UX design is one of the hottest topics in today’s digital-first world. It seems like almost everyone is either looking to hire a UX designer or become one themselves.
The question is, why? What is it about UX design that makes it such a sought-after skill and desirable career choice? Why become a UX designer?
We decided to find out what UX professionals love about their field, to answer these questions for you. But before we do that, let’s start by answering an important question.
What is user experience design?
User experience (UX) describes the experience a user, or customer, has with digital products such as apps or websites.
A UX designer’s primary aims are:
- Making the product easy to use
- Making sure users can achieve their goals
- Providing additional value the user doesn't expect
- Making sure the product speaks the user’s language
UX designers are responsible for researching users, understanding their goals and using this information to shape user experiences for the better. Few other tech professionals have such influence on business bottom lines and consumer satisfaction.
Sound interesting? Oh, it is! And we haven’t even scratched the surface here. Check out our blog on: what is user experience design (UX) design to learn more about the fundamentals of this fascinating profession.
Why choose a career in UX design?
So why should you become a UX designer? We think the best way to find out is to ask current UX'ers what they have to say about their role. To go straight to the horse's mouth.
Here is what they had to tell us:
1. UX is fascinating
Few fields of study will tickle your intellectual tastebuds like UX design does. It requires a diverse set of skills and overlaps tonnes of other disciplines, like psychology, behavioural studies, product design, qualitative and quantitative research, data analysis and visual design.
At its heart, UX design is about figuring out what makes people tick and designing experiences based on this to influence their behaviour. Your typical UX'er is an excellent people-person who knows a little about a lot of stuff. They are usually the most interesting person in the room at parties!
2. UX design improves lives
UX designers bridge the gap between people and technology. Your work as a UX designer will improve lives by making technology accessible to the elderly, vulnerable people, and well…everyone else too.
Think how easy it is to manage your finances, pay bills, do your shopping, plan travel routes and book hotels, all with a handheld device that slips into your back pocket. Everyone should feel comfortable using technology. UX designers are the superheroes on a mission to make that happen.
3. A UX designer’s day is never dull
You should become a UX designer if you crave stimulation and variety. In a typical day’s work, a UX designer could plan research strategies, conducts interviews, analyse data, make presentations, design wireframes and test prototypes. They also get to work alongside an incredible array of stakeholders, marketing experts, developers, visual designers, and other creative masterminds. Great if you are a people person.
4. An incredible range of job opportunities
UX design is unusual in that the role tends to vary wildly from one position to the next. You could choose to be a “generalist” designer who has a hand in all aspects of the design process - if this is what floats your boat. Alternatively, you can join a larger design team as a UX specialist that deals with one aspect of the process, like user research or UX writing.
People often ask about the best companies for UX designers to join, which is a tricky question to answer quite simply because the world is rife with incredible UX opportunities. Whether you’d prefer to work as a one-person UX band for a small startup or as part of a dynamic UX team in a large corporation, the ideal job for you is out there.
This brings us to our next point...
5. UX design is a future-proof career
If you’re interested in job security and the opportunity to progress (who isn’t?), then you could do much worse than a career in UX design. The demand for UX designers has steadily increased over the past decade, and we expect demand to remain high for quite some time.
While once an elusive term, UX design is now a widely understood and highly-valued skill set. As the tech industry continues to grow, so too does the need for UX designers. Jump on the gravy train, and in a few years, you could end up leading your own team or even heading a design department.
6. UX designers earn above average salaries
“Why become a UX designer” Answer No. 6: Um, because it pays well!
Across Europe, UX designers earn above-average salaries. Here are some examples of average UX designer salaries by country:
UK - €56,016
France - €40,608
Germany - €51,949
Spain - €32,263
Netherlands - €43,356
Of course, the exact amount you earn as a UX designer will depend on your experience level and where you’re based. But all in all, the outlook is pretty favourable.
7. A great career choice for job changers
Due to its multidisciplinary nature and the transferable skills it requires, UX design welcomes career changers with open arms. Though a degree in UX design or a related field will help you get your foot in the door, it is by no means necessary.
Many UX superstars didn’t enter the field until relatively late in their working lives and progressed faster as a result.
You do not need a degree or any previous experience to become a UX designer, but you will need to work hard. Fortunately, there are fantastic, free learning resources everywhere!
8. Easy access to learning resources
With UX design, there are enough free and easily accessible learning resources to keep even the most diligent learners busy for about a decade. That’s without even factoring in UX design books (mostly not free) or an introductory UX design course (not free, if you choose one of the best user experience design courses).
Our point is that UX design is a brilliant field of study because you can learn an awful lot, all by yourself. A quick internet search will turn up dozens of podcasts, blogs, websites, YouTube channels and free ebooks, all exploring the fascinating art-meets-science that is UX design.
Keen to get started? We’ll give you a detailed run-down of our favourite UX design resources in a future post (you lucky thing, you!)
9. Study UX design online
We’ve saved the best news for last. Why UX design? Because you can study and gain recognised UX certifications, all from the comfort of your own home. There are dozens of high-value, remote learning courses available online, many of which aim at complete beginners.
The best user experience design courses include practical work as well as theoretical studies. Ideally, your chosen course will centre around building a killer UX design portfolio that you can show to future employers.
Are you ready to become a UX designer?
Check out our Design Thinking Course!