Career as a UI/UX Designer
Updated: Nov 26, 2021
With the onrush of the digital age, especially in design today, the need for customer acquisition, satisfaction, and conversions online has become all the more important for businesses. This brings a UI/UX Designer to the booming demand for UI/UX designs all over the world. Now, even as a designer, priorities have extended from harbouring the best store marketing to creating a great user experience online. Similar to an offline store, where the appearance, ambience, and client interaction plays a role in converting and then retaining customers, an online business runs the same way.
With digital experiences especially, one should remember that it lacks actual human presence, which is valuable in generating leads. But, that’s exactly why UI/UX design exists. It is used to not only create visually attractive and appealing web interfaces for users but also create a user-friendly, easy-to-use, and functional web experience for them. In other words, it is the amalgamation of digital design and digital functionality to produce a seamless experience for a lead that drives them to engage with the platform better and hence, converts them into customers. Not quite clear? Read on!
Source: Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash Who is a UI/UX Designer?
Although used together and often, interchangeably, UI and UX are actually two different things. UI aka User Interface is a graphical presentation of a website or mobile application that involves everything that is set to visually draw in a customer. Say, the text, images, CTA buttons, the colour palette, animations, overall layout, sliders, etc; all in all, everything that is a visual element and meant to facilitate the interaction of the user.
On the other hand, UX aka User Experience is the way a user interacts with the application. It refers to the act of offering the most seamless and hassle-free online experience of the user on your application using some tools and elements. While UI is more from a creative and visual point of view, UX requires some kind of an understanding of consumer psychology, market and business research, and of course, design.
In other words, a good UX design basically ensures that the user is able to navigate through and interact with the interface of the application with ease. Evidently, this has a lot to do with knowing what your user needs, what they do, how much time they are likely to spend on your application, and what they need. It also involves answering questions like what kind of an interface will help them attain what they are looking for. What kind of difficulties do they usually face and will your interface resolve them? To conclude, while UI designs those interfaces, UX facilitates the user’s interaction with that interface.
Although we’ve already established a lot of what a UI/UX designer does, here’s some more clarity your way! For one, these designers craft a web design based on a vision, ideas, research, and many different requirements. They are the ones who make sure the website or mobile application is not only appealing to look at but also easy to navigate. They ensure that the overall design and interface is not only accessible to the users but also enjoyable and interactive. The end goal is to ensure a great customer/user experience that can translate into lead conversion for the brand/business.
Source: UX Indonesia on Unsplash What it Takes
Yes, we’re sure that a career in UI/UX design does sound intriguing, but just like other professions, this one takes a lot too. There are skills that are technical and very specific to this career and then there are also those that are soft skills, necessary to this career just like with many others. Here are some skills that it takes to become a proficient UI/UX designer.
1. User Research Customer research and analysis is an integral part of a UI/UX designer’s job since their end product revolves around user experience. So, it is important for them to understand what their customers need and what challenges they are facing to be able to deliver the right design and interface. 2. Wireframing and Prototyping A UI/UX designer must be equipped with the knowledge and skills to create both high-fidelity and low-fidelity wireframes and prototypes that are more like a playground to test their ideas. This allows them to not only present and communicate their approach to a set project but also do so effortlessly and conveniently for both parties. 3. Branding Since the interface and the design plays a big part in setting the tone of the brand, a UI/UX designer is also responsible for leading the branding of a business. Visual factors coupled with the functional features of an interface stands to be the main element of a business’s branding front. 4. Ensuring the Right Execution A UI/UX designer doesn’t only design interfaces but also works in synergy with the developer to ensure that the idea and approach are being reflected efficiently through the final product or not. 5. Problem Solving Just like with many other creative professions, this one needs problem-solving skills too. A UI designer may have to come up with creative design solutions based on many different perspectives to counter many different challenges. Similarly, a UX designer may need to produce solutions that can make the customer problems and troubles easier on the said application. 6. Empathy The above skills also lead us to empathetic skills in a UI/UX designer. Since they need to be able to understand the customer’s problems, challenges and needs, they can readily do so by putting themselves in their place with empathy. This can help them understand it better to produce better design solutions too. 7. Trend Updated As a UI/UX designer, it is important for you to be updated with the latest trends and also be adaptable to changing tech needs. This comes in handy when you are required to incorporate relevant designs and strategic elements to fit the changing needs.
Source: Charles Deluvio on Unsplash How to Get Started 1. Courses
If you feel you’ve got it–the right amount of interest, passion, talent, and the willingness to dive deeper into this industry, then it’s time to formalize it with education. Sure, there are many online resources today that may help you kick-start a career in UI/UX designing without really studying it, but our suggestion? Whether or not you’re already skilled in this domain, take that UI and UX design course and polish those skills or develop the necessary ones. Write down your budget, the hours you can spend, and your level of commitment (Whether you want to go for a part-time course or a full-time.) and get on to researching your options. Shortlist them based on the above factors and other criteria and narrow them down to your final choice. Then? Start with the application process and get a step closer to achieving a successful career in UI/UX design.
An informal medium of learning but one of the most effective ones–an internship is a stepping stone to refining your formal education and entering the actual professional industry. It will not only help you with first-hand knowledge when it comes to other soft skills required but also with better confidence. You’ll learn how to convey your approach better to clients, how to take feedback, and also how to keep up with the changing requirements and upcoming trends. Internships will also help you improve your chances of jumpstarting your career in UI/UX design at a great design firm.
3. Keep Your Resources Handy
Just like with any other creative profession, to become a successful UI/UX designer also, you got to be equipped with a personalized and evocative portfolio. This must showcase your best work along with hints of your unique approach and personality, which is what ideally sets your work apart. Moreover, you must be ready with a clean, crisp, and professional CV that represents who you are, what you do, and what you can offer a potential employer/client. Final Takeaway
Lastly, UI/UX designing is a striking combination of human psychology, business acumen, creative ability, and strategic thinking. All these qualities combined deliver the best user experience for businesses and brands that guarantee great customer satisfaction, conversion, and hence, growth. All in all, today, a career in UI/UX design is growing in demand given the digital escalation everywhere. And, this rise is only bound to grow further. So, if you think you have what it takes and are ready to take the plunge then, now is the time.