Can you imagine how different the world would appear without UX designers getting into the minds of the users and creating user-friendly experiences? If not, then imagine this –
You come across an exciting product on Instagram and immediately click on it. You go to the website and it takes a bit long to load, but you are excited about the product, so you decide to wait. The website finally opens, and it looks beautiful. You love the product and add it to the cart. While you are trying to buy the product, you end up encountering a lot of confusing steps and abandon your cart.
A UX designer would have made sure that the thrill of buying a product wasn’t lost with a bad user experience.
User experience design seems useful, but is there a demand for UX professionals?
According to a LinkedIn report, UX design was among the top 5 in-demand skills in 2020. Moreover, the number of UI/UX internships on Internshala went up from 1152 in 2019 to 1509 in 2020.
So, there’s a demand for UX designers. But how much money do UX designers make?
UX designer salary depends on various factors such as experience, skills, company, and city.
A UI/UX design intern earns an average stipend of Rs. 7,900. The entry-level UX designer salary is Rs. 4,29,547 per annum for a UX designer who has less than an year of experience, according to PayScale. A UX designer who is just starting out may need a lot of mentoring before becoming proficient in the practical aspects of UX design.
As you progress, you can expect to make an average of Rs. 5,89,359 for 1 – 4 years of experience. Seasoned UX professionals who have been in the field for 5 to 9 years can experience an exponential growth in their salary and earn Rs. 1,023,186, according to PayScale figures.
The salary of a UX designer working at startups may be higher as they take care of pretty much the entire design process. For example, the average salary for UX designer at Flipkart is INR 18.2 LPA whereas it is INR 12.2 LPA at Deloitte, according to AmbitionBox statistics.
You may also need to negotiate your initial salary depending on your skillset. Check out Adobe’s guide to learn about salary negotiation for designers.
What are the essential UX designer skills?
Given that UX designers lead the design process from end-to-end, they need to have a multitude of skills. The field of UX design is an amalgamation of various disciplines such as psychology, visual design, marketing, architecture, engineering, etc. and requires a combination of a wide range of hard and soft skills.
While some hard skills will differ across different job descriptions, here are the evergreen ones that every UX designer should possess:
1. Research and analysis
User research is the primary skill that a UX designer needs to possess. This helps the designer in recognising the pain points and creating a design to resolve them. User research can take on different forms such as interviews with users, surveys, A/B testing, focus groups, and competition analysis.
Once the research is done, a UX professional should be able to gather critical insights that can be put into action.
2. Information architecture (IA)
Information architecture is the process of organising information in such a manner that the user can find it in the least amount of time. This includes using the right labels and creating the right hierarchy of the pages for smooth navigation.
Although IA is not extensively visible, it is a key part of every UX design, which aims to make a product or service easy to use. This UX design skill can be especially useful when you are dealing with a lot of content.
Wireframes are the initial blueprints of your design screens. They generally show the core information such as the basic layout, content, and user interaction.
Wireframing helps a designer in presenting their idea to any stakeholder without using the design jargon. They are used as low fidelity, inexpensive designs to propose an idea before finalising other visual elements.
3. Prototyping and testing
A prototype is a design that is much closer to the final product and is ready to be tested on the user groups. It is also the final version of the product that is presented to the stakeholders for approval. So, the visual design is more advanced and the content will look just the way it would appear in the actual website and application. A UX designer is responsible for prototyping, testing the design, and incorporating feedback from users.
4. Visual designing
While you don’t need to be an artist to become a UX designer, foundational knowledge of basic visual design concepts such as color theory and typography can give you an edge as a UX professional. Moreover, a number of jobs offer hybrid roles such as UI/UX designing, which demand visual design skills.
Although coding is not a mandatory requirement for UX designers, a basic knowledge of HTML and CSS can help in understanding the development stage. HTML and CSS are also amongst the top 10 in-demand skills for UI/UX interns.
Soft skills are a key requirement for UX design jobs. Here are the most important soft skills that a UX designer should have or develop:
While knowing the pain points of users is great, understanding how they feel can compel you to create truly engaging experiences. You need to put yourself in the user’s shoes and evaluate whether your team’s decisions regarding the product or service will genuinely help the user. If it doesn’t, you need to take a stand for team User and say no to the product change.
2. Problem solving
Problem-solving is at the heart of UX design. A user experience professional should be able to define a problem statement and ideate solutions.
With the number of documents and people UX designers have to deal with, they cannot afford to get away with being disorganised. So, bring out the Monica in you and start acing your organisation game!
While good communication skills are appreciated in most roles today, they will be an indispensable part of your job as a UX designer. A major part of your job will be spent creating designs and an equally major part of it will be spent explaining it to your clients and different teams. Your research can also involve interviewing users. So, your communication skills such as articulating your ideas clearly and listening closely need to be on point.
5. Understanding of business needs
While your primary goal should be to create for users, your design needs to fit in with the business goals such as increasing the conversion rate.
6. Team player
A UX designer’s work is cross-functional and they collaborate with marketers, engineers, designers, project managers, etc. So, the ability to work in a team environment is non-negotiable.
A curious mindset can help a designer in digging deeper during research and ideating out-of-the-box solutions.
Have more questions about becoming a UX designer? Read ABC of building a career in UI/UX design.
Does UX design sound like your cup of tea? Then you can check out Internshala’s UI UX course and experience the joy of designing your own apps! Use the coupon code BLOG10 to get a discount of 10%.
Image sources: Grammarly, Dev Community