital marketing.
Likewise, their educational backgrounds are diverse, although a degree in graphic design or web design can help. UI/UX designers need a range of technical skills such as UX research, wireframing and prototyping, interaction design, visual communication, and information architecture.
Because UI/UX design is such a people-focused job, hiring managers differentiate candidates more heavily on their soft skills than their credentials. Soft skills are what make a mediocre designer exceptional. As such, UI/UX designers must show that they are good communicators, are curious, flexible, and empathetic to the user.
UI/UX design is a multidisciplinary field with a growing range of niche specializations including UX writing, interaction design, usability testing, visual design, and more. UI/UX job descriptions usually mention a mix of these roles.
UI/UX designers are responsible for overall user satisfaction with a product. Their priority is to continually look for ways to improve the product experience, even for bestselling products that have been on the market for years.
They may do this by making the product faster, easier to use, or more fun.
In fact, UI/UX design at its core encompasses the entire user experience. For a physical product, this includes packaging, the purchasing process, and the transportation of the product. For a digital product, it encompasses technical troubleshooting and even how hard or easy it is to explain the product to other people.
Want to know more about UI/UX design? Read on to find the answers to some frequently asked questions.
UI/UX design is such a multidisciplinary field that there’s no hard and fast rule about who can become a UI/UX designer. That said, certain personality traits may be predisposed to thriving on the job.
Certain parts of the UI/UX design process may be handled by AI, such as data analytics for gauging product performance. However, the discipline as a whole is so grounded in understanding humans through user research, a process that demands emotional intelligence and one-on-one communication with users in real-time, that it’s highly unlikely that UI/UX design can be significantly automated anytime soon.
On the other hand, coding has become slightly less of a necessity as more and more prototyping and wireframing tools are being designed with non-programmers in mind.
UI/UX design is an iterative process, so using data analytics to evaluate performance and usability is key. UX metrics are a set of quantitative data points used to track the user experience of a website or mobile app over time. They are also used during usability research, such as UX benchmarking, which is a way of comparing certain product metrics with those of competitors.
This is important because every metric is relative. For instance, the average time on site metric of eight minutes is great for a publisher, but for a bank, it could mean the user is struggling to complete a certain task or can’t find the information they need.
Metrics also need to be adjusted to the channel you’re measuring. For instance, important website metrics include factors like traffic, page views, and bounce rate, while social media success is measured by the number of followers and engagement. Overall, UX quality can also be inferred from sales data, such as average order value or conversions, because these represent users having a favorable user experience and brand perception.
Reducing effort is a huge component of improving UI/UX design. People don’t want to have to hunt for information or click on buttons that lead to dead links. They’ll also choose interfaces that enable them to accomplish tasks in the shortest possible time, and abandon brands that don’t meet these efficiency and ease-of-use standards.
For example, one of the biggest pain points in booking a doctor’s appointment is finding healthcare providers that accept your insurance. ZocDoc is a mobile app that enables users to select search filters for finding general practitioners that accept certain types of health insurance. They can also book their appointment through the app without having to call the doctor’s office, and receive automatic calendar reminders regarding their visit.
Ready to switch careers to UI/UX Design?
Springboard offers a comprehensive UI/UX design bootcamp. No design background required—all you need is an eye for good visual design and the ability to empathize with your user. In the course, you’ll work on substantial design projects and complete a real-world externship with an industry client. After nine months, you’ll graduate with a UI/UX design mindset and a portfolio to show for it.
Check out Springboard's UI/UX Design Career Track to see if you qualify.
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