It’s an exciting time to get started with user experience UX designer. Popular job site Glassdoor has listed “UX Designer” among its Top 50 Jobs in America for 2022 based on job satisfaction, earning potential, and job vacancies.
There are several ways to become a UX designer. Showing that you have the right skills is often the key to employment. But what are these skills? To find out, we analyzed UX designer job postings on LinkedIn to find the skills that are most frequently featured in job descriptions (as of July 2022). Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Peloton, IBM, Playstation, Tesla, Adobe, and Visa are among the companies hiring these skills.
What Skills does a UX Designer Need?
UX designers use a mixture of technical skills and professional skills in their design work. Some of these skills are specific to UI/UX, while others are more general. Chances are you already have skills that can be transferred to a new career in UX design.
1. Prototypes, Wireframing, User Flows, Mockups
A big part of the product development process is imagining what a product will look like. Depending on the stage of development, you can create wireframes, low- or high-fidelity prototypes, mockups, or user flows. Let’s define these terms.
- Wireframe: A web page without a visual layout, used to rank page elements based on user needs.
- Prototype: A sample or simulation of a final creation used for testing and gathering feedback. Low-fidelity prototypes can be sketched on paper and do not allow user interaction. High-fidelity prototypes are often computerized, allowing mouse and keyboard interaction.
- Model: a realistic visual model of what a final web page or app will look like
- User flow: a diagram that represents each step a user takes when using a product or service
These interaction design elements are practical skills that require practice. Fortunately, you can start with a pencil and paper. Practice drawing wireframes and user flows for an app or website you already use frequently to get familiar with the components.
2. Design Software and Visual Design
UX and UI designers use graphic design software like Figma, Sketch, Photoshop, and Illustrator to create the visual elements of a product. Along with mastering the tools, you should expand your knowledge of graphic design best performs for things like typography, color theory, layout, icons, and general design theory.
3. User Research and Usability Testing
To design an invention that solves a user problem, meets a user’s need, or generally pleases a user, you must first understand who that user is. It is where user research arises into play.
Conducting the proper user research for the product or feature you are designing can help you improve your product. As you develop prototypes, conduct user tests to validate your design decisions. Knowing how to navigate these two user-centric stages can help you become a more effective designer.
Agile, a popular software development set of project management practices, is based on an iterative approach to developing a product. Since many software development teams use the agile methodology, it would make sense that UX designers could also benefit from understanding this popular product management approach.
UX and Agile have started to overlap enough to have a term for it: Agile UX design. Although you don’t necessity to know all the details of project management to be a UX designer, you can boost your resume by learning the basics
5. Information Architecture
Information Architecture (IA) involves effectively organizing and structuring the content. When well designed, AI helps users find the information they are looking for or complete their tasks. UX designers can enable this by making it easy for users to understand where they are, where they need to go, and what’s next.
If you’re new to information architecture, start by looking at some standard website AI models. Like storyboarding, you can also practice creating a sitemap of a website or app you like. Repeat this several times and try to identify the elements that lead to good AI.
As a UX designer, you regularly work with other teams. Depending on the project and stage of development, you might work with executives to set business goals, work with UI designers to add visuals to a high-fidelity mockup or prototype or work with developers to translate your designs into code. Working as a team also means knowing how to give and receive feedback and integrate new ideas to create the best possible product.
Also Read: What is Oracle? – Features, Types, and More
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