AUTHOR

Mukul Kashyap

DATE

01/10/2021

TAGS

Communication Design select, Graphics, Problem Solving, User experience deisgn, UX design

User experience (UX) designer Job : 5 Factors To Consider

AUTHOR

Mukul Kashyap

DATE

01/10/2021

TAGS

Communication Design select, Graphics, Problem Solving, User experience deisgn, UX design

Source::UXPlanet.org

“UI is the saddle, the stirrups, & the reigns. UX is the feeling you get being able to ride the horse. – Dain Miller The rapid phase of digital transformation has shaken up entire industries. People are shopping, booking tickets, paying bills, applying for loans, and searching for partners online. As per data shared by market research company Adjust, ‘the Indian app market has grown by 49% in 2020. People have come to appreciate easy access to a variety of mobile apps and digital products, and have no patience for buggy interfaces and clunky designs of the past. These broader trends combined with the proliferation of software solutions across sectors have led to the rise of ‘user experience design’ as a discipline. Companies are scrambling to find qualified UX designers that can craft impeccable product and customer experiences. As per a Glassdoor report in 2019, UX designer ranks 6th amongst ‘25 highest-paying entry-level jobs’. A recent YourStory article concluded that nearly 2000 UX Design jobs are added in India each month. With data from Payscale showing starting salaries hovering between Rs 4-5 lacs per annum, design students from good institutes are graduating into an expanding job market. As one mulls a career in UX Design, these are 5 things to consider-

 Benefits of a job in user experience design

Being a user experience designer is enviable. You get to work on intellectually stimulating projects, solve challenging problems that have real-world relevance, and use your creativity to generate tremendous value for an organization. As per a recent survey conducted by User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA), 80% of designers are highly satisfied with their jobs. They tend to work with like-minded colleagues and embrace their identity without the pressure of fitting in. With mid-career salaries easily crossing Rs 12 lacs pa, generous compensation is an added attraction for aspiring designers. Further, Forbes Technology Council members recently emphasized that jobs requiring a high degree of creativity and critical thinking such as those in ‘user experience design’ are unlikely to be automated. Long-term job outcomes appear to be buoyant especially due to major advances in emerging fields such as Virtual Reality (VR), mobile gaming, and wearable consumer gadgets.

What does a user experience designer do ?

Source::Netsolutions.com

A designer’s responsibilities encompass many verticals depending on the organization and its priorities. Firstly, they need to have a deep understanding of business needs and user goals so as to gain a clear sense of direction. Secondly, they need to gain thorough knowledge about end-users via user research methods including analysis of interviews, demographic data, and ethnographic data. Uncovering the customer’s motivations, pain points, and desired outcomes are crucial milestones for any UX professional. Thirdly, they need to find an effective way to translate the above-mentioned business needs and user goals into design and interaction solutions. The projects that user experience designers typically work on are digital products such as retail apps, banking websites, government portals, booking websites, web apps, gaming apps, SaaS tools, trading portals, blockchain, and more. An important point to note is that a user experience designer is not expected to be proficient in visual design or frontend coding using HTML/CSS. Some common titles for designers as seen on LinkedIn are Lead designer, IxD designer, UX Architect, Information Architect, Digital UX Architect, and Product designer.

Where do user experience design professional work? Startups

It is said that the three core competencies required at a startup are design, coding, and sales/marketing. A Job in UX at a startup will require you to be an interdisciplinary designer who can wear multiple hats. Since there may not be a lot of team members, you may need to create graphics for marketing campaigns, conceptualize wireframes for mobile apps, interview users, share ideas on a sales deck, and more.

Design Agencies – Working at a design agency is a traditional launchpad for early career designers. You will be able to learn from senior designers and work on multiple projects, helping build your portfolio and enhance your design thinking skills. Fulfilling requirements of diverse clients will provide exposure into the different kinds of projects, allowing you to put your career in perspective. As a bonus point, most corporations and large startups will look upon agency experience favourably.

UX Teams in Corporations- Companies which develop and maintain digital products and services typically have a large UX team on-site. Hiring is robust for junior designers since such teams have senior designers and design managers that are available to train and mentor newcomers. A major positive of working in a corporation is that you will get the opportunity to collaborate with the marketing, product, and business teams. You can hone your communications skills and influence stakeholders for approval of your designs and framework.

