The career outlook for UX/UI Designers continues to grow and expand. However, with an increasing set of job roles—and distinctions between what each entails—it can be challenging to figure out exactly where you should start your job search, and what career growth opportunities look like.
As you work through this guide, keep in mind that job roles differ greatly from one company to the next. A smaller company might hire a single designer to manage the entire product design process, while a larger company might have an entire team of people solely focused on conducting user research.
In this piece we’ll look at some of the different titles out there, what each one means, and where there’s overlap between roles.
1. User Experience (UX) Designer Job Description
A UX Designer is responsible for creating or improving the accessibility and usability of user experiences. To accomplish this, a UX Designer's role requires a strong balance of understanding the end user as well as knowledge of digital design best practices. From conducting user research to prototyping and usability testing, a User Experience designer requires problem solving skills and a deep knowledge of the design process.
While user experience design is truly its own area of expertise, it's worth noting that many employers who are advertising for a “UX Designer” in today’s market do also expect applicants to have UI and visual design skills.
UX Designer Responsibilities:
A UX Designer role is generally comprised of a few main categories:
- Problem Definition: discussing the project with other stakeholders to ensure that the problem is fully explored and clearly defined.
- Primary Research: identifying target user groups, and conducting interviews and other forms of inquiry to help understand user needs.
- Secondary Research: including competitor analysis, product feature analysis, and examination of analogous products and adjacent markets.
- Research Analysis: through techniques like affinity mapping and persona building, and the creation of user flows and task flows.
- Wireframing: wireframes appear often as part of design processes. Depending on the team, the UX designer might create anything from a low-fidelity wireframe (taking the form of quick thumbnail sketches on paper or in your design software) or a high-fidelity wireframe, which is much more detailed.
- Prototyping: similarly, the UX designer may make a prototype from the wireframe content. Early, low-fidelity prototyping helps to validate ideas before investing lots of time in creating final screen designs.
- User testing: the UX designer often leads user testing of high-fidelity prototypes and near-final products. In this situation, their role is to observe pain points for the user, and other possible weaknesses in the design.