If you’re looking to become a UX Designer or want to grow your career in this space, 24 Seven has you covered. From the most important skills needed to succeed, to what questions you may be asked in an interview, and how to build an eye-catching portfolio, we’re here to make sure you’re ready to get hired as a UX Designer in today’s competitive job market!
UX Design vs. UI Design – Everything You Need to Know
While it’s very common to see UX Design and UI Design pulled together into one title, it’s important to note the key differences between the two roles. To begin, UX Designers focus primarily on the blueprint of the digital experience, which encompasses the overall flow of the design and experience for the user. In comparison, UI Designers have the role of building out the visual aspects of an experience, determining the overall look and feel of a website, application, or program.
When thinking about the differences between UX Design and UI Design, it’s helpful to use the Architect and Interior Designer analogy, meaning that the UX Designer is responsible for building the foundation and layout of a building, while the UI Designer plays the key role of furnishing and styling the building.
Why Do Companies Invest in UX Design?
Simply put, companies invest and hire UX Designers because of the user. The demand for skilled UX Designers is more present today than ever before as organizations aim to stand out amongst the competition. When a company decides to hire a UX Designer, they are ultimately making an investment in the continued success of the brand by creating a platform or product tailored to the user’s needs. A skilled UX Designer will ensure that the user experience will be as seamless as possible, thinking of potential roadblocks and issues that may arise and eliminating them before they can become an issue for the user.
A company can aim to create the best product or experience in the world, but if it’s not specifically catered to the wants and needs of the user, the likelihood of it having long-term success becomes greatly narrowed.
How to Begin Your Career as a UX Designer
To begin your journey as a UX Designer, you’ll want to first take time to understand the fundamentals of both UX Design and UI Design, which can be easily achieved through online resources, educational courses, and industry-specific literature. Educational organizations like General Assembly offer immersive classes and certification programs targeted toward career growth and success. Another resource that can be helpful throughout your entire career is the 10 Usability Heuristics of User Interface Design, which detail out important steps that should be included through each part of the design process. Finding a mentor who can walk you through their process and responsibilities as well as share with you how they became a UX Designer is a great way to get the real-life perspective. Becoming a UX Designer doesn’t happen overnight, so taking your time to build a strong foundation and understanding of the space will ultimately help you grow your career and get hired as a UX Designer.
The Skills You’ll Need to Be a Successful UX Designer
To become a skilled UX Designer, you’ll need to display a unique blend of both hard and soft skills, as both will be extremely important to your short- and long-term success. The hard skills that you obtain as a UX Designer will continue to change as the industry expands, but in order to be successful, you should work towards becoming proficient in prototyping, Sketch, Figma, XD, and InVision. These hard skills are ones that every UX Designer needs to know and will greatly help in your efforts to get hired as a UX Designer.
Soft skills play an equally important role in the success of a UX Designer overall, as they help shape your decisions and thought process while creating user experiences. The top soft skill that every UX Designer should have is empathy, as you will continuously have to place yourself in the shoes of the user. Being an empathetic UX Designer will help you determine the wants and needs of the user while shaping the overall experience towards one that embodies ease of use and dependability. UX Designers must also possess strong communication skills, as they often have to work across teams and departments as well as be self-starters.
Questions That May Arise in a UX Design Interview
Now that you’ve developed a superior skillset and have the foundational knowledge to become a successful UX Designer, it’s time to get hired. But, before landing your next role, you’ll need to first ensure you stand out where it matters most – the interview process. The key to acing your next UX Design interview is to come fully prepared for any question that may come your way.
Questions and projects that may arise in the interview process include:
Explain your design thinking
What led you to make that design decision?
Show us an example of an experience in both mobile and desktop platforms
Show us how you would design this in a whiteboarding exercise
When preparing for your next interview, spend additional time prepping for potential whiteboarding exercises. This is a common task that interviews will ask of candidates as it allows them to see not only the way you think but how you organize your thoughts and detail out complex processes along the way.
Building a UX Design Portfolio
Building a visually appealing portfolio can be a pain point as a UX Designer, but it doesn’t have to be. The most important thing to keep in mind when creating and maintaining your portfolio is to avoid perfectionism at all costs. Recruiters and Hiring Managers spend only about 10 seconds reviewing your portfolio, so ensuring your best work is front and center is key. Remember to display your work in a way that is not only engaging visually but also highlights the strengths you bring to the table as a skilled UX Designer.
Emerging Trends in UX Design
As you grow your UX Design career, you’ll want to stay abreast of the latest trends in the industry so you remain competitive as a candidate. Prototyping tools are especially important to stay on top of, as they are constantly changing and evolving. To stay current on trends, we recommend utilizing websites like Dribbble and The Daily UI, which provide helpful skill-building exercises to keep you up to date and competitive in the market. Additionally, it’s key to continually expand your knowledge of both desktop and mobile experiences, as you’ll likely be presented with opportunities to develop unique experiences within both.
UX Design remains one of the most competitive talent sectors across industries, so it’s important to stay on top of the latest trends and keep your skills sharp. If you’re looking for additional resources to excel in the space, click here. Ready to get hired as a UX Designer? Explore our open jobs here.