User Experience goes so far beyond the initial, visual design of any digital product or service. The growth of technology has risen our expectation of the quality of interaction we receive on digital platforms. The way we experience and are involved with a digital interface is just as important as the aesthetic design or visual and graphic elements. A UX Designer’s job is to ensure the user’s experience is fulfilled by designing a digital product that is both visually beautiful with an engaging and interactive user experience design, to keep the user’s attention for as long as possible enabling them to achieve their digital or online goals.
A User Experience designer is responsible for designing websites or software that are both usable and user-centric. They carry out research and user testing to find out exactly what the end user wants, to then develop wireframes and a structure or information architecture that will meet their expectations. Working further with designers and developers, they create websites and software that are intuitive to the end user.
Now that we have a better insight into what a UX designer does on a daily basis, here are some of the essential qualities and skills you will need to become a successful UX designer.
Every UX designer should have good or even natural communication or social skills, being able to produce engaging presentations and articulate design ideas to other members of their team is essential. At the same time, you should be a good listener and comfortably work as part of a team and be open to feedback or even conflict and disagreements within the team. Although, a good UX designer will be able to easily overcome problems and issues throughout their design process.
Working both independently and as part of a team as a UX designer, you should be able to drive group discussions and take the lead when it comes to decision making. You should still be able to listen to other peoples ideas, be curious and understand where they are coming from, even if you don’t fully agree! Asking questions and engaging with problems that arise will help UX designers keep up in the constantly evolving field that they work in. At the end of the day, a UX designer should be understanding of both their fellow team members and the end user that will be experiencing the UX design they are working together to create.
Organisation and Preparation
UX designers should be constantly aware of current design trends and new or advanced technology being released onto the market. They should be knowledgeable about both current and up and coming technology so they can apply the knowledge to their work. For example, keeping in the know with the latest iPhone releases so they can develop websites and apps to respond accordingly. A good UX designer will always have a backup plan and in some cases more than one. This allows them to be prepared for errors that may occur during the development stage. A common trait of a UX designer is not ever feeling satisfied with their work. This doesn’t mean they are never happy with their designs, UX designers just have an always room for improvement mindset. As intelligent as they are, UX designers never fully rely on their own judgement when it comes to making decisions. They rely on the feedback from other team members to make sure the user experience in place is as good as it can be.
Understanding the user’s needs and wants is essential in the world of UX design. User Experience is of course all about how a user interacts with a site. Your main priority as a UX designer is to entertain and gain the user’s interest and attention on any website or digital system. Being able to think outside the box and put yourself in the shoes of a user will be a massive advantage when designing for UX. From carrying out research and understanding the target market, putting yourself in the mindset of a user can make a huge impact on your UX design decisions. Being open to what the user will want and not necessarily what you would personally prefer on a website is also essential as a UX designer, you need to remember user experience is all about what the user needs and wants.
Whether you are a UX designer, a student with aspirations to work in the industry or a potential client looking to improve the user experience on your website, this should hopefully give you an insight into what a UX designers job involves on a daily basis. It’s so much more than what meets the eye!