What is the role of a UX Designer?

Learn more about the future profession in UX.

Have you thought about a career as a UX designer? Or maybe you're just not sure what your UX colleagues do during the day? No worries, in this post, I'll explain what a UX designer does daily and offer some tips if you're considering a career in UX.

Caroline Gustafsson

UX/UI Designer

caroline.gustafsson@consid.se

UX Designer – A Future Profession

The shortage of IT-related professions is feared to be significant in the coming years, while new technologies and innovations require jobs to make room for creative solutions. A job that is often mentioned as the profession of the future is UX designer.

A UX designer creates a bridge between users, the business and the development team, and involves the creation of user experiences on websites, apps and various digital systems. This gives the UX designer a unique perspective where they can see both the big picture and the details, with the goal of making the user’s experience as simple and efficient as possible.

In the role of a UX designer, you look at the users’ needs and present them in a communicative manner. You map out how users’ needs are connected to business goals and then translate those needs into solution proposals that are converted into usable interfaces, with a strong focus on accessibility.

Let me tell you a little more about what a typical day as a UX designer looks like for me.

The most fun thing about the UX profession?

During the five years that I have been active in the industry, I have managed many different projects. However, some projects are extra memorable and stand out a bit more.

By and large, I can say that the challenging projects are also the most fun; they really make me think! Of course, it’s also frustrating not knowing the answer and a little scary to do something I’m not always completely comfortable with. But because the most challenging projects are usually incredibly educational, I treasure and remember these the most. The most enjoyable part is also having a wonderful team to work with and to seeing the customer satisfied.

Three insights into UX Design

It’s common that people don’t really understand what UX design is about or what I, as a UX designer do daily. Therefore, I’d like to share three insights with you to consider as you shape your perception of UX going forward.

  • Small changes can have more impact than big ones

First, UX design assignments don’t have to be gigantic to create value. In many cases, a smaller effort can be more effective than blowing the problem out of proportion. There are many programs, methods, and terms within UX, and we sometimes use all of these for relatively simple problems. Does the problem we’re trying to solve need a competitor analysis, a contextual survey, another type of study, user interviews and tests, a heuristic review, and a needs analysis when we’re just changing the color of a button? New frameworks, methods and terms that come out every day, and it can be overwhelming. Keep it simple!

  • Traditional UX is better than new methods

Secondly, I believe traditional UX still has more to offer than many new methods that come along. There will always be different approaches, but at the end of the day, I think it’s better to weed out the unnecessary methods and keep the core ones to make the work more efficient. New isn’t always better! We often say that a design works better when “less is more”, but this doesn’t seem to apply to our own workflows.

  • UX is not the same as UI

Another common misunderstanding is that UX involves creating a nice graphic interface and that it’s all about giving “the final touch”. A UX designer actually ties all the threads together and ensures that the final product meets user needs. We don’t create pixel-perfect interfaces; that’s the job of a UI designer.  Sometimes clients mistake a UX designer for a UI designer and vice versa. This is understandable given that the design field is always growing with its cutting-edge skills and specialized roles. Even I get confused sometimes! Although it is obvious to us what the difference between UX and UI is, it is not always so on the surface.

The future of UX design

UX design is truly a profession of the future, and I believe the future is just beginning to unfold. We are seeing more and more specialized UX roles emerging, such as UX writer, UX researcher, UX Ops, and many more. The meanings and skills of these roles will continue to evolve and grow. To link back to the IT skills shortage I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I want to highlight the high demand for jobs in the UX field. It’s an area that is here to stay, as evidenced by our ongoing discussions with clients.

Interested in becoming a UX designer?

Have you read this far? Cool! Then it seems you’re interested in the world of UX. I’d like to end by sharing a tip: start broad and create a niche for yourself later – once you know what suits you best.

Don’t try to become a pro or find your passion in a specific area while you’re still in school. Take the time to explore all the roles within UX before choosing a focus, and do this later when you have a steady job. Instead, try to get varied tasks from your employer, and be curious during your first year so you can find what you’re truly passionate about. No one expects you to know everything right away – become a generalist first, then a specialist!

Do you want to read more about our open positions in UX? We have several roles available across Sweden! Learn more under our job openings and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want to talk UX!

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