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UX designer

UX designer

They have a lot of different names; but they perform one crucial task: turning applications into something people like and want to use.

Alternative job titles for this role

  • User experience designer
  • Usability designer
  • Information architect
  • Interaction designer
  • Design analyst
  • Usability engineer
  • User interface designer

Introduction

A combination of artistry and technical wizardry, UX designers are mainly concerned with how a product feels and flows. A given design problem has no single right answer and UX designers explore many different approaches to solving a specific user problem. They ensure that the product logically flows from one step to the next. One way that a UX designer might do this is by conducting in-person user tests to observe behaviour. They refine and tweak apps and software to create the "best" user experience – one that people like and find easy to use. UX designers also look at sub-systems. For example, they might study the checkout process of an e-commerce website to see whether users find the process of buying from the website easy and pleasant.

What the job involves

  • Consider existing apps and evaluate its UI (user interface) and UX effectiveness
  • Define interaction models, user task flows, and UI specifications
  • Communicate scenarios, end-to-end experiences, interaction models, and screen designs
  • Work with creative director and visual designers to incorporate a visual identity in the finished product Develop and maintain design wireframes, mock-ups, and specifications
  • Consider the human-computer interaction (HCI) element of a design

How your career can develop

UX design is such a relatively new discipline and profession that career paths are still in the process of being defined. However, skilled UX designers are in demand and progression to Senior User Experience expert is feasible with experience.

Why UX design matters

Large firms employing UX personnel are beginning to transition some of these personnel into customer experience (CX) roles, which will analyse how a product works in terms of the daily life of a customer, rather than just its technical capabilities.

Skills

  • Artistic eye for design
  • Ability to think creatively
  • Mathematical aptitude and strong problem-solving skills
  • Excellent IT and programming skills
  • Excellent organisational, time and project management skills
  • Accuracy and attention to detail
  • An understanding of the latest trends and their role in a commercial environment
  • Self-development skills to keep-up-to-date with fast-changing trends
  • Professional approach to time, costs and deadlines

Typical employers

  • Financial services
  • Manufacturing firms
  • Educational institutions
  • Banks
  • Specialist software development houses
  • Consulting firms
  • Telecommunications firms
  • Public sector organisations
  • Self-employed

Typical salary

  • Graduate/Starting €30,000
  • Senior/Potential €65,000

Typical qualifications

Degrees in computer programming, computing, information technology, software development and software engineering are common gateways to the profession.

Further information

Irish Software Association: www.software.ie

Irish Computer Society: www.ics.ie

Irish software research centre: www.lero.ie