User Experience Designer Careers
Can you see a product or service through the eyes of the end user? Are you ready to let your creative juices flow to solve problems? Can you make things simple, enjoyable, and easy to use? If you consider yourself to be a technology-savvy, creative problem solver, maybe you should pursue a job as a user experience designer.
Have you ever gotten frustrated at an app because it’s hard to use? Have you ever wondered why a navigation bar on a website is tricky to maneuver? Did you ever notice how simple it is to use certain computer programs? From the good to the bad, this is user experience.
User experience is defined as how a human interacts with technology. It refers to games, apps, websites, programs, social media, and other products and services. The user experience includes interfaces, navigation, layout, content, graphics, accessibility, designs, interactions, manuals, and so much more. It’s a broad niche that takes an in-depth look at how people interact with technology.
How do you interact with technology? Is it easy to log-in and pay your credit card bill? Can you find what you’re looking for on your favorite website? Is it easy to navigate your coolest app? Somewhere there is a team of user experience designers working to make these products as user friendly as possible. From colors to menus to coding, this is a massive niche that affects nearly everybody whether they know it or not.
Every product or service has to be designed. User experience designers, or UX designers, may work in information architecture, usability testing, or user research – all things to consider when trying to make a product user friendly. Every company has a different idea of what a user experience designer does. It’s your responsibility to read UX designer job descriptions to make sure you’re the right fit for the job. The one thing all user experience designers have in common is that they are all focused on how the end user interacts with a product.
A user experience designer has a wide skill set. Their job is a mix of psychology, design, communication, information technology, and computer science. Most UX designers work in teams to answer questions like: Is this product functional? Do users find it appealing? Is it simple to use? By using design concepts, user experience designers creatively explore ways to utilize space, function, and experience – with the ultimate goal of improving your experience. This is where user experience designers come into play. They design products to be appealing.
There are many university programs that offer degrees in user experience design. Many people who work in this niche have training in visual design, online marketing, web strategy, information science, or content writing. Formal education isn’t necessary to find a job. The real key to success is experience. It’s important to build your resume and to create a portfolio highlighting your skill set. Then attend networking events and join professional associations like the Usability Professionals’ Association or the User Experience Professionals Association.
According to the BLS, this niche is expected to grow by 4% by 2022. User experience designers are considered to be part of the industrial designer group. Currently there are 39,200 jobs in this group. Salaries range from $47,000 to $107,000 with the average annual salary being $59,610 or $28.66 per hour.
Quick Facts about User Experience Designer Jobs
Job Title: User Experience Designer, UX Designer, UED
Office: Computer Friendly Environment
Description: Working with a team to improve end user interaction with product or service
Certifications/Education: Degree or self guided education, Portfolio
Necessary Skills: Technology background, attention to detail, creative problem solver
Potential Employers: Nearly every company with a product or service
Pay: $59,610 per year or $28.66 per hour