Self-Employed- Designers can also work as consultants or freelancers for global clients. However, this option is typically pursued by mid-career or senior designers since they have the experience, portfolio, and the network to land lucrative projects. Junior designers typically spend at least 5 years working at agencies or companies before branching out on their own.

Typical deliverables of a user experience designer

Source::Interaction Design Foundation

User Personas

To put it simply, user personas are fictional representations of your target audience. There is an element of realism, as they are derived from summaries of comprehensive user research combined with the needs, pain points, and behavioral patterns of customers. Typically, different types of users are bucketed into multiple personas. This segmentation is based on traits such as personality type, income, core values, etc. Personas help create a uniform understanding of users across different teams in the company.

Wireframes- A wireframe is a representation of a screen with placeholder text and images. A series of such screens linked together by dynamic actions is referred to as a prototype. Typically, product managers and developers share feedback on these wireframes with designers prior to the implementation of a particular project. The key outcome of the wireframing process is to align all stakeholders on the information architecture of the product. Designers use tools such as Sketch, Balsamiq, Axure, and Adobe xD to build out wireframes. As a blueprint that outlines the product layout visually, the wireframe is one of the most important deliverables for a user experience designer.

User Flows- ‘User flows’ refer to the way in which a user navigates across a website, mobile app, or similar digital product in order to complete a specific goal or task. The flow is arranged in a step-by-step manner and there could be multiple flows for different goals that a user may be able to accomplish. Designers can sketch out user flows on a whiteboard, pin notes on a bulletin board, or create a digital flowchart. The key outcome of a user flow is to create an intuitive interface for users.

Results of Usability Testing- Usability testing is an integral part of the design process as it provides validation for design choices. The testing process is conducted by inviting a representative set of users to accomplish certain goals under the watchful eye of the UX team. Qualitative and quantitative data collected during the testing phase are analysed by the designer in consultation with other stakeholders to determine whether the participating users are engaging with the product in a satisfactory manner. It is important for the designer to fix any problems or issues that arise during the testing phase because post testing the product goes into development and becomes very difficult to alter.

Reviewing visual design components- Visual design components include colors, fonts, graphics, etc. These are prepared by a graphic designer or UI-designer and handed off to the development team prior to implementation. The user experience designer reviews all visual components to ensure that they are compatible with the wireframes and will enhance usability. The key outcome here is to combine aesthetics with functionality.

What Hiring Managers are Looking for in UX Design Candidates?

It is one thing to understand the nuances of a profession and quite another to position oneself in the correct manner to invoke the interest of recruiters. A career in design is background agnostic to a certain extent. People from backgrounds as diverse as psychology, engineering, liberal arts, computer science, and business have successfully transitioned into UX. That being said, a User experience Design course from a leading school can fast-track your career by acquainting you with the fundamentals and providing a safe space to work on practical projects without the pressures and deliverables of a full-time job. A User experience Design course also aids in building your initial portfolio, which inarguably is one of the most critical components of your application. One of the critical skills emphasized by hiring managers is the ability to collaborate within a team since a user experience designer does not work in a silo. Internships and practical projects will provide you with the experience of working with a team. An additional component of your UX career will be your personal goals and inclinations. You could become a generalist who can do a bit of user research, interaction design, usability testing, and graphic design. Such varied skills are valuable at early stage startups since they prefer candidates who show dexterity. On the other hand, you can pursue a specialist track and attain deeper expertise in interaction design or user research. It pays to have clarity about the sector you want to work in. Many User experience designers specialize in fields such as fintech, healthcare, edtech, analytics, gaming, digital media and more. Having internships and a well- put-together portfolio in your niche area will help you stand out from other applicants.

Are You A Good Fit For A Career In user experience design?

Choosing to be a user experience designer means that a candidate is committing to working in an emerging field with a steep learning curve combined with ever-changing user and market requirements. It is precisely this dynamic nature of the field that has attracted multi-talented, ambitious individuals looking to pursue a user experience Design course. The field is heavily interdisciplinary in that one is expected to have some applicable knowledge of aesthetics, visual design, interaction design, and human psychology. But for the same exciting reasons, a job in the field can be very rewarding. It’s as Hamlet says in Shakespeare’s play, to be or not be, that is the question, one that an individual has to answer for themselves.

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