User Experience is not something that came out of thin air, but rather came as naturally as do ideas to us, humans.
It wasn’t anything premeditated but developed with the evolution of technology and the world in general. Today, almost by 2,38,000 designers across 1,29,000 companies in the US only have sought a career in UX design.
As the need for user experience emerged over the years, the demand for experienced and exemplary UX designers by the commercial companies skyrocketed. In fact, concrete proof of this exponential popularity is the list of the 25 highest-paying entry-level jobs 2019 by Glassdoor, where the UX designer job category is in 6th position.
Look at this graph depicting the average salary of a fresher.
Moreover, according to a source, there were over 24,000 job openings for the User Experience Designer job profile on Glassdoor in 2018 for the US only, something that is projected to rise by 22% in the coming ten years. This makes it an important point for aspirants to think of pursuing a UX design career in 2020.
However, if you first require a brief insight into what is user experience really, then read this article to know that along with every piece of information you might need to decide whether UX is ‘THE’ career option for you or not.
What is UX Design?
In the eloquent words, UX design is something encompassing all aspects of the end-users’ interaction with a company, its services, and its products. User experience design service is not only fungible with usability and user interface but constitutes other areas as well.
This process undertakes the measures required in developing products and services rendering pleasing and meaningful experience to the users and customers by seamlessly integrating aspects such as usability, branding, design, and functionality, among others. In fact, for the success of a mobile app, UX design has emerged as essentiality.
Timeline of UX
While witnessing the history and origins of UX Design and its review process, we went back as far as 4000BC to Feng Shui who was all about arranging his surroundings in the most optimal, user-friendly, and harmonious way, something that UX app designers do, to date, with mobile apps.
Nevertheless, we would keep our focus primarily on the history of UX design dating back to over 100 years from today, which would render a more valid and feasible understanding of this concept, in resonance with the UX design of today for mobile apps.
The early 1900s –
A mechanical engineer Frederick Winslow Taylor published his “The Principles of Scientific Management”, a study of engineering efficiency (Taylorism). Combined with Henry Ford’s mass production tactics, they shaped the ideal way of interaction between the laborers and tools.
Toyota introduced its very innovative human-centered production system based upon respect for people. Human input was alleviated to the level of high priority for creating an optimal working environment. Workers could halt the process to submit suggestions and feedbacks- resonating what now known as usability testing.
Henry Dreyfuss, an American industrial engineer invented customer-centric designs like Hoover vacuum cleaner and wrote “Designing for People” – a book on UX design in a nutshell.
Walt Disney, probably the first UX designer called his Disney world “a place where the latest technology can be used to improve the lives of people.” – something that is still a mantra of UX designers.
The 1970s –
The era of inventions centered around the human experience. Products like Xerox’s PARC, Apple’s PC, mouse, GUI, etc. were designed with a focus on user experience with psychologists and engineers working together.
Donald Norman, the first person to prefix ‘UX’ to his job title ‘UX Architect’ for Apple Inc. He finally coined the term “User Experience Design”.
Steve Jobs’s revolutionary “iPhone” was entirely designed to facilitate the users and enhance their productivity along with experience.
2018 and Beyond –
UX is now a perpetually developing and evolving field enjoying the integration of new technologies such as Voice technology, AI, Virtual Reality and will continue to do so.
Well, if you are someone who wants to switch from, say marketing to UX design, or just want to make a career in UX design from scratch then, another big question besides “How to start a career in UX design” is “Why to choose UX design career?” – something that we will discuss in detail now.
Reasons to Opt for UX Design Career
1. Growth and opportunities (an obvious one)
With the ever-expanding market and need for products and services giving rise to the demand for more experienced and even fresher UX designers, there are a bunch of opportunities knocking on the door.
Facts such as – people spend nearly 2 hours and 51 minutes every day on their mobile device and that 22% of users check their phones every few minutes, etc. suffice the need for proof of how prominent the job of a UX designer is getting. It is because UX designers are responsible for an impeccable user experience that leads to facts like these coming true.
2. Market demand
Market demand is a big player as an element adding up to the popularity of UX design career. Facts like every $1 invested in UX results in a return between $2 and $100 and that Intentional and strategic user experience holds the potential to boost conversion rates as high as 400% are enough to understand the reason behind this escalated demand that promises to only increase in 2020.
