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Is UX Design for Me? How to know if you’ll be happy as a User Experience Designer
I’ve been a UX designer for ten years and love it. But that doesn’t mean it’s not without its challenges. In this post, we’ll explore all my personal pros and cons of being a UX designer. Whether you’re just starting out or if you’ve been doing this for a while, there will be something in here to help you on your journey!
Are you a creative person? Do you like to solve problems and create something new? Are you looking for a career that will allow your creativity to shine? If so, then UX design might be the perfect choice. You can spend your days designing user interfaces and websites that are easy for people to use. There is no denying that this field is on the rise, with many companies investing in better user experience. The question remains: Is UX Design for me?
Is UX Design a good career option for me?
What is UX Design? UX Design or User Experience Design is a process that involves the creation of an interactive, user-friendly experience. It includes designing how users interact with your product and how it will respond to them. To be successful in this field, you need creativity, analytical skills, and design thinking. With these three elements combined, you will have success as a UX Designer!
What are the benefits of being a UX Designer?
As with any job, there will be advantages to working as a UX designer. There are many opportunities available for someone in this field. One benefit is working anywhere from freelance positions or full-time jobs at companies like Google and Facebook. You also have flexible hours, so it’s not an issue if you want to travel during your free time!
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And the drawbacks of a UX Career?
You might ask yourself: “But Alexander, is UX design a good career?” There are many jobs available for UX designers, but not all of them will be your dream job, and the downsides of UX jobs are there, exactly like with every other career. Working as a UX designer may require you to work 50–60 hours per week or more and spend long days in front of the computer screen. It can also be stressful because you get feedback from customers about whether their product works well or needs changes at all times of the day, and you may need to learn how to work well under pressure.
There may also be expectations of you that go far beyond a pure UX designer, such as working as part of the UI Designers team with graphic design and leading the creative process when hired in a UX designer role. There are many battles to contend with, and you must be firm with design teams in terms of your position. But remember this: As a UX designer, there is no design vs user experience as they go hand-in-hand.
It pays better
According to Glassdoor, the average salary range for a UX Designer is around $103k per year. The lower end starts at $80k, depending on where they live (the higher wage typically goes to those who earn in California, USA). Even at the lower end of the salary spectrum is the highest that anyone will make in most traditional careers.
However, what sets the career apart is how much room there is for growth, both professionally and personally.
What should I think about before choosing this career path?
If you’re considering becoming a UX designer, some things might be determinable if it’s right for you:
- Do you like solving problems creatively?
- Does analyzing data fascinate you?
- Are deadlines essential to help with your productivity?
If so, then UX design could be perfect! You’ll need to be an excellent communicator and collaborate well with others to complete projects. You’ll need analytical thinking skills, creativity, and design thinking.
What type of jobs do UX designers do?
UX designers can do so many jobs. In Norway, as a UX designer, I have to conduct workshops, help clients better understand their ideas, create prototypes, test prototypes with people, and make high-fidelity sketches ready for delivery.
In more general terms, UX designers often define how the product will work to solve a problem — helping the product owner or company decide what the products should do. They design wireframes or prototypes that visualize how an app or website will work before it is built.
UX designers also conduct user research to find who their customers are and what they need from a particular platform or service to make data-driven decisions about future features of the project.
The responsibilities of a UX designer can vary greatly depending on where you’re working, but this gives you an idea of some sample tasks involved with being one!
You can often be asked to design the UI of the product you’re working on, and sometimes you’re also tasked with coming up with the creative strategy for the development. But this is not what a pure UX designer is meant to do, in my opinion, and I think companies need to be better at defining the role. How can I be proficient in all the areas, from deep research to high fidelity ready-for-release designs?
If you climb the ladder in the UX world and start working as a Senior UX Designer or UX Lead, these areas could become more relevant to know and expect from management to understand.
UX designers are a diverse group of professionals with many responsibilities. If you’re interested in learning more about the UX industry and how it can relate to your career, you can consider enrolling in online UX classes or start learning from free videos on YouTube.
What are the pros of being a UX designer?
UX Designers are the people who design a user’s experience with software, websites, and other digital products. They develop information architecture and interaction designs that provide meaningful ways for users to interact with their products. UX designers should have strong skills in visual design and usability and communication skills to work closely with clients, stakeholders, or end-users.
Due to the close connection between UX designers and front-end developers (who create the actual code), it is rare for one person to do both jobs simultaneously on any given project. This means there is high demand for skilled practitioners of this craft, leading to higher salary opportunities than elsewhere in the industry. The pros of being a UX designer are creating beautiful and intuitive designs, being on the ground floor of a product’s development cycle, and often working with developers who keep your UX principles at heart.
