What is a UX designer?

What is a UX designer?

A UX Designer is responsible for the strategizing and execution of an interface that provides the best experience possible for both the company and user.

UX, or user experience, is the person’s attitude and interaction towards a system or service such as a website, web application, mobile app or operating system. As a UX designer, your role would be to improve the usability and accessibility of the product or service. Ease of use and enjoyment when using a system are the key strengths of a strong user interface and developing a traditional human computer interaction.

User Testing and Research

One of the main roles of a UX designer is to first know what the user wants in a system. It’s asking the relevant questions such as “What are you thinking?” or “Why did that confuse you?” so you can find a balance between the users’ needs and the business needs. This can be done through different research methods in order to find the best user interaction with your system. For example, an E-commerce manager may learn that their website’s checkout process could be improved after various studies showing users being confused or put off at that stage of the user journey with a high percentage cancelling the transaction. It’s also to improve the system performance and cutting out any unnecessary stages of the journey that may be prolonging the final action of the user. The customer journey needs to be simple, efficient and effective.

A UX designer would take these findings and ensure that each challenge and issue found is given a visual solution that appeases the client and the user. This can be referred to as the user design centered process, focusing on the design, build, launch and measure.

The designer would take several items into consideration when working on a user interface:

  • Designing the structure and wireframe of the UI
  • Putting research into practice to improve system
  • Knowing what features are important and necessary
  • Making the interface future-proof, innovative and intuitive
  • Creating a level of consistency throughout

The other important element of user experience is the visual design and look and feel. A UX designer will typically have experience as a graphic designer so would use their creative qualities and skills to ensure the aesthetic and style is of a professional standard. A clean, crisp and consistent interface can entice users to keep using the system and stay attentive.

What software does a UX designer use?

It helps to know Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator as these are industry standards in many different sections of design but there are applications dedicated solely to UX design. Balsamiq Mockups is a wireframing tool that helps you produce mockup designs for potential interfaces. Axure is another wireframing and prototyping tool to make informed design choices.

Although it’s not just about the designing but it’s the research and the most important tool to a UX designer is screen capturing tools such as Camtasia which can record the screen of users using an existing interface or testing a potential system. The capturing software can pick up the mouse cursor movements as well as record the user via microphone to pick up as much data and feedback as they can to make improvements.

How much can a UX designer earn?

UX Designers can earn a salary between £45,000 and £60,000. The amount is dependent upon a number of factors, one of which is location. It is not uncommon for UX Designers in London to be paid more.