Do you see now how perfectly you fit into this situation? If this isn’t the right time for you to pursue this as a career, there never will be (hypothetically not literally).
3. Emergence of design-centric organizations
The evidently increasing demand, or rather a trend for the design had sprouted many design-based organizations (Coca-Cola, Nike, Apple, etc.) that are now one of the main attractions for many who want to pursue UX as a career.
The design has come to the forefront because it is beneficial for organizations. In fact, a study conducted in 2014 stated that “Results show that over the last 10 years design-led companies have maintained a significant stock market advantage, outperforming the S&P by an extraordinary 228%.”
Because design has become prominent, it automatically increases the need for proficient UX designers because the design is always focused on what users want and what kind of experience it can impart. And analyzing it all is what UX designers are famous for.
4. A rewarding field
As we have discussed above, the average entry-level UX designer salary in the USA can go as high as around $56,000 — $100,000; implying that for experienced individuals, it only goes up. A study by NN group shows that a UX designer’s salary, on average, with 5 years of experience can amount somewhere around $90,000 to $100,000.
5. Scope of innovation and creativity
With every new technology comes more ideas and scope for creativity. There are a lot of niches in the market that UX designers can target, something that gives them scope to experiment and innovate.
It is a very happening career as you get to dive into the minds of users and empathize with them to deliver something out-of-the-box. So, if you are someone to whom empathy comes naturally and is eager to innovate and be creative then UX designing can prove to be an ideal career option for you.
6. Enhance the enjoyment of the devices
When you have the room to innovate and be artful, what you create gives pleasure to others. A UX designer has the power to deliver products that are meant to make people’s lives better. For instance, do you think it was even possible for say, Apple to launch its iPhone 11 without the contributions of the UX design team? Of course, not.
Must-Have UX Designer Skills
The answer to the question of “How to become a UX designer?” is something very simple to start with – develop the needed skills. So, let’s have a look at some prominent skills for UX designers for a good career.
1. User Research ability
Research in most job responsibilities plays a crucial and indispensable role. To become an exemplary UX designer, you need to hone your research ability skills along with empathy, discovering users’ needs, and more. You would have to conduct surveys, questionnaires, interviews, user testing, and so on, so you should have a skill set for these functions. There is always something for UXers to learn in this respect from cognitive psychology to computer science.
2. Collaboration skills
Unless you are an all-rounder i.e., who knows everything from coding, design, marketing, understanding product, etc. it would be imperative for you to collaborate with others who are specialized in these areas. So, having appropriate skills will take you a long way and would help you improve.
3. Impeccable Visualization
All the designs are extremely and fundamentally graphic in nature, meaning that any UX designer would have to be proficient in visual communication and language. In this respect, one should have a clear understanding of certain concepts like color, layout, typography, icons, images, and design theory.
4. Communication skills
Looking at a Venn diagram we already know that UXers have a lot on their plate in terms of key responsibility areas. So, to handle all the operations effectively, one needs to have strong communication skills. Other communication-dependent tasks include workshops, presenting results, conducting interviews, and more.
5. Familiarity with Coding
Just imagine the demand for a design-developer? It is like the best of both worlds – design and development. A Design in Tech report 2017 stated that most of the designers (almost one third) had engineering training; implying that most of the designers out there already have coding skills, so one who is preparing to be a UX designer should most definitely catch up on this trend.
6. Wireframing and Prototyping
A UX developer with exemplary skills for creating wireframes and prototypes is like a diamond in the heap of stones. This skill helps them to communicate their ideas more elaborately and effectively for others to grasp. These can vary from hand-drawn sketches and models to high-fidelity digital mockups. So, an ideal UX designer must have some knowledge about wireframing and prototyping tools as well.
How to Change Your Career from Web Design to UX Design?
There are some areas in Web designing and UX designing where they require certain skills set. So, if you are planning to switch from the former to the latter, then it is not an impossible task.
For starters, you just need to analyze the skills you are lacking for UX and then work on them. Then, you will have to become conversant with the fundamentals of UX and how it works. For this, you can refer to online tutorials and reading materials, offline books, and so on.
