UX design is a relatively new concept that’s usually used to create electronic devices and applications that are both visually pleasing and useful. It combines the power of researching end users, testing multiple versions of a product, and visually designing the aesthetic and the flow of an experience.
A User Experience Designer can do everything from research to graphic design depending on the project that they’re working on. At a larger company, their role might be more specific like the niche ones we list next. Startups usually hire just one UX Designer and rely on them to do all of the necessary design work for a project on their own.
UX Researchers specialize in researching the user experience and compiling a report of recommendations based on their research. They sometimes work on products that are already built, recommending changes the creator could make, but mostly they do their work in the beginning stages of a new production.
UX Design is mostly used by UX Designers and UX Researchers but other Designers sometimes have a hand in UX as well. A Digital Designer creates the graphics, color scheme, layout, interactive elements, and other branding assets for a project. Then, a UX Designer applies their user research to those designs and tweaks them to fit the product’s goals.
A Design Director works on large scale projects and sets the aesthetic tone for a project. Then, they oversee the Designers working on the project to make sure the final product reflects the desired outcomes.
UX Design is a great place to start if you’re a designer who wants to get into tech, a researcher who wants to be more creative, or a developer who is looking to get out of coding and into the needs of end-users. Whatever your goals, learning UX Design is a great first step, but you’ll also need to learn the tech tools like Sketch and Adobe XD that will help you create the visual aspects your job will require.
UX Design Career Options
Here are a few career paths for which you’ll likely need UX Design skills in order to succeed. We also include additional info about their average salaries, their day-to-day responsibilities, and a link to learn more about each career.
User Experience Designer
User experience (UX) designers are responsible for ensuring that digital products offer a seamless user experience, through prototyping, user research, and user testing. They will test the navigation and functionality of websites, apps, and more. UX designers must stay current on design trends to ensure ongoing adherence to best practices. They will also conduct ongoing user research to understand the habits and needs of users.Learn about becoming a User Experience Designer
Designers work in a wide variety of industries and specialize in just as many mediums. Most designers create digital assets, but some designers work with hand-drawn sketches and illustrations. They start with an understanding of the best design principles and functional aesthetics. Common fields for designers include web, apps, print, fashion, animation, advertising, and UX design.Learn about becoming a Designer
User experience researchers analyze customer and client data to improve interactions. They design and lead focus groups in order to collect usability data, and then report their findings to inform future development and iterations. With a focus on improving brand loyalty and user satisfaction, user experience researchers share their insights with user experience developers to assist with future design efforts.Learn about becoming a UX Researcher
Digital Designers make graphics, animations, and other visual effects. Depending on their preference, a Digital Designer might choose to niche down to work exclusively on pre-print, web, or digital marketing. These niches that the Digital Designer is designing websites, applications, advertisements, or publications.Learn about becoming a Digital Designer
A Design Director leads a team of creative professionals who curate the look and feel of a product or project through the production of visual strategies. They work on projects like magazines, movies, advertisements, video games, or websites. Design Directors can work in industries such as interior design, retail, marketing, architecture, and entertainment.Learn about becoming a Design Director
A product designer is responsible for creating and refining the visual and functional aspects of a product, using skills in user research, sketching, and prototyping to design user-friendly interfaces and physical product prototypes. They collaborate with cross-functional teams, including engineers and marketers, to ensure the final product aligns with user needs and company goals.Learn about becoming a Product Designer