- Ability to create beautiful and intuitive designs
- Affect people’s life by creating intuitive solutions to their everyday problems
- Job security due to high demand for skilled practitioners of UX
- Exciting opportunities in the digital world
- Possible to work with big companies in the industry.
What are the cons of being a UX designer?
As with many jobs, there are both pros and cons to working as a UX designer. This list is not exhaustive but should give you an idea of what you might expect if you choose this profession.
Firstly, it takes time and patience to design user-friendly interfaces that people can easily navigate without too much frustration or confusion. Skilled designers also need creativity to come up with novel ways for users to interact with their designs while still meeting the needs of the company behind them — which means they have less time for outside interests than other professionals (though some companies offer perks like flex hours). UX designers must stay current on the latest design trends and innovations to stay relevant in their field.
An excellent example is a previous workplace where they had three UX designers, one UI designer, and 80 + developers. You can simply imagine how hard it is to try to control the whole process and pay attention to all the needed places. This is when you have to be a skilled leader and implement the right design processes and systems to eliminate as many questions as possible and delegate as much work as possible to the right people. (spoiler: this company was not good at this!)
- There is a lot to learn in the UX field, and sometimes you can feel that you don’t know what you’re doing.
- There is often a shortage of designers, and your skills and attention can be spread thin.
- There can be significant frustration and pressure to produce the right design for your client or employer.
- Many UX designers work long hours, sometimes collaborating remotely with other professionals.
How do I know if UX Design is right for me?
UX Design is a relatively new field, but it has quickly become one of tech professionals’ most popular career paths. The job title may be unfamiliar, but if you love creating beautiful designs and have an eye for detail, UX designer might just be your calling. There are many ways to find out if this is the right career path for you; here are some suggestions:
- Talk with people who do UX Design work daily and ask them what they like about their jobs.
- Read articles or blog posts (good start, you’re doing this already!) by other designers in this field.
- Attend a conference focused on UX Design
- Take classes or online courses that teach user experience
- Check out books written by experts in this area
- Consider your local job market. If UX Design is a trend and employers are scrambling to hire more designers, it might be worth looking into
There is also a lot to consider personally. This should be a job you want to do and not just do it for the money. UX Designers spend significant time at their desks, so you may need to be someone who doesn’t mind sitting alone in an office or studio all day long.
I kind of just fell into this career, as I have been interested in web design since I was 11. I like to create beautiful designs and have a splendid eye for detail. Talking with other UX Designers, reading articles or blog posts by UX designers, attending conferences focused on user experience design are all wonderful ways to find out if this is the right career path for you.
The best way to learn is by doing — how can I start now?
While it can be challenging to break into the world of UX design, there are methods that you can use to get your foot in the door sooner rather than later. Whether you’re a recent graduate with no work experience or someone who has been out of school for many years and is looking for new opportunities, these tips will help you put together an outstanding portfolio and land more interviews.
- First and foremost, create your website or blog: You don’t need anything fancy — just something that showcases your skills and personality (remember: UX designers often have to interact with clients).
- Network like crazy! Attend events related to UX design on social media sites, like meetups. Check out Meetup if you’re unsure where to start, and look for UX events in your area.
- Sign up for job alerts on UX design-related sites like Indeed or Monster.
- Apply to new positions posted by companies that interest you, even if they’re not the perfect fit — think of it as a way to demonstrate your eagerness and dedication.
- Participate in contests and challenges, like UX Bootcamp’s UX design challenge.
I started by doing smaller pro bono jobs and slowly started charging with my work. The most important part is to build a visible profile of your work to make you a desirable hire.
Moving forward as a UX designer:
UX Design is a fun and rewarding field but also has its challenges. Whether you’re just getting started or looking for ways to improve your skills, we hope this article helped explore the ins and outs of UX design. If you’ve been considering a career change into UX design from another industry, like marketing or advertising, know that there are many resources available to help you get on track with your new adventure!
I am so excited because it pays well and has many opportunities. The only downside of this job is the stress. I might have to work from home all day long, but other than that, it’s perfect!
Do you want to learn more about UX and CRO?
I’m currently working on my book on the subject of CRO and UX, and how they complete each other for a better user experience. This book is for the aspiring UX designer who wants to learn more about CRO and help them in their everyday design work. It’s packed with real-life examples, case studies from Silicon Valley companies, and tips on applying this knowledge to your projects.
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