When you are all caught up with it theoretically, it is time to do some action, so start developing your portfolio. Doing this, you will be able to attract customers as a freelancer and get your UX design career up and running.
Popular Myths Related to a Career in UX Design
Of course, the tradition of myths has to pervade here too. Over the years, many myths and beliefs related to the UX design career have surfaced and we are about to burst them all today to guide you towards the truth about UX design.
Myth 1: UX and UI designers perform the same functions
While UI and UX design are two integral parts of a project which are in complete harmony with each other, there is a critical difference in the responsibilities of UI and UX designers.
UX design is considered to be a process of enhancing and increasing users’ satisfaction by improving accessibility, usability, and of course pleasure produced in the communication of the user and product.
On the other side of the table, UI design is majorly focused on the design of the interface elements used by the users to complete and accomplish a certain goal within the application. It is, to say loosely, a small but integral part of the bigger machine of UX.
The questions that a UX designer is concerned with during the UX design process are – Do you feel confused or lost? Is it easy to navigate through the app? How can one figure out where to click to get the desired result. Whereas, a UI designer answers the question- How did that feature make you feel? Did you find the color scheme consistent, and so on.
Myth 2: Programming skills are a must to become a UX Designer
Though it is a skill that is beneficial for someone who wants to become a proficient UX developer, it is not an absolute necessity. You can master other prominent skills that will help you in your career.
Myth 3: Anybody can easily score in the UX Design career
Technically, you can say so that anyone can pursue this career, however, it requires certain internal skills for a person to have to be able to work efficaciously. For instance, a person must love people and has to be curious by nature to question why people do what they do and how certain things make them feel. Doing this allows the whole team to create a product that is over-all fulfilling to the users.
Myth 4: Graphic design skills are imperative
It is not at all a mandate for a person to possess graphic designing skills to become a UX designer. The dramatic difference between the two is enough to justify the above statement – graphic designing revolves around the aesthetics and the physical appearance of the product including its color, size, fonts, etc., and on the contrary, UX design is all about the experience of the user.
What does the Future Hold for UX Design?
The popularity of this trend has been exponential ever since its inception, so naturally, it is expected of one to wonder what does the future of UX design looks like? So, let’s lay all the probable trends and options on the table.
1. Take-over by automation
This could actually be the next big thing of this decade for the UX design industry. We already know that by the year 2029, computers would more likely become as smart and intelligent as humans (with the help of AI and Machine Learning), so consequently, they would change the way things are done as of now. In terms of UX design, automation is likely to impact areas from optimizing the process by delivering design feedback to transforming and even streamlining the system of how product teams operate.
2. Healthy UX design promoting user’s digital well-being
Witnessing the recent scenario of the havoc created by digitization – addition to the mobile phones is something that is a concerning issue for the organization even now. Big company names like Google and Apple have become more concerned about the digital wellbeing of the users and are trying to deliver more healthy app experiences.
According to the CEO of Brainspin Caleb Kingston UX design will also take a healthier turn in the coming future. Designers of the future would focus more on the quality of time spent on the app rather than the amount of time spent itself.
How to Become a UX Designer at Appinventiv?
Being a leading mobile app development company, Appinventiv is a place where designers explore the depths of their potential by facing interesting and stimulating challenges. To be a part of our 500+ peopled team, you can connect with us via different mediums.
Our remarkable presence on the Linkedin platform has been a great source for developers, programmers, engineers, and designers to connect with us and win a chance to work with us.
You can also apply through Indeed platform by sending us your finalized CV. It is recommended that you first peruse the requirements, qualifications, and experience needed for the job title. Of course, the skills we have talked about are going to be a deal-sealer in this case.
Upwork is an amazing platform that has helped a lot of aspiring candidates land a job with us. So, do give our profile a look and apply accordingly.
You can also navigate to our career page to see current openings.
We conduct a several-tiered interview that helps us analyze the potential of our candidates which is beneficial for them too, as they get to show us their various skills. Once you have cleared all the tests, you will positively become a part of our amazing team.
So, we are going to culminate this article with the hope that it has been proved valuable to you in providing you the insights which were missing before and has helped you in making a life-changing decision – Whether to choose UX as a main career or not.
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