What does a UX Designer do?
User experience (UX) design improves the usability and satisfaction of a product by focusing on the user's interaction with it. The goal of UX design is to make products more user-friendly, efficient and satisfying.
A UX Designer's job is to ensure that a products users have a positive experience when interacting with it. This involves understanding how users think, feel and behave when using a product and identifying potential areas for improvement. A UX Designer then designs solutions that address these issues, ensuring that the end result is a more usable and satisfying product.
UX Designer job responsibilities include:
- Identifying user needs and requirements
- Conducting user research and testing
- Designing user interfaces
- Developing interaction models
- Creating user flows
- Creating user personas
- Defining requirements for usability testing
- Performing user testing and analysis
- Identifying and resolving usability issues during the design process
- Reporting on UX design activities
- Providing guidance and feedback to other team members
A user experience designer will usually work in an office or hybrid environment when employed full-time or may hot desk or work from home on a contractual basis. In some circumstances, additional work may be expected after-hours or on weekends.
When hiring managers recruit UX or UI designers, they typically seek graduates who have a bachelor's degree in graphic design, visual design, computer science, or a related discipline, such as human-computer interaction or information architecture. Because the needs of UX design can vary significantly between organisations based on the product's they develop and different educational backgrounds lend themselves to different design solutions.
UX Designers looking for employment will benefit by having experience with:
- Designing mobile apps or software user interfaces
- User-centred design principals
- User experience prototyping and wireframing
- Knowledge of website analytics tools such as Google Analytics, Adobe SiteCatalyst, Heatmaps, or CrazyEgg to measure engagement and conversion rates
- User research and usability testing tools such as Morae, Silverback, UserTesting.com, or Inspectlet
- Dedicated UI/UX tools like Balsamiq, Sketch and Figma
- Design software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Sketch and After Effects
UX Designers also need excellent communication and problem-solving skills. They need to be able to effectively convey their design ideas to others and listen to and act on feedback. They must also be able to identify and solve problems quickly, as many design changes can be made during a project's development.
UX Designers may also work with both internal teams to improve the usability of existing products and with external companies that specialise in usability testing and user research.
What technology does a UX Designer use?
UX Designers use desktop or laptop computers with a wide assortment of installed applications and third-party or proprietary tools. While the specific tools used vary from designer to designer, generally a UX Designer will use a vector drawing application, such as Adobe Illustrator or Sketch, an image editor, such as Adobe Photoshop or GIMP and a wireframing and prototyping application, such as Balsamiq, InVision, UXPin, or Axure RP.
UX Designers may also use a variety of other tools to help them with their work, including:
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe InDesign
- Balsamiq Mockups
- Marvel App
- Google Analytics
What's in a UX Designer's job description?
A UX Designer's job description can vary depending on the company they work for. Still, typically it will involve working with users to identify needs and requirements, designing user interfaces, developing interaction models, creating user flows and defining requirements for usability testing.
UX Designers may also be required to perform user testing and analysis, identify and resolve usability issues, report on their design activities and provide guidance and feedback to other team members.
The skills required for a UX Designer role can vary depending on the company. However, some of the more common skills required are:
- Strong communication and problem-solving skills
- Proven experience in designing mobile apps or software user interfaces
- Knowledge of website analytics tools
- Proven experience in conducting user research and usability testing
- Knowledge of design tools such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Sketch and After Effects
- Experience with prototyping and wireframing tools such as Balsamiq or UXPin
UX Designers should have some or all of the following attributes:
- Passion for user interface and user experience design
- Attention to detail
- Excellent communication skills
- Solid understanding of interaction design fundamentals and processes
- Ability to collaborate with other professionals like graphic designers, interaction designers, UX engineers, marketers and more
- Ability to understand and action user feedback
- Problem-solving skills
Depending on the firm, the tools it uses and how far along it is in its development, the specifics of this job will differ. You might be assigned from start to finish or hired halfway through and required to get up to speed with the project's current needs.
Learn more about UX Designer skills and qualifications, UX Designer salaries, or start your search for UX Designer jobs in Australia.